July 2012 Update — 20 Years Ago

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20 Years Ago

This is what I looked like 20 years ago. I pray that whatever genes caused it have skipped over Fia.

June 29, 1992.

As we walked the gravel road to our cabin at a family church camp outside of Randolph, NY my stepdad and I talked about what the speaker had said that night. We talked about heaven and hell, and how Jesus was strong enough to save me from the punishment of my sin. In the 15 feet between the water well and the bridge over the gurgling creek I silently asked Jesus to save me and make me His.

Now, just over two decades later, I’m sure He has, and is continuing to; not because I’m laboring for the Gospel, but because He has promised to and I know the ways that He constantly calls me away from my sin and into his presence.

20 Years Ago

In 1992, The JESUS Film was almost 13 years-old (just a year-or-so older than me, and enduring it’s middle-school years far more gracefully). It just was beginning to be used by over 60 missions organizations to reach and help disciple newly opened Soviet Bloc countries. The year before it had been translated into its 200th language — Tsonga of South Africa. And it wouldn’t be until the following year that it would be viewed for the 500 millionth time.

Now, just over two decades later the stories of where it’s been shown continue to multiply and the translations are coming quicker and quicker. There are currently just over 1130 translations, about 700 short of the goal of every language with at least 50,000 speakers. Also, the JESUS Film has now been viewed close to 6.3 billion times.

20 Years Ago

The VideoPhone 2500

In 1992 AT&T released the their VideoPhone 2500, the first “affordable” product of its kind — a mere $1,500! That same year the first World Wide Web browser that could display images was released; also the first browser with a back button was released. They were not the same browser though. In December of 1992 the first text message was received on a mobile phone in the United Kingdom.

As you know, the world of technology is very different today. You can buy a phone that can do high-quality video calls for $99 and carry that phone around in your pocket anywhere you want to go. Many people send thousands of text messages a month. And, that same $99 phone gives you access to the internet that goes far beyond the World Wide Web — including common images and videos that would crash any computer on any desk in 1992.

More than 20 Years in the Making

Just this week, my team — Jesus Film Media — began closed Beta Testing our iPhone app. I’ve been helping to log the bugs and figuring out improvements. The app give access to all of our films & series: The JESUS Film, Magdalena, My Last Day, Walking With Jesus (Africa), and Following Jesus (India) in all of the languages they’re available in!

With the our app comes the ability to watch films on a phone that powerfully point people to Jesus, and then empower them to take what they’ve just watched and send a text message or email to a friend to prompt the to watch it, all for free and on a device can cost $99! This is how Jesus makes people His! This is how a film about Jesus reaches the world! This is the Great Commission moving toward fulfillment through technology that wasn’t available 20 years ago!

This is what God has called me to be a part of, and I’m more humbled by that and grateful for it every day.

Thank you for everything you do to partner with us in helping reach the world with the Gospel that transforms so powerfully!

Grace & Peace,


Pray For:

  • The beta tests of the Jesus Film Media app that is going on all over the world this week. Pray that all bugs would be found & squashed.
  • Jayson’s growing team. We’ve gained 2 new members since our last newsletter, one who is raising her support in Michigan. We need her here ASAP!
  • Clarification on Carrie’s role spending time at the University of Central Florida. Also, for the occasional childcare that will be necessary.
  • For our neighbors and neighborhood. We’re working to reach into households and families struggling with things like unemployment, constant fighting and other things Jesus wants to step into & heal.

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