If there’s one thing that Satan doesn’t want, it’s for more and more people to know about Jesus, and to turn their life over to Him. It drives him crazy. But it sure is fun for us to have a hand in helping people come from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. The story of 71-year-old Karma, who lives in a country that is closed to the gospel, is a story that brings us joy. A year ago over tea, someone showed Karma the Four Spiritual Laws booklet, but he did not respond to an invitation to accept Christ. He did, however, take the booklet and said he would read it again. Two weeks later, Karma said, “I want to know more about Jesus,” and he watched the JESUS film with his wife. That night they both accepted Christ.

The next day, Karma invited his sons, daughters and grandchildren—18 people—to his home and told them the good news about Jesus. All 18 followed Karma’s lead to accept Christ’s gift of salvation and worship Him only. Within two months, 11 more households joined Karma and his family in daily prayer and meetings at Karma’s house. Today 17 families in Karma’s village follow Christ. They help each other in their farming and harvesting, giving them all enough time for fellowship and prayer.

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In Guinea, a group of Christian students traveled to 22 remote villages to show the JESUS film and conduct evangelistic campaigns. Frederick, one of the campaign speakers, aroused the animosity of two local youths. As a result, they poisoned him with a “one-day fetish,” meaning that the victim almost invariably dies one day after the poisoning. As a testament to God’s power: on the third night of the film showings, Frederick remained in good health, preaching the power of Jesus over Satan.
 
Amazed that their usually effective tactic failed to work, the young men appeared before the crowd to confess. They told of their intention to kill Frederick because he spoke against the use of fetishes. But when they saw that the power of God far exceeded the power of their evil tools, they prayed and invited Jesus into their lives and burned their fetishes.
 
Local police arrested the young men, but Frederick and the other Christians convinced the authorities to release them. The forgiving attitude of the Christians, combined with the changed lives of the two fetishists, greatly impressed villagers who had been observing this all of this unfold. Several of them had been the targets of the dark activities of the fetishists, while others dabbled in the occult themselves. All spoke of a sense of relief and release after this moving event; many people dedicated their lives to Christ. Frederick has become a full-time evangelist, testifying to the love and power of Jesus!

Oppressed by a demonic spirit causing her depression, a young Armenian girl named Dirouhi lived a confused life. Plagued by the bitterness between her parents and grandparents, she found herself caught in the midst of their broken relationships as her grandparents taught her to hate her parents. One day the disciple of a JESUS film team member shared the gospel with this young girl’s mother and gave her a copy of Magdalena. Although the girl misbehaved and tried to interrupt the conversation during this meeting, the Holy Spirit miraculously touched her heart later that evening. As her mother watched the DVD, Dirouhi became interested, and when she saw Jesus cast the demons from Mary Magdalene, she too fell to the ground as the Lord delivered her from the demonic spirit oppressing her!

Christ’s love transformed her hateful attitude toward her parents, and she said, “Mother, I love you, and I also love Jesus. Please tell me more about Him.” Following this incredible change, the young girl watched The Story of Jesus for Children, which they had also been given, and it instantly became her new favorite movie. The change Christ made in her life continued to evidence itself as the Holy Spirit gave her wisdom beyond her years. On one occasion, hearing her parents complain about her grandparents, the young girl offered, “Mother, you have to forgive my grandparents like Jesus says. There is no need to hate them. You can love them!”

We have been asked countless times, over the past 30 years since the JESUS film was released, why it has been so successful and versatile (in light of the more than six billion viewings and 220 million viewers that have indicated wanting to follow Christ). What would motivate more than 1500 other denominations and organizations to want to make the JESUS film part of their own evangelistic and discipleship strategies?

The first reason, inarguably would be that we didn’t make up lines for Jesus to say in the screen play–it’s taken straight from the Gospel of Luke. God says His word will not return empty, but will accomplish its intended purpose. That is enacted every time the film is shown. The Holy Spirit speaks directly to the heart of each viewer–and those whom He has prepared enter his kingdom.

Another reason would be the authenticity that was put into, not just the script, but the construction of each scene. Hundreds of hours of research were spent delving into what pottery looked like in 1st century Palestine, what dyes were used in clothing, etc. And of course, it would be unspeakable if one could see telephone poles and lines in the background of a set. Those had to be taken down in many places. Certain scenes had to be re-shot because of cars driving by in the distance.

