Saturday, October 1, 2016

Solder Becomes Mobile Missionary

Sharing your faith is against the law! This summer, Russian president Vladimir Putin approved a package of regulations that ushered in restrictions on missionary activity and evangelism. Despite prayers and protests from religious leaders, the Kremlin pronounced laws against sharing your faith in private homes, online, or anywhere except recognized church buildings. Since most growing churches meet in homes, this law is devastating—not to mention the sudden prevention of JESUS film showings.

Thankfully, a few years ago, the generosity of forward-thinking donors provided a way to view the film privately by funding the creation of an innovative tool—the Jesus Film app. Now anyone, anywhere can use the free app on a mobile device to bypass limitations. They can watch or share JESUS—regardless of restrictions.

This means no more borders.

Whether a country is closed to the gospel, war-torn, or just too remote to reach, JESUS and other films can be viewed and shared inconspicuously. Take Roman for instance, a young soldier who was at a loss for how to reach his friends…

The reality of war didn’t just unexpectedly interrupt Roman’s student ministry. It interrupted his life. Drafted into his country’s army to lead a small unit through a war in Eastern Europe, Roman found himself trusting God to guide him as he led the men under him. He went into this assignment with the mindset to share the love of Jesus with the men in his unit. But he ran into obstacles.

“Before I was going in the army, my attitude was to serve, minister and tell students about Jesus. I didn’t know the context of the war and the problems which may occur there,” he said. “The army and the war has a completely different life—the soldiers and the officers are not students!”

Unsure how to minister to his men, Roman began praying for a new tool. During Roman’s first furlough from the army, he attended a Campus Crusade for Christ® conference where he met people from Jesus Film Project®. Staff members introduced him to an innovative tool called the Jesus Film® app and trained him to use it. With this, Roman could reach people in challenging and isolated places like a war zone. So, when Roman returned from his leave, he brought his tablet with the app.

On the train ride back, Roman sat next to a soldier under his command, his friend, Oleg. Together, Roman and Oleg watched JESUS. Oleg shared that he had seen the film as a child, but seeing it again as a soldier in the midst of war brought him new perspective. Oleg feared for his life while fighting in the war. But after watching JESUS with Roman, he realized his only hope was Jesus.

This fear is common in soldiers. In fact, another soldier named Yuri also struggled with the fear of dying. It consumed Yuri’s thoughts since his job as a tank driver held great risk. He confided in his leader and bunkmate, Roman, that he would likely be the first in their unit to die.

Late that night, Roman pulled out his tablet, opened the Jesus Film app again, and shared God’s message of life-giving hope and truth to Yuri. With tears and a smile on his face, Yuri made the decision to follow Christ, saying “To die in war is nothing compared to eternity.”

Roman took any opportunity to use the app and its many films with the rest of his unit. After 14 months, Roman completed his service and returned home, knowing in his heart that he would see his men again one day in eternity. Equipped with his new digital product, Roman is grateful to you and continues with student ministry, now using the tablet to speak life to students with the same universal message that he shared with soldiers—JESUS.

As technology continues to progress, we thank God for pioneering partners. They provide the means to research and develop new ideas and help advance the gospel through state-of-the-art tools and creative new films, equipping mobile missionaries everywhere

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