The man, Jesus, sat on a hillside surrounded by people who followed Him. He was talking to them, teaching them how to live. Then the scene shifts, and you can see a man, swathed in rags, hiding out of sight. He glances. He pauses. He gathers his courage and steps out toward Jesus—and people start running away at the sight of him.
You realize, if you didn’t recognize before, that the man in rags has leprosy. No one wants to be near him. No one, that is, except Jesus.
Jesus, the soft-spoken man with the kind face, does the unthinkable—He reaches out and touches the sick man.
And he is healed.
This scene plays out again and again before crowds all over Asia. Night after night, “Dayasagar,” “The Man of Mercy,” plays on the sides of buildings, on sheets stretched between poles, under trees and inside houses. Cool weather, warm weather, crowds of hundreds, groups of 10—Gospel for Asia-supported film teams show movies about the love of Christ. And as they do, Jesus reaches out to touch, heal, transform and restore lives.
He did that for Jayan and her husband.
Widows, Lepers . . . Me?
Jayan and her husband saw people gathering together one evening and decided to come along as well. They found themselves in front of a screen where miracles were shown. Jayan couldn’t take her eyes away as she watched Jesus—whose name and power she did not know—heal people again and again.
A widow’s son raised to life. A leper cleansed. The miracles didn’t end.
Jesus’ love and compassion touched Jayan’s heart. Maybe He could heal her, too?
Jayan’s brain didn’t function properly, and the money they spent on medicine and sacrifices didn’t bring any healing. She and her husband had spent their lives pursuing their traditional religions, but despite their devotion, they could never find any peace.
After the movie ended, the film team members gave people an opportunity to ask for prayer, and they prayed for the men and women who stepped forward.
The next day, Jayan and her husband connected with the local Gospel for Asia-supported pastor. They shared how they had seen the movie and wanted to know more about Jesus Christ. They asked questions and shared their troubles with Pastor Harshal. As he prayed for her, she wept.
Jayan and her husband became new in Christ, and now they regularly gather together to pray with other believers.
“We are so thankful to Jesus that our lives have been changed,” Jayan said. “Our lives were miserable because I was barren and mentally imbalanced. … Pastor prayed earnestly and comforted us through His Word and always encouraged [us] that the Lord would intervene and redeem us from this desperate situation. We are really happy that we are children of the living God.”
This is just one story out of hundreds maybe even thousands that happen every single day.
Thing is, it’s not like these are magical movies. I remember watching “Dayasagar” at a friend’s house several years ago. It was in a language we couldn’t understand, but we recognized the stories. I remember watching the leper step out in faith, seeking Jesus for healing. I remember seeing the lame come to him on carts and the blind stumble along the road. I remember watching Jesus ride into Jerusalem on a young donkey, surrounded by triumphant shouts of praise and joy.
Watching the movie and reflecting on it helped me step into these stories as though I were seeing them for the first time. In the same way, countless others witness these stories every day through the efforts of Gospel for Asia-supported film teams.
The power of this movie, and other movies that film teams show, is in the prayer that goes before them. Film teams pray together before they ever go into a village, and people around the world join in prayer to stand with them. And as people pray, God can use these simple movies to reveal the stories of His Son.
To watch Jesus ride into Jerusalem on a donkey, surrounded by shouts of joy and praise—who in the audience knows He’s going to be crucified just a few days later? It’s no wonder we hear stories of people weeping when they see the death of Jesus for the first time. Some even get up and try to stop the soldiers from beating Him and from putting the nails in His hands, but they can’t stop His triumphal march up the hill of Calvary, where He battles with sin, death and shame.
And it seems all is lost . . . until He rises from the grave, triumphant.
Consider the joy people experience when they witness the resurrection! It echoes the shock the disciples must have felt when they heard Jesus was alive and raced to the tomb to see if it was true.
We want people to know these stories! We want people to know the joy of resurrected life!
No matter how difficult our day may be, no matter how misunderstood or slandered or stressed or rejected—we have joy in Christ that cannot be shaken.
We want people around the world to know that joy that sustains in the midst of trials. We want people to know the name of Jesus.
Jesus. The One who touches the leper. The One who has time for the hurting, the outcast, the helpless. The One who loves. And time and time again, people have the opportunity to witness movies where Jesus heals the lame, speaks tenderly to the hurting and helps those in need.
As our brothers and sisters step out in faith to share movies about the life of Jesus, we know that many people, like Jayan, are experiencing the joy of new life.
And that makes everything we do worth it.
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