October 2012 Update — It’s Out!

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We’re very excited to finally announce that the first main project that we’ve been talking about for a year-and-a-half is out!

At the beginning of this month we released the Jesus Film Media mobile apps — both in the iOS App Store (for iPhones, iPod Touches & iPads) and in the Google Play Store (for Android Devices). Then, just last week, we unveiled JesusFilmMedia.org!

All of these resources are specifically designed to help you share your faith with people you come in contact with — even with people with whom there is a significant language barrier; because it has over 1,100 languages in it.

You can watch the JESUS film, The Story of Jesus for Children, Magdalena, a number of evangelistic and discipleship series, and short films like My Last Day, an anime look at Jesus’ crucifixion through the eyes of the repentant thief.

It’s Working!

Less than a week after releasing it, we got the first report of someone leading another to faith in Christ using the app.

Kelsey (the daughter-in-law of our mentors from our time in DC) was at the University of Texas showing students how to use a short film called La Búsqueda (about an father and his estranged and distant daughter, and his attempts to reconcile with her) to share the Gospel.

An hour-and-a-half after ending the training two students came back to tell her about Nick who had grown up going to church without hearing about Jesus’ saving work. After

watching the film and short conversation he turned to Christ. Romans 6:23, had resonated with the film’s story, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” They began following up with him in discipleship the next day!

Only the Beginning

As of 2 days ago the app has been downloaded 6,212 times, from at least 65 countries —Uruguay, Lebanon, Kenya, Taiwan, Nigeria, Malaysia and some other countries that necessitate some discretion.

We don’t have data going all the way back to launching it, but in the past week alone 1,163 videos have been played, the JESUS film has been played 227 in Estonian alone!

There are always next steps in projects that are technology-dependent. New models of phones, tablets and constantly changing needs of the people using our apps. We’ve also launched a platform for other organizations to take our films and resources and make them a part of their outreach applications, websites and other resources of their own.

The Scriptures are clear, there will be someone from every tribe, tongue and nation around Christ’s eternal throne. It’s exciting to think that we are providing tools to add to the diversity of that chorus! Please pray for my team as we continue innovating and building!

Pray for:

  • Continue praying for Brad, Kay & daughter Sue. Brad and Kay have separated and Brad is still fighting some of the charges — he has a hearing as I write today. We’re sending some discipleship material for him. Pray that he’ll keep growing.
  • Our other neighbors (a wonderful family of six) are moving away tomorrow. We’ve become fast friends and are very sad about this. Pray that they’d travel safe and find a new good home as they land in North Philly.
  • Pray for good follow-up and growth for “Jennifer” – a freshman at UCF who professed Christ with one of Carrie’s students last week!

And, the new segment, we’ll call:

Whelpley Family Photos!

September 2012 Update — Prisoners, Slaves and Bondservants

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Prisoner

When our pastor Wayne spoke on 2 Timothy about Paul’s attitude as a prisoner, I couldn’t help but think of our friend and neighbor, “Brad.” Jayson and I didn’t know him well; we’d gathered about as much from the regular domestic disputes that trickled across from their driveway into ours, as from actual interaction with him personally. But from the time he moved here with his fiancé “Kay” and their six-year-old daughter, “Sue,” Brad was clearly a wildcard – engaging, straight-forward and quick to own the faults that come with his impulsive, ”robust” personality. Now, after nearly two months in the Orange County Jail, Brad awaits next month’s trial that will determine whether his violent run-in with an associate will keep him behind bars for the rest of his life.

Slave

This is what UCF Cru's first meeting looked like.

This is what UCF Cru’s first meeting looked like.

Of course, there’s more than one way to live as a prisoner. Whether it’s the slavery to sin that our new campus director at University of Central Florida addressed at our first large group meeting when he recounted the Lord’s intervention in his sexual past, or the unnamed slavery to religion of countless self-righteous “good kids,” it is safe to say that in a room of 500 18- to 22-year-olds on a campus of 60,000, the Lord has his work cut out for him.

Bondservant

That is to say nothing of my own life, or the Whelpley household. While visiting “Brad” a few weeks ago has given us a new gratefulness for our freedom to come and go, eat, and hug as we please, this season of transition for me (Carrie) back to campus ministry, even just 1-2 days a week, has rattled a host of chains in my own heart. Will I be a bondservant to Jesus Christ, who alone has loosed my bonds (Psalm 116:16)? Or will I be a prisoner to performance, approval, food, appearance, comfort, security, order, competence, or control? Praise the God of Freedom!

Pray For:

  • Lasting spiritual growth & healing for Brad, Kay & daughter Sue.
  • Endurance for UCF staff team & 50 student leaders during the fall push.
  • Focus & balance for Carrie as she discerns where to invest on campus.
  • For Jayson & his team as they keep leaping the hurdles between them and the launch of the apps and site they’ve been working on.