Posts Tagged ‘Jesus film’

God speaks Dukawa!

Monday, February 29th, 2016 by Camilla

Nigeria is home to around 20 percent of Africa’s population, and over 500 languages (not dialects, but languages). One of these languages is Dukawa.

Previously, Dukawa speakers read the Bible in Hausa, one of Nigeria’s trade languages – but while they used this language in the marketplace, it wasn’t the language of their hearts. With the Bible finally available in their mother tongue, many Dukawa speakers can now understand God’s word in a way they couldn’t before.

When translation advisers David and Carleen Heath first went to Nigeria in 1995, they only knew of two churches with Dukawa pastors and a majority of Dukawa worshipers. There may have been more, but not many. But the impact of the translated word in Dukawa speakers’ mother tongue as opposed to a trade language has been huge – 340 individuals gave their lives to Christ in October 2015 alone. Churches are multiplying, and today there are over 200 Dukawa churches!

‘We went to church for many years, but it wasn’t until we saw the JESUS Film in our own language that we understood that Jesus died for our sins. We always thought he died because he did something wrong.’

Read more about how you could get involved in Bible translation.

Babysitting and Bible translation

Monday, June 9th, 2014 by Hannah

To celebrate their 15th anniversary, David and DeAnna (who are working with Wycliffe in Cameroon) decided to go out to dinner. They left their two children with a friend Sophie and a copy of The JESUS Film in Sophie’s own language, Ewondo.

Sophie hadn’t seen the film before. David and DeAnna came home to find her, eyes glued to the screen, watching the film. DeAnna says,

Sophie holding the JESUS Film

Afterwards I asked her what the film was like for her. She had tears of joy filling her eyes as she explained that hearing and watching the story of Jesus in her mother tongue touched her heart profoundly. She understands French, but for the message to be in her mother tongue was much more profound, she said it was difficult to use words to describe how deep it touched her.

At the end of the film there is an invitation to accept Jesus as your Savior and she recited the prayer. She had never been asked before in her mother tongue to accept Jesus as her Savior. She is a Christian and was before the film, but she said by reciting the prayer at the end and accepting an invitation in her mother tongue was a deeper commitment for her.

Sophie has been a Christian for many years and has been persecuted by her family for her faith. Her husband left her and took their children when they were young because of her faith. Her family mocks her for not participating in the things they participate in because of her faith. Her family blames her when bad things happen in the family because of her faith. She told me she wants to show her family the film because in the film people were mocking Jesus and in the end were convicted and she wants them to see that Jesus is victorious regardless of mockery.

David and DeAnna published this on their blog. Read more here.

Wycliffe partner with The JESUS Film to translate the script of the film into minority languages, like Ewondo. It is estimated that more than 200 million people have indicated a decision to follow Jesus after seeing the film. Find out more about partnering with a Bible translation project that will see the JESUS Film dubbed.

7 responses to the Kouya JESUS Film

Monday, May 5th, 2014 by Hannah

If you follow Wycliffe on Twitter or Facebook – and, really, why wouldn’t you? – you’ll see plenty of announcements about Bible translations, literacy projects and the occasional urgent need. Earlier this year, some of these prayer requests came from Ivory Coast, where a team was recording the Kouya JESUS Film.

201404-jesusfilmMany thanks to those of you who, in the middle of updates from old school friends and other organisations, stopped and prayed for the team. The recording was successful and Didier, a Kouya speaker and one of the translators (now the director of Wycliffe’s work in Ivory Coast), shared these seven snippets that show how – even in its first weeks – the JESUS Film is making a splash:

  1. One person said, ‘ I never imagined that such a film could be recorded in Dema, in a village.’
  2. Many viewers said, ‘This is really good Kouya being spoken.’
  3. As for the Christians, they were very happy. Some non-Christians, in the beginning they came to mock, but as the film progressed, they grew very quiet. When Jesus said, ‘The first will be last,’ all the mockers shut up.
  4. Some said they used to go to church but stopped but that now, they will start going again.
  5. The morning after the first showing, the team had lots of visits, people wanting the film on CD or their phones.
  6. Christians phoned from many of the villages to express their thanks.
  7. Lots of people think there should be an official launch for the film once the DVDs are ready.

Kouya mattressesThe Kouya JESUS Film has taken a lot of work: translation of the script (based on Luke’s Gospel), checking for accuracy and lip-syncing, the logistics and complications of a not-easy recording session (including buying and bringing in mattresses for sound proofing), not to mention the years of work that went into translating Luke. But, as Didier’s points show, now it’s going to be making an impact.

