International (MNN) – The Hebrew meaning of the name Rivka is “to bind”.
You could consider it another way of saying ‘making it stick’…which is exactly what’s happening with the lessons taught by the newest release from The JESUS Film Project. Shawn Bandy is a special projects coordinator and project manager with The JESUS Film Project. He explains, “”Rivka” is basically a discipleship tool that was created as a follow-up to “Magdalena” .(which was kind of a women’s “Jesus” film). ”
Bandy goes on to describe the series. “Rivka is a woman who is featured in ‘Magdalena’, who comes to Christ through Magdalena. So this ‘Rivka’ series takes place about 30 or so years later, and Rivka is the main character.” The series contains 12 episodes, about 20-minutes long. The core of “Rivka” is the story of a small group of followers of Jesus living in first century Palestine.
Bandy says, “It focuses on stories of women in the Bible with Jesus, his interaction with them, how much He loves and cares for them, how much they are worth to Him. “Rivka” is a discipleship tool that was created to do follow up for women.” Why women? “A lot of times the women are not allowed to read and to write, so how do we show them who Christ is in a way that’s understandable for them, in a way that’s pertinent to them? The best way is that we’ve found is through a visual tool like film.”
As they grow together through life’s struggles and joys, viewers see them learn about the foundational tenants of how to follow Jesus. “She’s discipling other women in her village. They’re dealing with Roman occupation. Family issues, the male-dominant roles. How does Rivka continue to show the love of Christ through her family, people who are hurting her. How does she show that Christ, indeed, is the one True way?”
Added to this narrative are additional tools that aid the audience in learning those same truths for themselves. Bandy notes, “You can use it as a Bible study. There is some printed material for those who can read and write to help them continue to grow in their faith. Answering those questions that people are asking: ‘Now what do I do? I’ve come to Christ. What do I do now?'”
What’s more, he says, the series has actually served a multi-purpose. “Even though it’s a discipleship tool, what we’re finding is that people who see things like ‘Rivka’ (and some of the other products that we’ve designed as discipleship tools), have become evangelistic in nature.”
“Rivka” is all about making the lessons of hope stick…speaking to a marginalized people group all around the world. What else can you do? “Pray that people’s hearts and minds would be opened. That they would have opportunities to gather together for Bible study, that people would help evangelize people using these kinds of tools.”
What will help “Rivka” succeed? Three things, says Bandy. “We need people to go. We need people to pray. If you can’t go, and you want to do more than pray, then you can give financially. Those are some of the biggest needs we can see.”
Additional Bible study and promotional materials are available at www.RivkaSeries.com