The faith and courage of believers in difficult circumstances always inspire me. I love reading the stories of Brother Andrew, Corrie Ten Boom and Mother Teresa. They are my heroes.
Today, God is raising up new heroes of the faith. Volunteers in one country travel to extremely dangerous areas, where news of the gospel has never been heard.
When one of our partner ministries learned of their courage, they trained the volunteers and entrusted them with 50 sets of compact film-showing equipment. These 50 teams fanned out through mountainous terrain in cars, on foot, horseback, motorbikes and even on a few camels!
They might never return
Their pioneering mission to share the gospel was indeed dangerous. Some might never return. But compelled by His love, they placed their lives in the hands of the One who had delivered them out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Through hundreds of film showings, and many miracles, 60,000 people experienced the power of "JESUS." About 13,000 became followers of Christ; 6,000 were baptized, and 900 underground churches were planted! The magnitude of the response was stunning. Just talking about Jesus in this nation can cost you your life...by the thrust of a sword.
Then an email came to our partner, directly from a religious leader of the radicals, Kamal*. Kamal was among those 13,000 who believed.
"I did not watch movies"
He wrote: "A month ago, a 'traveler' came to us on a camel. It's our custom to provide food and allow travelers to spend the night in our house of prayer. After dinner I told him about my work. The 'traveler' explained that he had a work too, going from village to village, delivering the message of God to the chosen people.
"He was so gentle and kind that I was interested in what he was saying. He talked about a movie projector, and asked me if he could play something he called the 'JESUS' film. He said it was in my language. I told the traveler that, as a religious leader for the last 28 years, I did not watch movies. He said, 'Yes, I know. I was a leader like you too, but don't worry, I won't tell anyone.'"
The team member set up the small, solar-powered projector and connected the battery and speakers. He played "JESUS" and then explained about the true and living God. He played it again and explained more to Kamal.
Kamal continues, "The traveler was tired, so I let him go to sleep. I took the projector, screen and speakers and went far into the mountains where I could be alone. I feared I could be killed by wild animals or radicals. I watched the film again."
"The movie stepped out of the screen"
"Suddenly, it was like the movie stepped out of the screen into real life. It seemed like I was surrounded by Jesus and the disciples. I felt the power of God's Spirit touching my body and my heart. I could not stop crying. I knelt on the ground, praying in the name of Jesus.
"For the first time in my life, I bowed before the true and living God. I felt great peace. I went back to the village and awoke the traveler, telling him what had just happened. He told me, 'You and I are now followers of the same merciful God.' He said he would help me learn about my new faith. So I left my job as a religious leader. Now I want to spend my whole life serving Jesus."
This is a movement of God. Only God can write stories like this. God is calling men and women all over the world into a personal and saving relationship with Himself.
I'm so amazed that I get to hear and relate these stories happening today, in my lifetime. Have you asked God what role He would like you to play in this unfolding story? Have you considered where He's asking you to step out with courageous faith?
You can download the Jesus Film Project® app here. Look over the short films and clips from our longer films. Read the discussion questions and consider with whom God would have you share. You could be someone's "traveler in truth" — pointing them to a saving faith in Jesus.
What steps will you take today?
*Name has been changed for the security of the individual.