After the leaders of 6 women's ministries in Malawi finished watching the promotional DVD for Magdalena: Released From Shame, their excitement was palpable, and just what American staff member Stacie* wanted.
The purpose of her 1-week trip to Africa was to show Christian leaders the film, which incorporates scenes from the original JESUS film into new footage from the perspective of women. She also hoped to get them onboard with using the film to advance their ministries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Positive Responses After Premiere
The comments Stacie heard 2 days later, after the premiere of the film, showed that her hopes were realized: "Thank you for bringing this film, it will help us with church planting," said one.
"It has been my cry to reach both business women in the city and poor ladies in the villages," said another. "Now I know what I can use to reach both."
Many groups desired to reach women with the good news of Jesus, but didn't know how they were going to do it. The consensus: "You've come just at the right time." Many ministries had just been discussing what they wanted to see accomplished through their ministries. After seeing Magdalena: Released From Shame, they knew they had found a tool to help them accomplish their goal of reaching women for Christ.
An Effective Tool
One year previous, when the Cru director in Malawi, Ignatius Nyaga, requested a translation of Magdalena: Released From Shame in Chechewa, one of the native languages in Malawi, he had hoped that his fellow countrymen would see the great benefit the film could be in reaching women.
Because the film tells the story of Jesus from the perspective of women, its effectiveness for reaching women, particularly those experiencing struggles, is great.
Some people in Malawi did not think they had a problem with women feeling downtrodden or persecuted as they saw in other places. The promotional DVD, and the film itself, showed them that Magdalena: Released From Shame gets to the core of what women are thinking and wondering: Will He provide for me? Will He heal me? Will the God of the universe really do what I need in my life?
Great Plans for the Future
The Cru ministry in Malawi, in partnership with other women's ministries, is planning an Easter outreach to reach 500,000 women through the use of Magdalena: Released From Shame. They will take it wherever women can be found -- prisons, clinics, colleges, police forces, or even parliament.
The time is right; the harvest is plentiful. Magdalena: Released From Shame can be used to bring in that harvest.
*Name has been changed for security purposes