“Pressing Toward Completion”
March 30-31, 2018
Horizon Village, Chiang Mai, Thailand
The world is increasingly saturated with media in even the remotest parts of the world. In Chad, the nomadic population is 1% literate, yet 80% own smartphones for talking and watching videos! There are 165 least-evangelized mega people groups. These are unreached groups with 1 million or more people. The 20/20 Vision is a plan to see the first indigenous (reflecting the culture and the local language), evangelistic film made for each of these groups. By God's grace, 111 films have been completed! The 2018 Visual Media Strategy Forum focused on partnership, prayer and planning to complete the remaining 54 films by the year 2020.
- 67 mission strategists representing 31 organizations participated in the two-day Visual Media Strategy Forum.
-5 new partnerships formed to produce the first indigenous media for a specific language group.
- Presentations addressed collaboration, film production, cross-cultural films, cross-cultural animation and digital and mobile distribution methods.
- 17 case studies were presented on completed films.
- There were times of prayer on a 15 x 20 foot world map.
2020 People Group List A downloadable list of the least-evangelized peoples.
Under a banner reading “Pressing Toward Completion” sat representatives of both well-known organizations and small but mighty groups. We came from all around the world, but we all held in common our commitment to use visual media to share the Gospel with the unreached. 2018 marks the 3rd Visual Media Strategy Forum held in Chiang Mai. This year, in a room dominated by a huge floor map and 111 stars on the wall, the atmosphere was solemn and prayerful. Each of the 111 stars represented a completed indigenous gospel presentation.
As we walked the perimeter and read the names on the stars, we could not help but be moved to tears. As Calvin said, “the closer you get to the Lord, the closer you get to the people on his heart.” All of us felt the Father’s great love for his created people and the joy of what has been accomplished.
Of the original list of 164 Least Evangelized Mega-People groups used for the 20/20 Vision, only 54 productions remain in process. As we approach the finish line, we were admonished to “not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Perseverance is necessary. There are reasons why the remaining 54 still aren’t finished. These people groups are the most difficult, the ones where project partners disappear and connections fizzle out. It is crucial, as Nilufar reminded us, to listen closely to the Holy Spirit. Philip met the Ethiopian through the leading of the Spirit and forty-five percent of Ethiopia was saved. We must be attentive to the Spirit as we go forward on the remaining projects.
Other speakers spoke of believing God for things that we never believed before. We need to go deeper, to explore the worldview of Honor and Shame and incorporate that understanding into our films. Our media should touch hearts not only because of the heart language, but because the very structure of their worldview is represented in the stories we tell. This is how movements will develop and generations of churches will be planted. “God is asking us to do what we cannot do,” Calvin said. “Without faith, this is impossible.”
We were reminded that we will be tested on these projects. Our faith will be challenged as we are stretched beyond our capacity. Our hope for the salvation of the nations will need to transcend our fleshly hopes. Our hearts must break when God’s heart breaks. And our love for the people will have to bend and grow as we forgive and manage situations we are not comfortable with. It is through these very challenges that the Lord will produce something not born of the flesh, but born of the Holy Spirit. People will hear the words of life for the very first time.
We are entering into the last phase of the 20/20 Vision which just may be the most difficult. But this is God’s vision and God is with us. Ask so we can receive! Knock and the door will be opened! Pray for the people groups and that God would be glorified as we see the 20/20 Vision completed.
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