Friday, November 25, 2016

Jesus Visited Their Home...

Sid and Liz Doyle are ministry partners who live south of Dearborn, Michigan - home to one of the largest Middle Eastern immigrant populations in America. The Doyles and their volunteers have given out thousands of DVDs of "JESUS" in their area.

Liz was leading a group of church volunteers Christmas caroling from home-to-home in a Middle Eastern immigrant neighborhood. It was a classic scene on a cold Michigan night. Everyone was bundled up. They walked up the steps of one home and stood on the porch. They began singing...

"Silent Night, Holy Night,
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from they holy face..."

The head of the house came out. He graciously welcomed the visitors. Soon other family members joined him on the porch and stood in the doorway. Eventually 12 people were listening to 12 carolers. Liz then asked the man if the carolers could pray for him and his family. He agreed. The prayer was very bold..."Jesus, You were born of the Virgin Mary! You led a sinless life. You died for our sins and rose from the dead...bless this family...You offer these people eternal life...In Jesus' name we pray...Amen!"

Suddenly the man raised both his hands and began crying out, "Isa...Isa...Isa (Jesus)!" Liz asked the man if he was okay and asked why he was shouting, "Isa."  He said, "Isa came to our house. My son was very sick in bed. Isa came into his room and touched him. My son jumped out of bed completely healed and ran to us saying that a man in white came and healed him! It was Isa!" Liz asked the man if he would like to know more about Isa. He exclaimed, "Yes, I would!" The carolers gave the family a gift of the "JESUS" DVD in Arabic, which they excitedly received, eager to learn all they could. 

Liz later told a local pastor about the family's positive response and asked him to begin the follow-up process with this family.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Ania: Delivered from Addiction

As the movie played, Jesus looked directly at Mary Magdalene and declared her freedom. With a gasp the demons released their hold, and Mary Madgalene fell to the ground. In an instant, the voices silenced, her shaking body settled, and the storm stilled behind her eyes. Jesus gently called her name, and she looked up with clear, but wet eyes to see her Savior, smiling back at her with love.

Caught up in the story, Ania cried. She's lost track of how many times she has seen this scene in Magdalena: Released From Shame, but it touches her heart every time. It reminds her of her own story - how God set her free from what used to hold her in bondage - her drug addiction. And with great conviction, Ania still admires how Mary served Jesus from the moment He rescued her. 

Ania first learned about Jesus at a Christian rehab center. But it wasn't until she saw Magdalena that the power of His love for her clicked. She completed the rehabilitation course, conquered her drug addiction, and made the decision to follow Christ. With her next step, she joined a group of women for the Magdalena follow-up lessons. Through these lessons Ania learned more about God's love for her and His plan for her life.

Now Ania leads these lessons for other women in the rehab center. "I can see how women realize what God has done for them through the Magdalena film and lessons," she said. "By the end of these lessons they realize that they face the same difficulties and challenges in life as the women from the Bible, and only God can help and change their lives. Glory to God for everything He does in my life and in the lives of other women! He is truly a living God!"

Set free from her own addictions, Ania realized with God, all things are possible. And like Mary Magadalene, this stirred in her a passion to serve Him and tell more women about His love.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Joining the Family

Sarah met Vicky on a campus in East Asia and asked if they could meet for dinner. On the bus ride into the city Square Sarah showed Vicky the short film Jangled (which Tez wrote). Over dinner, they had more time to talk about the film and school and direction in life.
“I’m not content with accounting as my major,“ Vicky told Sarah.
“I can relate. I work in accounting now, it doesn’t give me the happiness I hoped for. Are you looking for purpose in your work?” Sarah asked.
“Yes. But I don’t see it happening. There’s no hope.”
“Can I share with you the way I found meaning and purpose even if my work is boring and hard?” Sarah said. Vicky nodded, and Sarah smiled. “I’d like to tell you about my friend, Jesus.”
Vicky listened intently as Sarah shared the gospel using “Knowing God Personally” on her phone. When it came to show her the difference between a life without Jesus and a life with Jesus, Vicky quickly said she wanted Jesus in her life. Sarah led her in prayer and Vicky asked Jesus to be her Savior. When Sarah explained that accepting Jesus makes her a child of God, she said, “Now we are sisters.”
Through her relationship with Sarah and one of our short films, Vicky came face-to-face with Jesus. She understood the truth of the gospel and her life was forever changed.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Helping Gypsies Multiply?

When Claudia set up a showing of Magdalena: Released From Shame for women in a Romanian village outside of Bucharest, she didn’t know if anyone would bother attending. To her surprise the women came. In their flowing, colorful skirts and headscarves, with young children on their hips, curious Gypsies filed in.

Most of the 30 women couldn’t read or write. Many probably struggled with alcoholism and had sons or husbands in jail. But the chance to see and hear Jesus speak to them in their own language drew them in.

As they heard the words of Jesus on the screen spoken in their mother tongue, they heard the gospel for the first time that night.

Serving as the Magdalena coordinator for all of Eastern Europe, Claudia has a heart for the women in her corner of the world. Born and raised in Romania, she works tirelessly to communicate the gospel message of hope to the women in her motherland, showing them Jesus truly cares for his Romanian daughters.
This first showing three years ago started a fire among the Gypsies that continues today. Those women continued to meet for discussion and fellowship. Claudia also met with them, sharing ways to grow in Christ and discussing the lessons she learned from Magdalena.

“The Christian Gypsies are very active in sharing the gospel,” said Claudia. “The biggest issue is they don’t have access to the written Word of God, being illiterate.”
A small, simple building was all that was needed to change lives forever.

But their limited resources didn’t prevent them from taking steps of faith. The women decided to build a church, although their numbers were few. Claudia’s friend generously donated the land and construction began. The women’s husbands chipped in, and after erecting the building, they met almost every day. 

After about a year—as the church grew to more than 100 people—the husband of one of the women became a Christian. He could read and write, and soon began reaching out to other Gypsy villages in the area. Because of the generosity of a financial donor, Claudia gave him a DVD player and several Magdalena discs. Six months later, they planted a second church. Claudia visited this new facility, and watched church leaders baptize over 100 new believers.

“They just [caught] the vision and multiplied,” she said.

When they started talking about building a third church in another village, they asked Claudia to come and show Magdalena again. Excited to see them become self-sustaining, she encouraged them to show the film on their own. Because of her heart connection, Claudia partnered with this young community of faith, showed them how to walk with Jesus and become vibrant, multiplying believers. Today these women continue to use the life-changing story of Jesus to transform their community.

Small groups and church plants like these stand as a testimony of God’s power to change lives. Your contribution is sparking spiritual movements everywhere.