JESUS, changes lives in refugee camp in Africa

By April 22, 2004

Africa (MNN/Jesus Film) — The Jesus Film Project, and the story of Christ has changed an oppressed people group into an inspired people group in Africa. But, it didn’t happen over night.

The year was 1995, in a troubled country in North Africa. A horrendous civil war had left millions dead, injured, mutilated or displaced. Large numbers of refugees fled for their lives, going to the capital city. There they were rounded up in trucks, like cattle, and transported to large refugee camps in the north. Left to languish in the desert, they were told, “You will become Muslim here, or die.”

The refugees named their camp “They Abandoned Us!”

While observing some organizations helping with humanitarian aid, a “JESUS” film team saw an opportunity – a ready and waiting audience. They made the difficult journey by jeep through the open and largely road-less desert. Arriving at 4:30 in the afternoon, the team set up the equipment. Word spread that something big was going on. The people began to gather around the single screen and projector.

By the time the first reel of the “JESUS” film finished, there were 3,000 refugees sitting on both sides of the screen. The second reel started and people continued to stream in until there were 6,000 people watching a film that spoke to them in their mother tongue.

Their hearts were touched by the incomparable love of Jesus. When Jesus spoke, His words, the Word of God, reached down deep into their souls. With every miracle they cheered aloud. Never had they seen or experienced anything like this. When Jesus spoke, His words, the Word of God, reached down deep into their souls. As He was beaten and crucified, they cried. When He returned from the dead, together and with a shout, they rose to their feet and began tapping one another on the shoulder, a sign of joy. At the conclusion of the film, the team leader went to the microphone and again explained the gospel. Then he asked, “Who wants to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior?”

An estimated 3,000 people, almost half, trusted Jesus that night! God’s Spirit moved powerfully! Then they were taught from the Scriptures and learned about their new life in Christ. The refugees renamed their camp “They Adopted Us.”

Next, the follow-up began. They memorized Scriptures, learned who Jesus really is, God Himself who became a man to bring them back into a relationship with Him. They also learned to share their faith with others.

As a result, they again renamed the camp, “They are Sending Us”…because they began going out to other camps sharing Christ, and helping to show “JESUS”!

Today, 10 million people have viewed “JESUS” in that country and many thousands have indicated decisions. Each year, 3,000 new believers attend an extensive, 100-hour training and discipleship course. Ten churches are planted every month and most of the new pastors are graduates of the course! Praise God for all that He alone has done!

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