Want to know more about the JESUS Film – Watch this video about what happened at a showing in Ethiopia.

God is so wonderful and great

Friday, March 28th, 2014 by Jo Johnson

Half the 12 languages in the Adamawa Cluster* of Nigeria have met their initial goals: Luke’s Gospel has been published, the Reading and Writing literacy book is either in print or going to press and the JESUS Film has been recorded with launches completed or scheduled. The other six projects are also making great progress.

We are delighted that these projects, supported from the UK as First Gospel, have reached this milestone but even more exciting is that already the newly-launched Scriptures are already impacting lives and communities. Yungur team member Pastor John said:

People gathered at the Lala Launch of Luke

People gathered at the Lala Launch of Luke

‘God is so wonderful and great, because many who were unbelievers are now believers through this Bible translation work. ‘

After the premier showing of the Yungur JESUS Film in the evening after the launch of Luke’s gospel, over a hundred people, including children, came forward to give their lives to Christ. About half of these turned up the next morning for follow-up instruction.

The Ga’anda team reports:

‘The translation work is having a positive effect on the lives of the translators, language committee members and the entire Ga’anda population.’

The Lala team reports that their youth are singing worship songs in the language and many have repented and become Christians.

Please join us in praising God for all the ways that he has enabled these projects to reach their initial goals. Thank God that these first six projects in the cluster are now transitioning to full New Testament translation projects. Praise God for each person who has found salvation through hearing the good news in their mother tongue and pray that they will continue to grow in their new faith.

Find out how you can pray for a First Gospel project.

*This cluster is a strategic network of related language teams translating Luke and the JESUS Film script.


BBQ ribs and the JESUS Film

Saturday, March 1st, 2014 by Hannah

We always get excited when new ways of sharing the Bible in minority languages become available. Mobile phone app – wonderful! Videos – brilliant! A new New Testament – fantastic! But if you are based in the ‘West’, you might be thinking, ‘What use are these to me?’ One of the workers at JESUS Film got a chance to try out one when he stopped at a fast food place too early:

‘I wasn’t the only one drawn in by the tempting smell of slow smoked meat. Stanley, pictured by my side, was also there for a 10:30 a.m. rib fix.

‘The vendor gave us each a sample. As we waited and talked about how good it was, I noticed Stanley’s accent and asked where he was originally from. “Ivory Coast,” he said.

‘… Before I knew it, I was wiping the grease off my fingers so I could zoom in on his country on my smartphone to see if his mother tongue language had been recorded on the JESUS Film. Sure enough, there it was! “Bete!… That’s my language!” Stanley exclaimed. I selected it and it started to play. Holding my phone close to his ear he heard the narrator introducing the JESUS Film in Bete language of Ivory Coast. “This is unbelievable!” he shouted through a heartfelt laugh. “How can I get this for myself?”

‘I clicked the “share” option and got Stanley’s email address and, poof, just like that, he and his family have the JESUS film in their language. As it turns out, his mother-in-law will be arriving from Ivory Coast soon and doesn’t speak English. He plans to impress her by showing her the JESUS film in Bete when she arrives!

‘… As I drove away, I thought, “Wow, anyone could do that.” And that’s the whole point.’ Read more of this story.

You never know when you’ll get an opportunity to amaze someone by showing them that God speaks their language. Find out more about the JESUS Film app on their website. There are lots more resources for minority language speakers right here on our website – have a look around.

Photo from JESUS Film Media.

I’ve never seen Star Wars

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013 by Hannah

The JESUS Film was first released in 1979. That’s just two years after the first Star Wars film. But while Star Wars, along with Titanic and Avatar, often appear on lists of ‘the world’s most watched film’, they don’t come close in number of viewings to The JESUS Film. Estimated viewings: 6 billion!

The film’s age hasn’t dented its powerful message; after all, it’s based on the book of Luke, and that hasn’t aged in nearly 2,000 years. In this video from JESUS Film, Hmong-American student Cheeia talks about the impact the film had on her family:


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Wycliffe partners with The JESUS Film so that the script can be translated and the message can be shared in the world’s smaller languages. The language count so far is 1,200 and Wycliffe has helped with at least 65% of these.

Could The JESUS Film be helpful for your church, your family or reaching out to your community? Find downloads and the list of available languages here.

