When Heaven Came Down
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As they watch and understand the Word of God in their heart language, many believe and their lives are transformed by His love.
Mozambique was a nation in absolute chaos.* Civil war had degenerated into total anarchy; millions were gripped by a cruel famine.
Over 500,000 refugees had fled the war. Some came to a camp just inside South Africa. When JESUS film workers Mark and Jill** arrived, the sights and sounds were overwhelming.
Mark and Jill had heard there was little or no water for these people—that they barely staved off starvation by eating meager rations provided by overwhelmed relief agencies. As they entered the huge camp, this couple told how they were overcome by the stench of human excrement. Even worse was the sea of emaciated bodies and the empty, hopeless looks in the eyes of the people.
But, there was hope. That’s why Mark and Jill had come. A young missionary working among these desperate people had begged them to come and show them the film JESUS.
Mark drove the truck through the camp seemingly forever, trying to find a clearing where the film team could show JESUS. Finally, they found a place, but Jill sensed that something was very wrong. In her spirit she could feel demonic oppression building. Then the team heard witch doctors chanting and saw them in a circle around the showing site, throwing bones on the ground in satanic rituals. An eerie and foreboding pall fell over the camp. Satan wanted the showing stopped.
Mark called the team together to pray. For three hours they interceded. As twilight was setting in, ragged refugees emerged from their shacks and began to stream toward the showing area. The witch doctors stopped their dancing. Over 1,000 people crowded into the small, dusty clearing. The film began.
Jill recounted: “Then during the scenes of the crucifixion, we sensed something unusual was happening. Everyone began to cry—women, men, and children. A mournful wailing gradually rose from the crowd into a relentless crescendo.”
As Jesus was staggering down the Via Dolorosa in the film, the weeping grew louder and uncontrollable. When the soldiers started nailing Him to the cross, many of the people jumped up and ran toward the screen, their hands in the air, crying out to God.
Everywhere people were confessing their sins. In that moment the film was forgotten. They were having an experience with God Himself. Rivers of tears poured down their dirty cheeks. Men beat their chests and cried out “Oh God! Oh God!” Some were on their knees, some stood with eyes closed and arms raised, others lay prostrate on the ground.
These people were in the presence of a holy God. They were overwhelmed by a sense of their sinfulness, and wanted desperately to be forgiven. Someone turned off the projector. The film team rushed to pray with and counsel those who were seeking God. But they couldn’t speak. One by one, the team members themselves fell to their knees, confessing their own sins.
“I can’t explain how I felt,” Mark remembers… “I felt the awesome power of God. I felt His love, His compassion, His care. It was overpowering. It was a wave that welled up inside us and we couldn’t contain it. We were totally, irrevocably, hopelessly in love with Jesus. And the experience just burst out of us with confession and tears, praise and worship, and a feeling of wonder.”
Jill said, “His power and holiness were so great that no one could do anything but confess their sin. I knew I was in a holy place.”
More than 30 minutes passed. Still the sounds of weeping and passionate prayer filled the field. Mark went to the interpreter and said, “We need to finish the film so they will know the good news of the resurrection.”
All across the crowd the people continued to wipe tears from their eyes. They saw the burial of Christ, and then the resurrection. The interpreter explained to the crowd, “Jesus came to make the payment for our sins. But death could not hold Him.” And with that, he pointed to the screen and shouted with uncontainable joy, “And there He is! He was raised from the dead!” The crowd exploded as if a dam had burst. Everyone began cheering, dancing, hugging one another, and jumping up and down.
An invitation was given for those who wanted to receive Christ to come to the front. They ALL wanted to accept Him as their Savior and Lord—all 1,000 people! That night, that holy night, heaven came down to Earth through Jesus, His Word, and a film team who had brought these people JESUS.
You Can Help Lead People Out of Darkness Every Month
As you read, millions of people are suffering without hope and without Christ. But as you learn more about the JESUS film, I hope you see how you can help shine light into their darkness. May I suggest you send a gift, as you are led, to send teams so unreached people might experience JESUS? As they watch the gospel story and understand the Word of God in their heart language, many will believe. Their lives will be transformed by His love and the power of God.
Consider helping to reach people in darkness every month by becoming a monthly partner. Your gifts will make a difference in reaching the lost and ensuring that they are not only followed up, but also can grow in Christ.
Sponsor a Team Every Month
For the next 12 months, as a new friend of JESUS, may I ask you to consider supporting a film team with a gift every month? A gift of $38 a month will cover the costs of a film team for one day’s work a month for an entire year, a total of 12 days.
If you are fortunate and have good financial resources, you could sponsor two days of a film team’s work with a monthly gift of $76. Or you can help with a smaller gift of $25 monthly.
And if monthly giving is not for you, a single gift of any amount will still shine light in their darkness, helping tens, hundreds and perhaps thousands to be miraculously transformed by the power of God.
It’s easy to make a monthly gift through a credit or debit card. Your gift will be charged automatically each month, and you can change or cancel at any time. Pray and seek His heart—whether He would enable you to send them JESUS.
A Worldwide Partnership, Laboring as One to Fulfill the Great Commission
“Jesus Film Project is unquestionably the most successful of the many global mega-plans to evangelize the world that have surfaced in the 20th century.”
— David B. Barrett, Global Evangelism Movement
Thank you so much for your interest, your prayers, and as you are led, your gifts. May God bless you for being part of this global movement of evangelism and church planting.
Your charitable donations are tax deductible. The ministry’s tax identification number is 95-6006173. Jesus Film Project® is a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ International®. The ministry operates under the brand name Cru® in the United States.
*This report is from the annals of Jesus Film Project®—powerful evidence that God goes with the teams and the film itself.
**Names changed for security