The film is not perfect–if you look closely, you can see a wristwatch here, or extras smoking cigarettes there. But the JESUS film is as true to scripture as we could make it. And God has honored that.

Richard Yee, a Baptist pastor, was working among the Lahu people group, who are mainly Animists. He would provide medicine to the people and talk to them about the Lord.

In one village, the inhabitants would not accept the gospel because of their strong fear of evil spirits. They believed that if they accepted Christ, the evil spirits would give them many problems.

Pastor Yee then showed the Lahu version of the JESUS film to the people of that village. During the scene where Jesus casts the demons out of Legion, the people saw that Jesus was powerful enough to overcome evil spirits.

Everyone in the village was then ready to turn their hearts over to Christ. The day following the film showing, Pastor Yee baptized exactly 100 adults.

The tribes of the Kui people were known for still practicing human sacrifice. One former priest described how his village used to prepare a ceremonial feast for the one victim who was to be offered up to their gods for the atonement of their sins. After the feast, they would begin to beat him, and they would drag him outside the village and hang him against a tree where they would torture him some more and then slit his throat.

This was before a small team of men came to the village of this particular priest and showed them the JESUS film which had been dubbed into the Kui language. As the all the villagers gathered around the screen and projector, and then watched for two hours the portrayal of the life of Christ, this priest saw how the crucifixion scene bore a striking resemblance to his own tribe’s sacrificial practices. He immediately recognized and understood that this good Man, the Son of God, was the final and ultimate sacrifice. He said, “I prayed and received Christ as my own Savior because no sacrifice I offered up ever came back to life–but Jesus did.”

Along with him, more than 80% of the villagers answered Christ’s call to salvation that night. That has become the pattern in that area. Another priest in charge of three villages, in which everyone has received the Lord, baptized 420 new believers in one year.


Over the past two decades, explaining my job has been a challenge because it’s technical in nature, and when people think of dubbing films, they either picture those old karate movies that were so terribly lip-sync’ed, or they think about the Spanish or French extra soundtracks on their favorite DVD….It’s a way for lots of American films to be viewed by foreign audiences.

But the word picture that I keep coming back to when I get the chance to talk about my work is that of a combine. A significant percentage of those viewing the JESUS film come away from the experience a changed person. The wheat is separated from the chaf in the sense that those who feel the call from Christ to follow His Father see a change happening in their hearts. Wheras they used to be kernals on a stalk, they can now be wheat that can become bread that can help fill the emptiness in those around them.

In the JESUS Film Studio, we go through the arduous task of lip synchronizing every line of the film into (to date more than a thousand) other languages so that the viewers can hear Jesus speaking to them in their heart language– the language they learned while sitting on their grandfather’s knee while he told stories.

Not too long ago, the 996’th translation of the JESUS film was premiered in a place not the proverbial end of the world, but you can just about see it from there. Anyway, we had shown the film there before in French, the trade language there, and viewers weren’t really following a lot of the dialogue, and were chatting with each other. But recently when they watched it and heard Jesus telling parables in Songhai, they learned that He is NOT just the white man’s god. He is their Creator, and He can speak to their hearts–to their life siuations. You could have heard a pin drop on the dusty ground as their attention was glued to the screen.

We have observed a four-times’ greater response rate of those who want to follow Christ because of viewing JESUS in their heart language. So, contrary to Hollywood’s methods of dubbing thousands of films into a few languages–we’re taking a few films and dubbing them into hundreds and hundreds of languages. We do it to facilitate the harvest of those whose hearts God has prepared to open to Him.

     Previous to now, I hadn’t been interested in starting a blog because I was reluctant to talk about myself–wondered who’d care to read it–etc. But I have learned that when Jesus had an audience, He told stories.
     Back in His day, when the Pharisees and teachers of the Jewish laws had an audience, they expounded on rules and how they thought you could work your way to heaven. Jesus so often caught people by surprise because He told stories about life stewardship and how His Father had done the work to enable the journey for those who wish to go to heaven.
     So, while I don’t figure I’ll be near as good a story-teller as Jesus was–and I have no interest in establishing a network of groupies who will follow my every tale–I WOULD like to have a place where I can post what I’m passionate about: stories of what God is doing. And if I’m writing in order to bring credit to HIM, and not to David Reeves, then He’s the One responsible for causing people to read it.