Editor's Note: This is the fifth of 10 entries from writer Katie Croft.
The showing of the JESUS film tonight had already experienced unexpected challenges and distractions, but this final one baffled me.
We had traveled 40 minutes outside the city of Garoua in northern Cameroon, Africa, by way of dirt roads all eaten up by time and the rainy season.
Standing in a circle, 570 faces focused on 2 men in the center who were translating the gospel at the end of the film into French and Fulfulde, the heart language of many in the tribe.
An Angry Loud Voice
Suddenly, coming from the darkness on the far side of the film screen, a loud voice started rattling away. As the angry voice continued, many people -- nearly two-thirds of the crowd -- scattered down the dirt road in all directions.
I did not know what was said. I couldn't even tell if it was a man or a woman. I could only guess that it was someone who did not want other people to stick around after the film. I watched helplessly, confused and angry over this disturbance at such a significant, spiritual moment.
A much smaller crowd stayed for the rest of the program. Gilbert, a Cameroonian staff member with Cru, seemed unaffected by the commotion and continued to ask those who would want to make a decision to follow Jesus to come stand with him.
Answer to Tonight's Prayer
A dozen adults and 9 children stood with Gilbert in the middle of the showing area and echoed a prayer, spoken in both French and Fulfulde, to indicate that they decided to follow Christ.
I had been praying all night that only those who were sincere in their decisions would come forward. For those who scattered, I prayed that the images from the movie would stick in their minds and that they would continue to ponder the life and sacrifice of Jesus.