We're getting the #GivingTuesday celebration started a day early this year, and once again SMI readers have the opportunity to partner with our friends at the Jesus Film Project to help bring the Gospel to thousands of people who have never heard it. This year, every dollar you give will be doubled through a match by SMI Advisory Services (SMIAS) — the separate, but affiliated, business that manages the SMI mutual funds and SMI Private Client.

The SMIAS match is available for up to $20,000 of donations. So, if SMI readers contribute $20,000 collectively, that will turn into a $40,000 donation.

For those who have never heard

This year’s campaign will focus on reaching people and planting churches in India and other countries in South Asia. According to our friends at the Jesus Film Project:

“Hundreds of millions in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives have not heard the gospel, even once. When they hear the name Jesus, it means nothing to them. Or they may view Him as the ‘god of the foreigners’ and Christianity as nothing but a Western religion, of no value.

But when a film team arrives in their village and shows them JESUS, when they hear Him speak in the language of their hearts, when the Holy Spirit moves in their spirits, suddenly Jesus becomes ‘Emmanuel, God With Us.’”

A very effective ministry

According to the Jesus Film Project (JFP), more than 490 million people have placed their faith in Jesus after watching the film, which tells of the life and message of Jesus. There’s just nothing like film to understand who the Messiah is. “This is true especially in oral cultures — places where written communication is scarce,” the JFP says. “When people see the life of Jesus portrayed on screen, it is life-changing.”

Following a “prayer, care, and share” strategy, missionaries equipped with the Jesus Film go to rural villages in the morning, help provide for people’s physical needs, such as food, and then ask if they can come back in the afternoon and show them a film in their language about Jesus. Many say yes.

A representative of the Jesus Film Project told one story of “a village leader who said he'd run missionaries and Christ-follower believers out of his community for decades, but now in the pandemic, [the provision of] food opened the door and the man said ‘yes,' come, show us the film.  He and his family were all saved and he opened the doors for the team to share JESUS with seven other homes and extended families, and they all came to faith. At least one church was planted in the village.”   

A tangible impact

If we are successful in raising $20,000, which will be multiplied to $40,000, that will be enough to buy:

  • 8 backpack kits ($3,240 each), each one of which includes a small, highly portable solar-powered projector, speakers, and screen. Each kit can be used to show JESUS to as many as 200 people at a time.
     
  • 25 deluxe tablet sets ($570 each) that include a 10-inch tablet, speaker, and foldable solar panel. Each set can be used to show JESUS to groups of up to 30 people at a time.

Each Jesus Film Project team that is equipped with a backpack kit will show JESUS at least 50 times a year. If each showing draws an average of 100 people, 8 backpack kits would allow teams to reach approximately 40,000 people per year with the Gospel. The teams will then use the tablet sets to regularly follow up with and disciple new believers.

In it together

For several years now, the SMI family has participated in the Jesus Film Project #GivingTuesday campaign, generously giving as much as $17,500. Perhaps this year, all SMI members together, each giving what he or she has a heart to give, could contribute $20,000. With the multiplying impact of the SMIAS match, that amount would turn into $40,000.

We hope you'll agree that funding the spread of the Gospel in India and South Asia will be a great way to begin your celebration of Advent and Christmas! After all, Christ came and loved a lost world (which includes us), and he has given us a similar mission: ”[Father,] as you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world" (John 17:18).

To learn more about this project and then give as the Lord leads, click here. In order to have your gift doubled, be sure to use that link. Also, you don't have to wait until Tuesday. You can give right now! Thank you!