Nicole leads a campus ministry that is working in the southern part of a former Soviet Republic. Last Tuesday I spoke with her via Skype about how her teammates are using Jesus Film Project’s digital tools to reach students at schools in that region and across the border into another former Soviet Republic.
Because of technology hurdles, our Jesus Film app doesn’t work well to share videos with their students. Internet traffic is barely monitored there, but users’ monthly data is very limited – except when they use an app called WhatsApp. When they share a link to a Jesus Film video, the students will see that they’ll have to leave the app to watch it so they never even hit “play.”
A few years ago they landed on an idea, they found a website that circumvented YouTube’s usual operation and allowed them to download video files. They cropped them down and send them via WhatsApp. This improvised solution allowed their students to see the videos, and hear the Gospel.
This is a problem. And an opportunity.
Problems & Opportunities
In the next few months I’m going to be speaking with more people like Nicole [not her real name]. I’ll be asking about how they’re using our tools, what hurdles they’re running into, and how we can build our tools to serve them and the people they work with. I’ll also be selecting 2-4 locations to visit to “ride along” with them as they minister in their normal context to see what other problems and opportunities there are to be addressed.
Pray for wisdom for me as I manage my time reaching out to people in very different time zones, that I would ask the questions that would lead toward useful insight, and that – as I prepare to travel – the Lord would be clearly present and protecting for me, and for Carrie and the kids at home.