Get the message through

Saturday, November 9th, 2013 by Hannah

According to official data, more than 8 in every 10 people in the world are literate. If that’s the case, why does Wycliffe put so much energy into making the Bible understandable for oral learners? This infographic from Global Mapping International (the same people who do Operation World) explains why 8 out of 10 may be an overestimation, and why it’s worth thinking about how we share God’s message…

Find the original infographic here.

Wycliffe wants all people – whether they are oral learners or prefer to read – to be able to access the Bible in a way that clearly communicates God’s message of love. That’s why Wycliffe is partnered with ministries like The JESUS Film, Faith Comes By Hearing, MegaVoice and many others. Find out more about how you could support Bible translation into every language and every form that it’s needed in.

‘He speaks my language! He’s my God!’

Thursday, May 17th, 2012 by Ruth

Wycliffe’s language work often supports the work of other organisations, enabling them to produce materials which can reach language communities with the good news of Jesus. One partner organisation we work closely with is The Jesus Film Project, telling the story of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection through the medium of film.

The film is dubbed into minority languages as the Gospel of Luke is translated into each new language, and as audio scriptures are recorded. It is distributed via DVD, or through the web, or by teams taking it directly to rural areas and projecting it in the open air  using generator-powered equipment.

The Jesus Film has now been translated into more than 1,140 languages, with new languages being added every month. This allows God’s word to speak to people in more than 200 countries in languages they know and understand.

From time to time, we have the privilege of hearing stories about how this translated word has made it into the hearts of individuals, transforming families with the truth of God’s love to every people group. Here is one such story of how The Jesus Film touched a young man and his family, as retold by Elizabeth Schenkel.

Find out more about The Jesus Film Project, and Scripture use with Wycliffe Bible Translators.

The IT fixers

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 by Hannah

Because Wycliffe work in so many places around the world, teamwork can sometimes be a challenge. Richard Young (a Brit, working in Czech Republic and managing the IT department in Nigeria) shared this story about one of the times where cooperation across continents worked just as it should:

“It was great to go back to Nigeria in November, where I met up with some of the colleagues whom I had helped at a distance – people like Gareth Mort, who lives in a village on a bumpy road.

“One of his jobs is helping Nigerian translators to dub The JESUS Film into their languages, which makes a great tool for communicating the gospel to large groups. This involves a lot of work on the computer – preparing text from the book of Luke so that it fits well in the time slots, while still speaking Biblical truth.

“One day several months ago, Gareth switched his laptop on, only to find the screen looked like this:

“Probably it had suffered one jolt too many on those bumpy roads. So he texted me in the Czech Republic, asking for help. I found out that an American missionary was due to come to Nigeria in a few weeks, so I ordered a new screen for him to bring for Gareth.

“When the screen arrived, Sunday Ude (my Nigerian colleague) fitted it, and as you can see, Gareth was very happy to be able to see his full screen again, so he could work more effectively. It’s great when teamwork across continents works this smoothly…”

Getting God’s story out to people everywhere needs lots of skilled workers in lots of places. IT specialists, like Richard and Sunday, are especially needed. Visit to find out more about how you could support the work.

Special Joy

Monday, November 28th, 2011 by Hannah

Mpyemo, spoken in the Central African Republic, is the mother-language of some 30,000 people. They have established churches and a large group of Christians, but they can’t access the Bible in their language.

However, they are working to change that. One of the projects that they have decided to begin is the translation of the JESUS Film into Mpyemo. The JESUS Film script is based on the Gospel of Luke and there are now more than 1,000 translations of the film.

Rev Athanase Malaguis is eager to have it in his language will have. “I am so happy to learn that the Jesus Film is going ahead,” he said, “and that we will have it in our language. It will make our job of evangelism much easier.”

But the effects of Bible translation are much wider than just a film production. Rev Athanase is hoping that literacy classes in churches will begin, equipping people to read the Bible. And the change that comes with having the Bible in the mother-tongue is already starting to show. At local meetings, people are starting to pray in their mother-tongue language, where before they always prayed in a second language.

“When someone prays in their own language, they feel a special joy.” Rev Athanase’s excitement is evident: “I am ready to give all my time at such meetings because I want to go on growing in the joy of learning to pray in my own language before I die.”

I live in an English-speaking culture, and it seems natural for me to pray in my mother-tongue. But where people don’t have the Bible in their mother-tongue, relationship with God – through his word, and through prayer and praise – is in a foreign language. Help them get to know God in their own language.