Let the little children come to me — March 2014 Update

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“I know this film!”

“Alex’s eyes lit up when he heard his own Kinyarwanda language on the Jesus Film Media app. ‘I know this film!’ he exclaimed. He started remembering that as a young boy in Rwanda he had seen the JESUS film several times. Even though he knew he would miss his curfew and be beaten by his father, he went back to learn more about Jesus.

“In 1994 as a high school student during the genocide in Rwanda, Alex walked four hours home to find his family and the whole village had been killed. He fled into the bush. For seven years, he endured a harrowing journey. He and 20 other boys took off through the jungle to get to freedom. By the time they reached the other side of the jungle, only Alex and one other boy had survived.

“Alex made his way to America. Recently, he became a citizen. Alex is now our dear friend and plumber. He continues to grow in his faith. He attends a strong church and is a beloved member of a men’s Bible study.”

See the Original PostJesus Film Media Blog | 'I Know this Film' (15 Mar '14)

Tiny Tent Meetings

One of Fia’s favorite places to hang out in our home is the table-cover tent that Carrie’s mother made for her. She’s spent hours in there playing with baby dolls, iPad games and friends when they come over. This month while we were hosting our church small group, we started up The Story of JESUS for Children for her in there using the Jesus Film Media app.

She’s watched it before, but this time something must have struck her differently.  When she watches TV shows, she rarely interacts with the shows or characters. But this time, we heard her little voice a number of times, “Hey! Hey, Jesus! Hey, Jesus…” She was clearly trying to talk to Jesus. 

Jesus is my friend! He stays with me!Fia
That night at bedtime, we talked about movies, actors, and Jesus. Her almost-3-year-old heart is still soft and she has often asked to watch the movie again, which we’re happy to oblige. She tells us, “Jesus is my friend! He stays with me!”

Jesus said to his disciples, “Let the little children come to me,” and so often – if they get the chance – they will! Pray for children around the world, from the middle of genocides to safe little tents to hear His voice and call out to Him!

Please Pray For:

  • Our financial ministry support. Jesus Film Media is shooting for an August 1 release of our newest updates. Jayson’s hoping to work on a major piece of it, but our support work needs to be done first.
  • Our constant prayer for our children has been that everyone that comes from our line would know & follow Jesus. Would you join us in praying for that also?

January 2014 Update — Looking back on 2013

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’13 in Review

In the Whelpley household, 2014 has started in a whirl. Last week (37 weeks into pregnancy), we moved into our new home. Even if it’s only a two-block journey, the process of moving “with child” (and a two-year-old) requires the grace of God and good friends, and is not for the faint of heart. On our website (Whelpley.org) I’ve been sharing bits from the Jesus Film Project’s 2013 Annual Review, head over and read some of those. We wanted to review our own 2013 highlights and share some updates!

The Jesus Film Project

JFM_Vrt_FullColor_RGBOver the past year, an astounding number of stories and stats have rolled in as a result of the Jesus Film Media platform. We now have 11 ministry partners at some point in the development process; from fully-launched YouVersion, Kolo and Bible.Is, to partners in development like Trans World Radio & the John Ankerberg Show. These partners account for more than 90% of the film viewings on our platform. The Jesus Film Media app itself is also having a large impact in people’s personal ministries. We’ve gotten stories from campuses in the US, Asia, North Africa, the Middle East — in one letter, we even shared about a new believer who is leading the charge to reach fellow students in the Ukraine. In DC laundromats, airport shuttles, Mexican deaf communities… the Gospel is moving forward and the Jesus Film Media app has been a powerful tool in diverse places! In one update, we shared one story about how the media on our platform can have an impact in college students’ lives — particularly a student in Illinois named Angelica. Something went wrong in editing our letter, so here’s a better version:

Angelica’s Story

[su_quote]Throughout high school I was very dark…I used to wake up in the morning and think to myself “I don’t know what’s the point anymore.” When I was in college my freshman year…I saw a poster for Cru, for their Short Film Festival. The film they showed was “La Busqueda. That movie had me crying by the end of the showing. The character… has a void that she keeps trying to fill, and that really resonated with me because I felt that’s where I was… just so empty inside. Her father keeps trying to reach out to her and so he has a string of yarn that he’s slowly feeding to her…pulling her toward him. I was sitting there watching the movie, it was like God feeding information to me, feeding something to me and bringing me closer to him. I really connected with that movie. We went to [the gospel] and for the first time ever, all of it just kind of made sense to me…I said, “That’s what I want,” because I realized that that void in my life was I had been searching for God’s love… If it had been a different event, I probably would not have gone. If they did not choose to have a film festival on this campus…I don’t know what would have happened with my spiritual journey. You attract different people and different audiences with that type of event… I think that sometimes the best way we connect is without words: they see these movies and they think, “This is exactly what I’ve been going through” …and that’s what really resonated with me when I watched those films is what they could say without saying anything. [/su_quote]


One of our ongoing stories from the last year-and-a-half was our friend Bobby’s. You can read about it here. Just over a year ago many of you gave gifts to help with some needs he had. After serving the remainder of his time, he is now free and trusting Jesus to build a new life. He’s been working hard doing home remodeling (I built a website for them: RemodelingMDorlando.com), paid down 75% of his court costs (so he can get a driver’s license), and is pursuing paying child support and seeing his daughter. He’s been meeting with me (Jayson) as well as our pastor to learn about the Bible and what walking with Jesus can look like. He has an incredible desire to minister to others. Just this week, he brought our small group into his effort to help a friend with late stage prostate cancer who is in a home with no power or water and no way to get to appointments. Bobby talks often about his desire to be a pastor some day.

Quick Praise Overview

Okay, and now some reminders of what God did this year. I’ll include a link to the post so you can find it.

With our new home moved-into (but not unpacked) and our baby-boy fully baked (but not delivered) we’re very much looking forward to what the Lord has in store for us in 2014!

1,000 Years Without the Gospel [JFP 2013]

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The JESUS Film Project® Year-In-Review

The JESUS Film Project® Year-In-Review

Most Christians don’t know that the Jesus’ message of salvation made it to the Middle East, India & Africa long before it made it’s way to Germany or England.

In one of these areas of Africa — an area “known to breed radicalism and violence” — the Gospel was once widely known. But, for a millennium now, Christians have been almost completely absent. Now, through groups of college students risking their lives, the distribution of JESUS DVDs is bringing about a change.

Of course there’s been resistance. And the Spirit’s response:

The antagonistic religious leaders challenged them to heal a demon-possessed man in their village. the students took a bold step of faith and asked to see the man. They prayed over him through the night while reading Scripture, worshipping the Lord, and commanding the demons to come out of him. By morning God had delivered him.

The man proclaimed to everyone in the town that Jesus had healed him. Enraged by this turn of events, the religious leaders beat the students and drove them out of the town…

…all we have to do is place a DVD in a home, and the Word of God will do its work!

They went ahead and gave out hundreds of DVDs in the town market. They were arrested this time and “spent that night in jail where they encountered six member of an international terrorist group.”

You can probably guess where this is going, but you’re wrong. There were not six new believers, there were seven! One of the police officers trusted Christ as well!

Three years later there’s a growing church of 40! One of the leaders shared this:

The DVDs of JESUS are so powerful, and in the people’s language, all we have to do is place a DVD in a home, and the Word of God will do its work. We have a vision to place a DVD of JESUS in every home with a player on the African continent. God is doing some amazing things!