Friday, January 27, 2017

Given a Voice


Yabeth expected the teasing, but his eyes filled with tears nonetheless. He couldn't write his response fast enough. The worst part wasn't that he couldn't speak. It was that he could hear their laughter. The hissing ones, the bursting ones, the shrill ones - each as achingly clear as the next. 

3U8A9174Born mute, this was Yabeth's life. His father, a former Hindu, encouraged him as a young boy to put his faith in Jesus, which he did. With his situation unchanged, though, his parents registered his disability with the government. June 8, 2011: a certified mute.


A couple of years later, when Yabeth was 12 or 13, he had the opportunity to watch JESUS. As the film began, his pastor told him, "You'll be able to speak. Jesus will give you deliverance."

"I believed," Yabeth said with a wide grin, "and God opened my mouth, and I began to speak." Gradually, over the next week, Yabeth gained the full use of his voice.

In the two years since his healing, Yabeth has faithfully attended Bible study and openly shares what Jesus has done for his life. His friends love to hear him tell the story about Jesus giving him his voice. He has passed out gospel tracts, shown JESUS, and spoken to groups of children. At one point he even swept the floor of the church - willing to do anything to help further the gospel. "I try to speak whatever God gives me," he said. "Sometimes I don't know what words to say, so I pray and the Lord gives me words in my mouth to speak."

When Yabeth came face-to-face with Jesus, the power of the gospel literally gave him a voice. And now he tells everyone he can about the One who calls him by name.


Friday, January 20, 2017

Divisions Fall Away

West Africa

An "opera of praise" filled the air. Jesus was speaking their language. It was Eda, loud and clear! As they watched JESUS for the first time - the premiere showing - the Kadara people (Eda speakers) looked past their tribal differences and applauded and cheered. Three dialects, one film and one message that brought them together that night. 

Liberia_2011_Explorers_20110125152233Historically speakers of the Eda language have created great divides over the smallest differences. Generations ago, they developed three dialects of Eda, along with three distinctive classes. Jealousy and slander festered, and although they were from the same culture, even their church activities and festivals became segregated. 

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When creating the script for the Eda version of JESUS, the translators chose to include all three dialects. So with voice actors from all three dialects, the tensions between the groups initially made recording JESUS difficult. But, God used this collaboration for His glory. It all came together on dedication day in March 2016. With hesitancy, but open minds, leaders from each dialect came together, and what they saw truly amazed them.

The Kadara encountered the love of Jesus. Old divisions fell away. The story of Jesus cut to their hearts, and they experienced the transformational freedom of following Him. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

More Indian Church Plants

Church planters around India use a strategy called Church Planting Movement Initiators (CPMI). Around 200 recently planted churches in one denomination. Jesus Film Project has been a major funding for this.

India made a good transition from evangelism to church planting using the Jesus Film, Prayer/Care/Share and other tools. They are effectively training 4,200 lay leaders to plant churches. The leaders are full of the Holy Spirit, boldness and excitement. Their goal is a church for each of the 400,000 villages in India that have no church (300,000 of the 700,000 have a church).

 If you look carefully, you will see the scars on the arms of this young leader, Jon. Four years ago he was a desperate alcoholic who cut himself repeatedly. Our CPMI Pastor led him to Christ when he was at his lowest point, lying nearly paralyzed in a hospital from alcohol poisoning. He returned to his workplace in the leather industry and led to Jesus a wonderful young woman who is now his wife; they have 3 children. They have led 20 of the 100 families in their village to Jesus, as well as many people at work through the power of their testimony, using the Jesus Film.

This young CPMI Pastor, on the left recently dedicated a simple building his church erected alongside one of their houses. Twenty-seven of the thirty families in this Gypsy colony have become followers of Jesus. Later in the evening, at a Jesus Film showing just outside, they clapped with joy when Jesus appeared on the screen for the first time. These folks are excited about Jesus. Please pray for them.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Legs for Running and Dancing

Ativa lived in Western Europe and couldn’t walk without crutches. Her feet dragged behind her, crutches scraping the cobblestone in rhythm to her struggle. She never imagined losing the ability to walk on her own. Abbdu, her kind and gentle husband, measured his steps to hers. They were in this together, whether she ever walked again on her own or not.

The moment Kabil, a Jesus Film worker, saw Ativa, he knew God wanted to heal this woman.

“Can we pray for you?” Kabil asked. Quietly, so as to not embarrass his wife, Abbdu told Kabil that while he was a follower of Jesus, Ativa was not.

Nevertheless, Ativa knew she had nothing to lose, and so she agreed.

As they prayed for her, God began healing her broken body. At first movement returned to her toes, and then her ankles and legs. The doubt she carried disappeared when she dropped her crutches and began to run. Abbdu was amazed, praising Jesus for the gift of Ativa’s healing.
“I want to know more.” Ativa said to the team, finally slowing down. She accepted a Bible and a copy of JESUS, overwhelmed by joy.