God has taken me (Steve) in an interesting ministry direction within Cru, one I would never have dreamed or imagined. This summer a friend approached me in Colorado, described his current role, and challenged me to consider joining his team. After much prayer, I stepped out in faith and joined my friend’s team several weeks ago.
I’m now a Script Translation Manager with Cru’s Jesus Film Project. The JESUS film, which is based on the book of Luke, was produced by Cru and shown in theaters in1979. In 1985, the Jesus Film Project was formed to translate the JESUS film into other languages so that it can be used as an evangelistic tool around the world. Films, such as the JESUS film, bring the gospel story to life in ways that transcend written communication. This is true especially in oral cultures where written communication is scarce. When people see the life of Jesus portrayed on a screen in their own language, it is life changing. Even in societies where the written word is prevalent, films are powerful communicators.
Today, the Jesus Film Project has more than 30 short and feature-length films and has partnered with more than 1,500 ministries outside of Cru. The JESUS film has been translated into 1,750 languages. More than 8 billion people have viewed the Jesus Film with 572 million indicating decisions to follow Jesus. The JESUS film has been recognized by The Guinness Book of World Records as the "Most Translated Film" in history, which shows how seriously Cru takes the goal of sharing the gospel with people from every nation, tribe, and tongue. To learn more, go to www.jesusfilm.org.
About 6 years ago, the Mission 865 initiative was formed with the intention to translate the JESUS film by 2025 for 865 new language groups with 50,000 or more speakers, which represents roughly 323 million people who are largely unreached with the gospel. My team was formed to help develop methods and host workshops to ultimately give these unreached people a JESUS film in their heart language. My role, as a Script Translation Manager, is to help plan and manage workshops where up to 8 languages are translated over a 3-month period.
Here is a brief testimony about a Kenyan language translated by my team: "After showing the Waata Jesus Film (see photo) to the Waata people, five of them gave their lives to Christ. An elderly lady testified how if it were not for Jesus speaking in her language, she would not have accepted Him into her life. She said in her words, 'Jesus is Waata. He knows our language better than our children!' Praise God for the new souls in His Kingdom."
Please pray for me as I continue to learn about my new role and make plans for a trip in October to Ethiopia. Robin and I give thanks to God for your involvement in our ministry which helps people around the world to hear the gospel.
Yours in Christ,
Steve & Robin