ORLANDO – “When people encounter Jesus, everything changes” is a theme of The Jesus Film Project. The project began with the release of the two-hour movie in 1979 and the vision to reach everyone everywhere for Jesus Christ with the film and the Gospel message translated into their own heart languages.
In the initial days of distribution, showing the film required a truck to carry the equipment, a generator to power the equipment, and an audio-visual booth to present the story. The vision to reach everyone everywhere was great, but the size of the task was enormous, and the state of the technology limited the project’s ability to reach many remote regions.
But marvelous and unexpected things happen in the kingdom of God. The advances in technology over the past 40 years have made it possible for the entire film project to be contained in a 17-pound backpack.
The backpack contains a projector, a battery to run the projector, and a solar panel to keep the battery charged. Portable screens, powerful speakers, and everything else necessary to show the film fit comfortably in the backpack.
Not only that, but each backpack unit can be supplied with an SD card that allows the national missionaries, pastors, and teachers to present the film in up to eight different languages of their choice.
In 2018, the Jesus Film Project backpack distribution has already surpassed the 3,000 backpacks that were distributed in 2017. The project recently received a single request from a ministry partner for 250 additional backpacks because the film and equipment are now digital and so portable that it can be carried anywhere a follower of Jesus can walk.
Meanwhile, the Jesus Film app (available from the Apple App Store or Google Play) can be shown to individuals, families, and small groups from a smartphone, a tablet, or a PC. The backpack system is optimized for a gathering of about 200 people.
The project team has recorded more than 490 million people around the world who have come to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior as a result of watching the film. In some cases, entire villages who had never heard of Jesus have put their faith in Him.
It is an amazing thing to look back over 40 years and be able to see the fruit of the original vision from the 2018 perspective. Little did the originators of the project foresee how the Lord would enable the project to advance for the cause of the kingdom of God through technology. They did not know in 1979, but the Lord did. All He needed was a few servants who would see the vision and act on it.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18 KJV) Let us give thanks and praise that where there is a vision and people encounter Jesus, everything changes!
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- Mission Network News, Jesus Film backpack accelerating ministry worldwide
- Jesus Film Project, Sharing the Story of Jesus