|This film team in West Bengal travels from village to village on a bicycle, carrying all their equipment with them.|
Gospel for Asia missionaries Tushar Kerketa and Salaj Pradham wanted to show a film about the life of Jesus in a village called Mishnapur in West Bengal, India. The village was populated by people who not only practiced the country’s traditional religions, but were ardent defenders of these faiths. Their natural tendency was to be hostile to Christianity, and they had a history of threatening other missionaries who tried to tell them about Jesus.
Undaunted, Tushar and Salaj loaded all their equipment—including the fragile film projector—into bamboo baskets. They also loaded up all the food they would need for the journey, as there was no place to buy anything along the way. Mishnapur is in a very remote area and is completely surrounded by the rugged and beautiful Himalaya Mountains. There is no transportation in and out of Mishnapur, so the missionaries walked to the village. They carried the baskets containing the film equipment and supplies on their backs and strapped around their foreheads.
Tushar and Salaj arrived in the village exhausted. When they told the people they were going to show a movie, the people got excited. On the day of the film showing, the missionaries stretched out a large white sheet between two poles, set up their equipment and started the projector. When the images appeared on the makeshift screen, the people sat at rapt attention, their eyes glued to the action.
As the film was coming to an end, the village head, a man named Ranjeet Tamang, broke the silence. He shouted at the people to stop watching the movie. He then ordered the missionaries to pack their film equipment and leave the village. As he was yelling at Tushar and Salaj, he began to slam his fists down on the table where their film equipment was set up.
Since Ranjeet represented the authority in the village, the people immediately followed his orders and returned to their homes. Tushar and Salaj were able to pack up their film equipment and find shelter in a small hut before Ranjeet could cause any further problems. The missionaries left that village praising God that they had the opportunity to share the Gospel.Their natural tendency was to be hostile to Christianity and they had a history of threatening other missionaries who had tried to tell them about Jesus.
Tushar and Salaj plan to return and talk to the people, many of whom expressed an interest in hearing more about Jesus. In the meantime, they are praying that God will soften Ranjeet’s heart to the Gospel so that he will be receptive to the message when they return.
The experiences of Tushar and Salaj at this film showing are not unusual. Thousands of people throughout the Indian Subcontinent have flocked to temporary, open-air theaters to watch this film, titled Man of Mercy. The Indian-made movie which chronicles the life of Jesus is powerful and moving. Thousands have given their hearts to Jesus after seeing the Gospel portrayed on the screen. Others have become angry at the message of love and forgiveness and done all they could to disrupt the show.
The film is especially effective in areas where the literacy rate is low. People who can’t read or write can easily understand the message of the Gospel that is portrayed in the movie.
There are hundreds of Gospel for Asia film teams traveling around South Asia. Thanks to their diligence to carry a projector, a white sheet and a power generator, many lost people are coming to know Christ.
There is opportunity for many more film teams to be formed. All they need is someone to stand with them, supporting their work. Click here to learn how you can help GFA’s film teams.