To say that the world is changed since I wrote you last month, would be understating things mildly. I was in Orlando, FL for nine days when the call for “stay-at-home” came down in California. I caught “an early” return since the originally scheduled flight was canceled. The airplanes were maybe 15 percent capacity during a “Spring Break” week.
While in Orlando, I learned that we had an Easter season opportunity to not just show the film “JESUS” on television in a key middle Eastern country, but could do it in six cities—we had the budget for just two. This was not an opportunity that we would want to pass up; we did two things. First, we committed it to prayer, and shared it as a part of our Jesus Film staff 41-days of global focused prayer which began on March 21. Second, the team I lead went to work on crafting an email to friends of the ministry, letting them know about this new “open door” in the heart of the Middle East. The email invited people to pray and help underwrite the four additional cities. God heard our prayers and those friends embraced the challenge; at least 530 of them gave.
The key Middle Eastern country TV project was oversubscribed, and we now have funds to do some additional broadcasting. One potential opportunity is for next month around the “Night of Power,” the 27th day of Ramadan, a sacred day for all-night prayer for devoted followers of Islam. This special night is May 19, and the broadcasts would show our “Magdalena, Released from Shame,” film, the one especially for reaching women. Please pray for this opportunity to show “Magdalena” in May, and for the follow-up of those who responded during Easter.
For Easter 2020, God answered prayers beyond our grandest dreams. Last year we were able to broadcast “JESUS” in 30+ countries. This year God open the doors in 112 nations (see map). Follow up was done through email, text, WhatsApp, WeChat, etc.
In Ghana, at Christmas broadcasts utilized the WeChat strategy generating 9200+ inquiries from “seekers.” Those people were engaged in dialogue and 3567 serious online conversations were developed, which led to 1437 people receiving Christ as Savior. Coupling broadcasting to the masses, with digitally connecting them up one-on-one with online counselors has yielded real spiritual fruit!
Here’s one story from the Ghana outreach in December:
“Before watching the ‘Walking with Jesus’ movie, I drank alcohol heavily. But after watching the series and praying to invite Christ into my life, one of the counselors got in touch with me, prayed for me and started talking me through some lessons on WhatsApp. I felt the urge to pray and read the Bible. And now, the desire to drink alcohol has ceased. I read
my Bible twice and pray more than twice a day. My wife cannot believe what has happened as she is a witness to the change in my life now. I thank God for the TV station showing the movie.” — Kumasi
In the weeks ahead, we expect to hear stories like this come from the Easter broadcasts as well, even from places like Egypt. Again, please pray follow-up from the Easter and for potential “Night of Power” showing opportunities in North Africa and elsewhere.
These are very exciting days for proclaiming the gospel to the nations. The corona-virus has forced people to “stay home,” they are scared and glued to their televisions. And, God orchestrated things in such a way that his message about his son Jesus—the risen Savior—could safely go into the homes of people in 112 nations. Thank Him and pray!
In partnership with you,
P. S. To pray with us through the 41-days of prayer go to: https://www.jesusfilm.org/content/jf/us/development/updates/200319-pray.html,
and to learn more about praying and participating in the Go 2020 outreach next month go to: https://www.cru.org/storylines/2020/march/mobilizing-a-decade-of-harvest.