by Nenette Pacoli, regional director of GNPI-Philippines
My friend, Pastor NS, visited our office this morning to tell of his experience of showing WWJD to young people in a small but growing church north of Manila.
In February, he showed the WWJD episode of Courtship to more than 70 young people, more than half of whom were non-Christians. After the showing, he divided them into groups and gave them discussion questions. He then asked them to report on the discussions. Based on their answers, he saw that the video definitely made an impact on them.
The following week, he showed the Purity episode to more than 70 students again, some of whom had attended the previous week. After the showing, Pastor NS gave an altar call for forgiveness of whatever sexual sins there were.
More than 30 students came forward crying and hugging him or other leaders present and accepted the forgiveness and salvation from Jesus. PRAISE GOD! Many of these teenagers had heartbreaking stories of being abused by their fathers, uncles, or cousins. Some of the boys asked him how to stop their sinful, sexual behavior. A couple came forward too, to say they were inspired by the testimony of the couple featured in Purity, who stayed pure for 11 years before they finally married. They said, “If they were able to do that, we can do it too.”
Pastor NS said that most of the teens who had seen Courtship and Purity also attended their church’s Encounter Weekend. Pastor NS feels this is a clear indication that the young people are seriously pursuing a deep relationship with Jesus Christ.
Another pastor in that same area heard about the experience Pastor NS had and showed the videos at their Youth Convergence.
I am personally overwhelmed by the news from Pastor NS and greatly humbled to learn of all the transformation happening among these young people. When we began producing WWJD, we planned to just show it on television, where the only feedback we could get was the all-powerful ratings. And knowing how television works, we can only estimate how many people may have watched. We can’t even be sure if they actually finished the whole episode.
Yet, with this “small-time” video showing at a church, we are able to see the impact on our audience and even see God changing lives right before our eyes.
How could that ever compare to ratings? My cup runneth over!
(P.S. Of the original 30 young people who came forward that night, 18 have stayed in the church, and seven are now in serious discipleship programs/cells. Yes, they have all been baptized too!)