6 Years Ago…

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Six years ago this month we were getting ready to wrap up what we’d thought was a 10-month working sabbatical living in Orlando. Carrie was pregnant with Fia, due in less than a month. Our own plans for our life and ministry had been swept away, and we were 4-months in to a period of floating and figuring out what the Lord had next for us… we had two options in front of us (one in Orlando, one in Portland, OR) without any clear calling. I was spending at least an hour every day seeking God’s lead.

Then, on 16 May (the same day as the very last Space Shuttle Endeavour launch) it was six words. The closest thing that I’ve ever experienced to an “audible” voice from God…

“I want you to stay here.”

Since…

We spent time thinking about all of the things that happened in 6 years:

  • The birth of all 3 of our children (so far).
  • 4 addresses and our first home of our own.
  • 7 job roles between the two of us.
  • 2 hurricanes & 5 Florida summers survived.
  • J started going back to school for design & stepped into a new vocational calling.
  • Struggled alongside a neighbor and a friend to overcome sin, and temptation. (It’s not over yet.)
  • Helped launch the Jesus Film app in 2011.
  • Led and designed the initial launch of our web app.
  • Invested in UCF’s campus ministry for 3 years.
  • Invested in the lives, families & spiritual journey of 15+ Orlando friends & neighbors
  • Worked on 28+ different projects (≥3 I still can’t share about).
  • Learned 3 new programming languages.
  • Trained hundreds of staff on how to use the Jesus Film app to share the Gospel clearly.
  • Hosted a viewing of the Story of JESUS for Children in our neighborhood.
  • Prayed for, and helped in our city after a series of high-profile shootings.
  • Designed resources specifically to help get the Gospel to Syrian refugees.
  • J preached at our church 4 times.

Each of these have stories upon stories attached to them, and almost all of them stemming from that call to stay in Orlando. We’re thankful for all of the ways that God has, and continues to lead us.

Thank you for all of the things you to to make it possible for us to live out our calling!

 Maranatha!

Daasanach – Number 1,500!

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The Daasanach language is spoken by about 85,000 people from a people group of the same name living in and around Ethiopia, Kenya, and South Sudan. The people are largely cattle herders, and some have referred to their culture as “tribal avant-garde” with just one example being the colorful headgear they love to wear.

While the New Testament is available in Daasanach, the literacy rate sits somewhere around 2%, which limits the Scriptures’ impact on the people individually, and their culture on the whole.

Because of this, we’re proud to to announce that Daasanach has been released as the 1,500th translation of the JESUS film. The script was translated a while ago, but the production process can take years. If you want to hear the translation, it is available on the Jesus Film app, or on JesusFilm.org!

Mission 865

In 2010 the Jesus Film Project identified every language or dialect spoken by 50,000 people or more into which the JESUS film had not been translated. These people groups represent around 323 million people. Working with partnership translators and other missions organizations, we’re making incredible progress having completed 275 of these particular languages. Additionally, the frequency at which we’re releasing films continues to increase. Daasanach was just announced on 1 March, and as of this morning I saw that the total translation count had increased to 1,511!

Pray that we’d see the impact of Daasanach clearly, and that the Lord would continue to hasten the completion of the Great Commission!

The Translation Process

Many people have no idea what the actual process of producing a JESUS film translation looks like, these are the most basic steps:

  1. Written Translation
  2. Video Matching
  3. Recording
  4. Mixing & Editing
  5. Distribution Preparation
  6. Screening
  7. General Release

Thank you for being a part of all of this!

Maranatha!

About 3 million students were in Krakow for WYD.

Charging With JESUS in Krakow⚡️📱🔋

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Back!

YAY! After 10 months of full-time fund raising we hit our baseline goal in December, so I’m back in the office full time, now. And, I’ve jumped in with both feet. Since returning to my desk in the Jesus Film Project Digital team, I’m working on three different projects – I’ll share about two of them for now. One is to recruit some needed talent to the Jesus Film Project in general – we need more developers, designers, project managers, etc. around here! The Lord is doing some amazing things, and we need more people to help. I’ve talked about it with some friends at church, and someone is already looking into joining my team!

Charging With JESUS @ World Youth Day

The other one – as simply as possible – uses a router connected to a small hard drive that powers a small low-powered WiFi network and allows anyone to connect to it and download or stream content to their devices – content like our films, or the Bible in their language. It’s particularly useful in remote areas, or in areas where there is active suppression of the Gospel.
It has other uses as well, I’ll pass on a story from Poland this past summer:

Matthew sat by himself in solemn silence. He had made the pilgrimage to Krakow like millions of other students, but he still felt out of place. Finding a shaded seat in a charging station, Matthew plugged his phone in and stretched out to relax. The screens inside the tent played film after film—each one reminding him of something he had learned in his theological studies—but then again, he was only half-heartedly paying attention.

Matthew was in Krakow with other Roman Catholic young adults attending World Youth Day. Through our partnership with Poland Campus Crusade for Christ, at least 1,500 volunteer evangelists gathered participated in the event. They manned mobile device charging stations and engaged people in spiritual conversations with the Jesus Film app.

At one such charging station, Hannah began packing up her things. She had put in a long day of speaking with curious students, but her shift at the charging station was over. As she walked away, the Holy Spirit prompted her to have one more conversation. She turned and saw Matthew watching a short film on a television screen. She walked over and greeted him.

Matthew shyly said he didn’t speak English very well. But as Hannah continued to talk with him, he started to open up. Maybe she knew the answers he needed. Hannah spoke about knowing Jesus personally, and asked him if he were to die tonight, did he know where he would go?

Thinking for a second, Matthew realized that he didn’t really know. “It’s split 50/50 between heaven and hell,” he said. “I have a personal relationship with God, but I’ve done stuff I shouldn’t have.”

Hannah smiled. “That’s where grace comes in,” she said. She explained the powerful grace of God—how we don’t have to be perfect. Matthew grew curious. Me? He thought. Grace for me? Matthew’s questions tumbled out freely and other Campus Crusade volunteers joined their conversation. As the grace of God registered in his heart, Matthew smiled. Maybe God could forgive him. Maybe he could find grace now and on the other side of death.

At World Youth Day last summer, 3,198 people heard the gospel and 400 people indicated they received Christ. Pray that Matthew continues to pursue God’s forgiveness in Christ and finds assurance in his relationship with Jesus.

As we move forward with this particular project, please pray for us. I’ll continue to update you all as I am able. It’s extremely exciting!

Grace & Peace,
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