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Evangelism Produced in HD

By Amy Robinson, Dec 14, 2014
Buried deep in a closed part of the world, strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, Africa, and Asia, an evolutionary ministry is bringing the gospel to countries otherwise closed to missions efforts. In an MTW Business As Mission (BAM) endeavor, a unique team introduces professionalism and Reformed theology to a field ripe for the gospel. Their business? Media production.

Their target audience? People groups cut off from the Church by nearly all avenues except one: satellite television.

In many parts of the world, satellite television is as commonplace as basic cable or antenna. Millions of households buy a dish, hook up to the satellite, and enjoy free, private, unhindered access to every broadcast station in the world. Think of the implications of this sort of freedom in cultures where what you eat and what you wear are legislated. The gospel is pressing forward on this enormous front, ministering to people who are otherwise unlikely to hear the Truth spoken aloud.

Just two years ago, a team of two families began work to establish a new media production company as a legitimate enterprise—no simple task as a group of blended cultures in a country of mixed European and Middle Eastern traditions. Slowly but surely, they waded through the red tape, networked in their community, and began to produce media in Arabic. In just two short years, they’ve produced music videos, training materials, and a 13-episode mini-series on the names of God. In one project, the team used a format particularly familiar to Muslims who study the Koran: simple Scripture laid out on the screen in Arabic with a narration running throughout.

The cultural power of media
Earlier this year an immigrant believer and lay minister, Mirko*, did some construction work for the team. As Mirko ended his work for the day, Franklin, a member of the team, invited him back to view a music video they had just finished developing. The video was a dramatized story about a drug addict who was challenged to face the consequences of his addiction through his relationship with Christ. Mirko was moved to tears. “Many Westerners may not understand the importance of music videos in Middle Eastern culture,” Franklin said, “but Mirko got it—and that’s what matters.”

Today, the team has doubled in size. They’ve produced several well-received videos and montages, which they’ve broadcast over satellite to the far reaches of the world. Non-profit organizations and NGOs have taken notice, and are reaching out to this fledgling company for help developing new projects. For example, as religious and political powers shift and strut in other parts of the world, the team has been asked to interview Christian refugees in neighboring countries. They are working to give a voice to believing refugees and shine a light on one of the largest events of Christian oppression in living history. And all this is done through a legally established business, invested in the local community, weaving the team into the lives of neighbors, colleagues, and local officials.

Training media makers and making disciples
It’s not only the media produced that is making an impact. The business also provides a natural opportunity to build relationships in the community and to invite those they meet into Bible study groups and into the local church. One woman texted team member Lisa after a Bible study saying, “You have no idea the impact of how you affected my way of thinking about the Bible. I’m grateful for how God put you in my way when I felt lost.” Locally and globally, God is using this team to make an impact.

As they look to the future, this team is now putting out the call for teachers and scholarship funds for a brand new school of media production with a decidedly Christian focus. In the summer of 2015, the team will host their first round of threemonth classes, made up of students from a number of different countries, invited to participate in a program on media production and a study of the Christian worldview. Students will each be paired with a mentor, and guided not only toward excellence in their field, but also toward the full integration of their faith and their calling. They’ll be discipled, trained, and sent home on a mission to reach out to their own cultures in their heart languages, telling stories and singing songs that point aching hearts to Jesus.

When team member Seth speaks of these students, his voice and face light up with excitement. “There’s the old saying about teaching a man to fish,” he said. “But this school will be so much more than that. Every student will leave here equipped to speak the gospel to their own people on unlimited networks. It’s a time in history not unlike the Gutenberg Press.”

We need workers willing to serve in hard-to-reach areas. Interested? Learn more: [email protected] For information about Business As Mission visit mtw.org/bam.

*For security purposes, some names have been changed.
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