November 11, 2017 8 p.m. As the sun set, Daasanach premiered in a dusty field between two villages outside Omarate, Ethiopia. The team began setting up the screen, generator and projector, while hundreds of children gathered around curiously. Few have seen outsiders, and fewer still have been exposed to a movie. But these cultural and technological gaps were soon bridges as the team took selfies with nearly every kid. Some team members passed out small candies, but most children were mesmerized with the photos and videos of themselves.
The area has no running water, no electricity and nothing around it for miles except empty desert mixed with patches of grass. Few people wore clothes. A church leader responsible for the entire southwest region of Ethiopia remarked that this is the most remote place in all of Ethiopia, as if he himself couldn’t believe that people still lived this way.
As darkness enveloped the field, and the Milky Way pierced the sky, the projector lights enveloped the field and the Daasanach "JESUS" film began playing. The 300 people who had initially gathered, doubled in size as more people returned from the field or came out from their huts to the light. Throughout the film, a constant murmuring went through the crowd as they talked about what they were seeing. The Daasanach are a resilient and sometimes vilolent people - as pastoralists, its not uncommon to kill or be killed over cattle disputes - and so they were not much affected by scenes in the "JESUS" film of deliverance from demonic or worldly oppression. Only when the crucifixion of Jesus was shown, did the conversations lower, as the Daasanach watched the Savoir of the world suffer unjustly.
Abruptly, the film paused, the the Campus Crusade for Christ team in Ethiopia offered the opportunity to receive Jesus as Lord. This is common in Ethiopia, as it gives a chance for the team to offer context and help people understand what they have been watching. Incredibly, miraculously, everyone in the crowd came forward! There was an excitement now amongst the Daasanach as they began to slowly understand that this man Jesus, is King, and nothing is above The Name. Not demons, or spirits or curses. Willingly, one by one, then small groups then the entire village gave their lives to Jesus at that moment.
The preacher wrapped up and said that after the film was complete, the Daasanach could give their names to follow up counselors so that in a few days a team would return to speak more. But for now, the film continued and the death and resurrection of Jesus displayed the assurance of Christ’s supreme power and love for the world.
After the film ended, counselors did indeed painstakingly write down every name they could. In all, 79 people indicated that they wanted follow up. Two days later a team will come back. Curt Hensley, a ministry partner who came to join the Rineharts in the celebration of the language they funded said that “So much work - years of dedication - has led to this moment. And its just the beginning.”
November 11th, 2017, 3 p.m. In preparations for the premiere later tonight, 300 local leaders and believers gathered in a church/schoolhouse in Omarate, Ethiopia for a sneak-peek of the Daasanach version of the "JESUS" film. The first man to greet the Jesus Film Project team was the village elder, a man in his 50’s, but the harsh rural conditions weathered his visage. Still, he struck a regal appearance, and warmly welcomed the team.
Throughout the two hours, Jesus Film Project team members brought greetings to the Daasanach. The few believers in from this nomadic people listened through English then Amharic translation. John and Renée Rinehart delivered a heartfelt keynote message, and then together with their adopted son pushed ‘play’ on the video projector so the room could hear Jesus speak Daasanach for the first time.
At the conclusion of the event, while village elders were honored with gifts, the chief, demanded to speak. “Today, our prayers are answered. God’s word is coming alive for our people.”
November 9, 2017: Today, a Jesus Film Missions Trip team arrived in Addis Ababa and immediately began ministry. We trained 36 Campus Crusade staff members and partners to use the Jesus Film Project app to share their faith. In a short period of time, everyone was equipped to strike up gospel conversations using 3 films. The film "Invisible", about a beggar who goes unnoticed by everyone except a small child, made the biggest impact. The trainees used this film to share the gospel with 20 people, and 5 indicated decisions to follow Christ - all within 30 minutes of being trained! Praise God for new brothers and sisters in the Kingdom. In a few short weeks, these 36 will make an impact on December 1st by joining with believers from all over Southern and Eastern Africa and sharing their faith using the app and other digital tools.
Prayer requests: Please pray for the equipment that the team brought. Film equipment, including cameras, projectors and speakers are being held in customs. Pray that the customs officials will release the equipment by 1 a.m. EST on the 10th so the team can bring everything to where the premiere is being held the next day.
October 31, 2017
The premiere of Daasanach will take place on November 11th and 12th! A team will arrive in Omarate, Ethiopia and conduct outreach training with partners in the area, and begin preparations for the premiere. Please pray for the team to arrive safely from the U.S. with all the needed equipment on November 8th.
September 30, 2017
Two film production teams will be documenting the premiere and the ministry to the Daasanach people in Ethiopia in November. As part of our Mission 865 effort, the teams hope to tell the story of how the gospel is reaching some of the most remote people on earth.
August 31, 2017
The premiere of Daasanach will take place in November. Dates and locations are still being finalized, but a team from the US will be bringing equipment rated to show the "JESUS" film to up to 2000 people.
March 1, 2017
Primary lip-sync recording has been completed. The field review team, consisting of local believers, Bible translators and Cru® staff members are checking the final cut. Pray this week as the review team gathers in Ethiopia to check this landmark version and make initial plans to show to the Daasanach people.
Daasanach is a language spoken by an estimated 85,000 people spread amongst three countries - Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan. The Daasanach tribal group has a unique culture and has been reluctant to accept modern influences. A majority of the Daasanach people are cattle herders; the cattle provide status symbols and food among the tribes. While known and feared by neighbors, the Daasanach have been described as “tribal avant-garde” and are known for having a love for colorful headgear.
Although the New Testament is currently available in the Daasanach language, only 2 percent of the Daasanach can read, making the translation of “JESUS” an incredible advancement for this unreached people group. Many will now have the opportunity to hear the gospel in their own language for the first time.
The Daasanach "JESUS" film is a result of years of commitment by Jesus Film Project® and a Bible translation team in Kenya. But that is not where the story begins.
In 2010, Jesus Film Project and Bible translators around the world identified every language spoken in the world by 50,000 or more, that did not have a "JESUS" film yet. At that time, there were 865 of these languages. Together, we made a commitment to reach every one of these people groups with the gospel and named the initiative “Mission 865.” Daasanach is a part of that effort.
In 2015, a young couple felt the call to reach the Dasaanach people. John and Renée Rinehart had special ties to Ethiopia after adopting two beautiful Ethiopian children. John reflected on how God led him and Renée to pledge funding to the Daasanach project. “We watched the 'Gamo' film, and were struck by the fact that the kids in that documentary had a chance to know Jesus because of the 'JESUS' film. And we both thought, ‘Those kids could be our kids right now.’ So we had no choice but to trust God to help us sponsor a 'JESUS' film to reach Ethiopians.”
For more information, please contact:
Jesus Film Project - Marketing
100 Lake Hart Drive, Orlando, FL 32832
Telephone: (407) 826-2300, FAX: (407) 826-2375
Email: [email protected]