GNPI is breathing new life into a classic evangelistic resource through a project we call The Global Gospel. In the 1970s, Don DeWelt commissioned an artist named Paula Giltner to create the artwork for The Pictorial Life of Christ — a full-color, illustrated depiction of the stories contained in the four gospels. The project took several years to complete and was eventually published by College Press. These detailed illustrations, paired with harmonized accounts of the gospel, gave readers a powerful, visual presentation of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
While The Pictorial Life of Christ was a remarkable project by itself, the team at GNPI believed it had further potential. In 2010, we began turning Paula Giltner’s vivid illustrations into a visual storybook composed of 107 short video episodes, complete with narration of the gospel texts.
We finished production on the first set of DVDs, narrated in English, in 2011 and realized that the format could be easily translated into other languages. This could be a tool for strategic evangelism used by disciple-makers all over the world. To make this possible, we’d need help from our global network of missionaries and church partners.
When we talked to them about this project, and our ministry partners were excited to jump on board. Hundreds of people contributed by narrating, recording, mastering, and duplicating the stories in dozens of languages. They also wrote questions for discussion and application for each story, and helped distribute The Global Gospel in the nations where they lived.
Getting The Global Gospel translated into other languages was an important step toward making it accessible to a worldwide audience. But there was more. We’re always thinking about strategic evangelism - discovering the most effective means for preaching the gospel in every culture and to every worldview. So, we began brainstorming about creative ways to contextualize The Global Gospel for more people in more places.
Please help us! GNPI received an urgent request to produce this tool for outreach to 14 million people in Somalia and an additional one million Somalis who have fled their homeland. We’ve been asked to create it multiple times in the last few years by multiple ministries. GNPI is partnering with another missions organization, three churches, and two Christian workers who can’t be named due to security concerns, to complete this project in the Somali language.
Regional Director Isaac Masiga of GNPI-Kenya will oversee the project. He and his team estimate a completion in December 2019. They plan to distribute these resources through thumb drives and by providing online access to the TGG episodes. The cost to produce each new language is approximately $7,000.
The Global Gospel (TGG) has been completed in 32 languages so far, with several others in various stages of the production process. It recently reached a milestone on YouTube of one million completed views. The average length of each of the 107 stories is three minutes; that means, at a minimum, people around the world have seen three million minutes of pure, visualized narrative about the life of Jesus Christ. The Arabic, Farsi, and Turkish versions of TGG have been used in another GNPI production called Jesus Story, which is a 13-part television series for families in the Middle East and North Africa region. An estimated five million children have watched Jesus Story via local satellite broadcast. It was so successful that it is being rebroadcast with an intentional social media follow-up strategy.