News from the JESUS Film Project
500,000 Philippinos Attend Single JESUS Film Showing
A record crowd of an estimated one-half million viewers attended an open-air showing of the internationally known film JESUS in the capital city of Manila, along with other Manila-area Catholic organizations. The event was both a spiritual encounter and a technological feat.
Crowds gathered on a vast field in central Manila to watch the film on 18 screens. Nearly three miles of cable were laid, connecting the 18 video projectors to the production truck. The sound was then forwarded to a local radio station and beamed back to the field. Viewers could hear clearly through both the sound systems and the thousands of radios spread through the crowd.
“The response of the crowd was awesome!” recalls Paul Eshleman, Director of the JESUS Film Project, who attended the showing. “They cheered at the miracles of Jesus and wept at the crucifixion. At the conclusion of the two-hour film, a bishop asked the crowd to divide into groups of five or six to discuss three questions relating to their personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He then led them in a prayer of personal commitment.”
In addition, 100,000 copies of Who Is This Jesus?—a booklet with additional information about knowing Christ—were distributed to the crowd after the showing. Catholic leaders from throughout the country who attended the showing also received 4,700 videocassettes of the JESUS film.
“I appreciate the interest of groups all over the world who see the value of the JESUS film for catechism, teacher training and for reaching out to neighbors who have not yet embraced the love of Jesus,” commented Eshleman.
Currently, 440 language versions of the JESUS film, distributed internationally by Campus Crusade for Christ International, have been used in 219 countries. Another 220 language versions are in process.
Malian Chief Offers Village to Jesus
In the Mopti area of Mali, in French-speaking West Africa, film teams may encounter various responses to showing of the JESUS Film.
In one village, the chief trusted Christ after a showing, then told the team and participating church leaders, “I am for the Lord. God has put this village at your disposal.” The leader of Muslims in the village affirmed that, saying, “The door is opened to whoever accepts Jesus Christ. We were in the darkness. Today, a way out into the light is within our reach.”
Fifteen Years of Prayer Answered in Bangladesh
Christians of Bangladesh gave particular thanks as they watched the JESUS film on national television December 31, 1997. They had prayed for that event for 15 years.
Viewers numbered between 10 and 12 million, according to station estimates.
“There was a big crowd in front of TV sets in market places,” reported a local Christian leader. “The pastor in every church on New Year’s Day called the members to praise the Lord for this miracle.
Although reactions—not all positive—from other religious groups appeared in the media, Christians saw the overall outcome as confirmation of God at work. “Jesus became an issue of discussion in the whole country,” observed one man.The showing also triggered numerous responses for copies of the JESUS video, as well as invitations for the 16mm film to be shown in different areas.
Honduran Cell Groups Use JESUS Video
Whatever the age or setting, volunteers are using the JESUS film in Honduras as part of their evangelism efforts. One creative strategy has involved distributing videos to trained church members in small groups throughout the country. These men and women show the JESUS video, then share the message of the evangelistic “Four Spiritual Laws” booklet with those who attend.
National director, Luis Cubillo reports that 98 percent of the people who attend JESUS video home presentations and indicate turning to Christ in faith have continued to be involved in local churches.
The JESUS film was also shown during Holy Week in 1996 on four Honduran television stations to an estimated 2.5 million people.
You may also write: Janet Moen, Prayer Coordinator, The JESUS Film Project, P.O. Box 72007, San Clemente, CA 92674