Reaching the hardest to reach

Darrell Leber
Wednesday, January 16, 2013

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On December 6, 2012 a plane landed in Monrovia, Liberia, carrying our team of 10 American volunteer members of a JESUS Film Partner Trip. This partner trip was a Bike and a Backpack trip.

The objective was to deliver a new solar-powered backpack system and motorcycles to the team of nationals making up the local JESUS Film team. We met up with missionary Tim Eby to work alongside the JESUS Film team as they minister to the villages located far in the interior of Liberia. We would use the motorbikes to get to the hardest to reach places showing the JESUS Film in villages such as one named “Chocolate” near Monrovia, and another much farther out beyond Ganta, called “Nimba.”
 
The excitement of the trip mounted as the team, with various bags of JESUS film equipment, divided up between four small taxi cabs and started to travel nine hours into the interior of Liberia. That is when the adventure began!
 
The first 6 ½ hours of roads went from bad to worse, with our vehicles constantly dodging and weaving around very large potholes, wash-outs and crevices. You could hear the sheet metal buckling and popping in the roofs and floorboards as the little taxi-cabs flexed and twisted along the way to the town of Ganta.
 
The team spent the night enjoying Liberia-style dining. The next day the team enjoyed an adventurous ride on motorcycles; there was enough dust, dirt and mud to satisfy the biggest adventure junkie! The best and most important part of the trip was in setting up and doing JESUS film showings in the small, “hard to reach” villages.

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When we first arrived in Chocolate there was a large disco-type party taking place across the way from the place where we had permission to set up the JESUS film. This was a very loud party with a very loud sound system. After setting up, we started praying for the film sharing God’s love to be heard. We walked into crowd at the dance party and invited them to come meet Jesus. And guess what? Many of them did come see the JESUS film.
 
As the movie continued, more and more of the party people came. By the time the choice was offered to accept Christ as Lord, the area was quiet. In Chocolate, over 300 people came out of the darkness to see what the JESUS film was about -- and 138 asked Jesus to come into their hearts and be their Savior!
 
Much the same happened in a truly hard to reach place called Nimba where the roads were twisty paths lit by lanterns.  The people started coming out to see what we were doing as we set up the JESUS film equipment. They were amazed as the big screen was assembled, the speakers set out, the projector focused and the lights strung, and all powered by solar charged battery packs without a noisy generator (which is how most places would get power that far out).

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The crowd continued to grow as people filled the area on both sides of the screen with curiosity to see what the JESUS film was about. When the call was made to come and pray, the crowd kept coming in waves! They literally were lining up to wait and pray with team members to ask Jesus into their hearts! I personally held hands and prayed with 45 people that night, and many of the team members did the same.

Sharing Jesus is what we are called to do. Never miss an opportunity. 

-- Darrell Leber is the director of Partnership Development with JESUS Film Harvest Partners.