Two large Hindu temples dominate a remote, resistant community of 4,500 people near the coast of a country in South Asia. Tanath was the temple priest of both temples. He led the people in the worship of an idol known as the “goddess of death.” During festival times, he routinely sacrificed 100 goats daily for the sins of the people—a people group who believed their idols actually drank the blood placed before them. When a “JESUS” film team arrived and showed the film, this Hindu priest attended one of four showings. He was respected—even feared—as the “master of sacrifice” in the temples. But the blood of the goats he had killed left him with a deep vacuum in his soul.
As he watched Jesus being crucified and saw His innocent blood spilled, Tanath understood that Jesus was God’s only sacrifice for sin. Tanath was the first person to come forward at the invitation that night. A year later, 300 believers attend the village church. Tanath, now actively involved in evangelism, and discipleship also helps “JESUS” film teams travel to unreached islands off the coast.
Urban Missions Project, a program affiliated with Jesus Film Project, serves as a church-planting initiative. It involves training local pastors, church leaders and university students in various geographical areas of one South American country. In the largest city, mission teams from three U.S. churches and local university students worked alongside area churches to help with vacation Bible school, developing new small groups and “JESUS” film showings. After a total of 10 showings of “JESUS,” 238 people accepted Christ.
In a rural town working in tandem with the community, the Urban Missions Project trained local church members to use the “JESUS” film. The churches conducted six showings of “JESUS,” resulting in 78 people indicating decisions to receive Christ as their Savior! Pastors in these communities testified that 17 home groups now meet regularly with an attendance of 239 people.
Neles, a freshman from a nation in Southeast Asia, attended a university in Papua New Guinea. Because he arrived late for the First-Year Orientation program, he missed receiving a Freshman Survival Kit. These Kits include two Christian magazines and a multiple-language “JESUS” film DVD, as well as a comment card. Greg, a ministry worker, met Neles and gave him a “JESUS” DVD. After receiving the DVD, Neles enthusiastically pursued using the film to witness to his friends. He showed the film to nearly everyone who happened to be sleeping overnight in his dorm room.
One night, as dusk fell, Neles noticed a man sitting alone outside the dormitory. Neles approached him and discovered the man was searching for a sibling who attended the university—but could not locate him. Since it was getting dark, Neles invited the man to spend the night in the dorm. When the man accepted the invitation, Neles took advantage of the opportunity and showed JESUS on his laptop that evening. As a result of Neles’ intentional hospitality and use of the “JESUS” film, the Holy Spirit opened the man’s heart. By the next day when the man left, he had accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior.
A group of “JESUS” film volunteers from Minnesota was blessed to travel recently to Panama to attend the first showings of the new Embera translation of the classic film. While in Panama, the group distributed 200 copies of the “JESUS” film DVD in Spanish in the Panama City area. An 11-year-old girl, Aylin, received two DVDs which she decided to take to her private school and give to two teachers. The teachers were so impressed by it that they decided to show the film to all 300 students in the school. Following the showing of the film, Aylin excitedly reported to her pastor that all students were very attentive and responsive, and one girl in particular was crying at the end. Aylin went to talk with her and the girl told Aylin, “I felt God touch my heart.” Aylin joyfully told her pastor how happy she was to be able to be part of the ministry of the “JESUS” film in her school.