See a snapshot into the energy and time one JESUS Film team member commits to ministry each day.
For JESUS Film team members in Havana, Cuba, showing the JESUS film involves much more than pushing “play” on a projector. JESUS Film teams prepare both physically and spiritually for the ministry of evangelizing, discipling, and planting churches, from before sunrise to beyond sundown.
The team member dedicates her first hour to the Lord and shares a devotional with her husband to exercise her spiritual muscles. She then goes walking with her husband to physically prepare for the day. She fasts once a week and prays with her JESUS Film team at the same time every morning, no matter where they find themselves. This discipline unifies them and brings peace to their hearts.
She eats bread and an omelet and enjoys fruit extract and coffee before heading out the door for JESUS Film ministry.
She strategically chooses her JESUS Film destination based on communities most in need of the gospel. Teams in Mesoamerica get together every year as districts and focus on places that do not yet have a Church of the Nazarene. She travels to that area with her team by rental car, horse-drawn taxi, public bus, or by walking to remote areas. It takes hours, and in some cases, days, to reach these new communities. However, the motorbikes her team recently received allow them to go faster and farther with the gospel.
The teams’ lunch varies based on what is available in that community — congrí with pork (Cuba’s version of rice and beans), fried plantains, boiled vegetables, or yellow rice and hot dogs.
The team rests for an hour and then evangelizes door-to-door. They supply gospel tracts, use the EvangeCube, and hand out invitations for the JESUS film showing, encouraging all villagers to come.
The team sets up the projection equipment and prepares the film showing location at a church or in someone’s backyard. They cannot show the film publicly without a government permit.
Music is a core aspect to Cuban culture and identity, so her team plays music to welcome people as they arrive.
The team shows video testimonies of people whose lives have been transformed by Jesus. The JESUS film begins an hour later after prayer. Following the film, the team opens a discussion with the viewers by asking, “How many of you liked the film? Did you understand the message? Did you pray at the end with the narrator?” The team members invite people to pray with them and write down the new believers’ phone numbers and addresses to help them begin their discipleship journey.
Nearly 86,000 people have made decisions for Christ through the JESUS Film teams’ work in Cuba!
New believers are invited to start discipleship at the community’s new Preaching Point. The JESUS Film team uses the Bible Story Cloth and audio Bibles to engage people both visually and orally in God’s Word. The team stays in this area anywhere from one week to fifteen days, making sure to leave a leader in place for the Preaching Point. This leader’s role is to continue discipling the new believers.
The team member typically goes to bed by midnight. Her favorite part of the day is seeing people respond to the invitation and confess their faith. She rejoices and thinks of 1 Corinthians 15:58, “Because God is fulfilling His promise, and my labor for the Lord is not in vain.”
God is using the dedicated work of this one team member and so many others to save His children all over the world. JESUS Film teams are as diverse as their country and culture. Because it takes years and significant paperwork for a church to be considered “official” in Cuba, there are approximately 100 official churches. Unofficially, there are more than 1,000 Preaching Points flourishing within the country. Jesus is redeeming the most broken places as the teams plant these churches. One thriving church meets in a home that was once used for witchcraft!
The 17 Cuban JESUS Film teams serve in many areas of the island, but their goal is to have a team in every province. This means the number of teams could double in the future! For more information or to support the work of teams around the world, visit JFHP.org.
Joy Forney is communications coordinator for JESUS Film Harvest Partners.
*Team members’ names withheld for their security.
Holiness Today, Nov/Dec 2018