Tag Archives: vernacular video mission international
VVMI is a small mission. How can we encourage small churches to join with VVMI in partnership to spread the Gospel through video and other media?
Matthew Spandler-Davison has served as pastor of Redeemer Fellowship Church in Bardstown, Kentucky, since 2004. He is the director of the BCF Network and Urban Impact Missions. Originally from Scotland, he is a graduate of the University of Aberdeen and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He writes at The Gospel Coalition blog:
Most churches in the United States have fewer than 100 in attendance, and many of us are serving in small towns. We have very real challenges when it comes to mobilizing our churches for missions. Many of our members have never traveled overseas. Many others cannot afford to spend thousands on airfare to go there. Moreover, a church that isn’t experiencing growth will often question the wisdom of committing resources beyond its own community.
But even a small church can be strategically involved in international missions. The missionary movement has never been divorced from the church; it is the church.
Churches, both big and small, can support VVMI.
VVMI is a mission that focuses on proclaiming the Gospel to peoples in their native, heart language (vernacular language). This was recently posted by the Global Outreach Department at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN. It is a wonderful reminder of the importance of language, heart language.
When Jesus came in the flesh we explored some of the implications of incarnation the translation of divinity into humanity. (see Post 05) But as we enter holy week we meet a Messiah who is in the darkest hour of the human condition, face to face with the enemy of death. And yet his death is not completely like ours, just like his birth was not completely like ours. In his birth he came to make the message of God known in terms we could readily receive. In his death he was making a way that we could be received before the holy presence of the Father.
The biting pain of Jesus’ human crucifixion has been explored and expounded far more deeply by other authors but one aspect of his humanity is often overlooked – language. While language is not unique to the human condition, for God and angels speak intelligibly to mankind, the barriers of Babel still stand as a reminder of God’s mercy and judgment on the sons of Adam (see Post 06). Jesus, while yet on earth, was most likely trilingual speaking Hebrew (the language of his people and scriptures), Aramaic (the language of the region), and Greek (the language of the empire).
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying,”Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46 ESV)
The New Testament was written in Koiné (common) Greek and yet here we find a place where the biblical author does not just give us Jesus’ words in Greek. Jesus’ cry is recorded in transliterated Aramaic (though the first two words here are Hebrew) which Matthew then goes on to translate into Greek (Mark does something similar in his account, Mk. 15:34). Why employ this narrative device? Why here at the climax of Jesus’ ministry? Why sidetrack us with linguistic details in the record of his darkest hour?
For one thing, it shows us that at this moment Jesus was probably not crying out in Greek but in a mingling of his heart languages. For another, as the skies overhead grew dark in judgment, the mere speech of men would not suffice but out of Jesus’ heart comes the very language of scripture to clothe his anguish. Many have recognized this phrase as coming from Psalm 22:1 which Jesus may well have known in all three languages, but again he quotes it in the languages closest to his heart and people. Debates abound regarding what Jesus was doing here, but suffice it to say here, Jesus is drawing up these despairing words of the psalmist in the language of the common people and in a tongue close to his heart. It just came out that way.
Language is not merely a tool that we use to convey information or ideas. Language is much more fundamental than that, it gets to the very core of humanity. We are spoken beings who come into this world with a cry and leave with a groan, and in between is filled with an expression of our spokenness. But Jesus’ heart cry from the cross was so that our final groans would not be final. He groaned at his abandonment that we might rejoice in our adoption. His cry was real, and it really took our place.
So we say, “Hallelu-yah!”
VVM’s newest production, Treasures in Clay Jars, was dedicated and premiered last weekend at a medical mission outreach partnership held in Amlimay in Benguet Province, Philippines. The following statistics were provided from the event: 600 patients were treated (dental, basic medical,
surgical, and optical); over 300 attended the VVM film showing; during the weekend 188 persons received Christ; 177 recommitted themselves to Christ; 157 wanted to join Bible studies; and 104 Bibles were distributed. Praise God!
Colin and Zach arrived in the Philippines and have several praises in direct answer to specific prayers:
- To go along with the good equipment sponsorship, God provided an additional and unexpected “no fee” third checked bag to Colin for the trip. More equipment could be carried and there was also room for a few clothes!
- A potential tropical depression (or worse) did not develop its full potential and moved away from the areas to be visited just before the team’s arrival in the Philippines. Air turbulence predicted by the pilot to be very bad did not occur. In fact, things went so well that the flight arrived over 30 minutes ahead of schedule.
- The team’s baggage all arrived and was located easily and then cleared customs without difficulty.
- VVM Director Bayani located the team without difficulty in spite of a brownout that made the lighting inadequate. o The team has been able to meet with several Bible translators who are encouraged by the good results of VVM’s Church Mobilization Initiative, and are hopeful that Bible distribution efforts and film production will expand.
In Genesis 12, God tells Abram, “And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
VVMI’s ministry partner, VIÑA, created “Deditos” to share the Good News of the Gospel with ethnic minority language groups in Guatemala. On the other side of the globe, another VVMI ministry partner, Vernacular Video Ministry (VVM), was creating original Gospel-proclaiming films in remote tribal villages in the Philippines. God, through VVMI, brought these two groups together. They began to share a vision and goal of reaching children for Christ. VIÑA shared, and VVM started the work of dubbing Deditos into multiple ethnic minority languages in the Philippines.
Through Abraham, and through VIÑA, all the nations will be blessed! This video CAN be viewed on Vimeo; just click “Watch on Vimeo.”Here’s the episode, Los Hijos de Abraham (The Sons of Abraham) with English subtitles.
A dramatized Bible story using actual fingers as actors. We are a small non profit showcasing our videos on Vimeo. Anyone wanting to dub these videos into their own language, contact us and we’ll be glad to arrange it.
Una historia bíblica usando dedos como actores. Esta serie esta diseñada para ser doblado a idiomas autóctonas.
For more information on VVMI or any of our partners, please go to vvmi.org
VVMI Board Chair and dentist, Dr. Jim N and his wife, Mary, just returned from an exciting short-term trip serving as Mission Volunteers to Palawan Province, Philippines. They were blessed to be able to serve at 4 clinics with the first medical outreach partnership team to that area. Jim and Mary – the only non-Filipinos on the team – worked with 25 to 30 others that included members of VVM, DIADEM (a Filipino holistic ministry), and VVM-mobilized local churches. The team experienced many answers to prayer and report that a total of 3,257 contacts were made. We praise God for the following people that were served and for the spiritual commitments:
- General medical patients 1,909
- Dental patients- 437 for extractions and 52 for restorations
- Surgical- 237
- Eye glasses- 622;
- Eye Consultations- 79
- Prayed to receive Christ- 1,953
- Committed to Home Bible Study- 1,207
- Recommitted their life to Christ- 816
- Bible Distribution- 750
Please pray for the follow-up by local pastors and churches, which will include Bible studies, worship services, home visits and vernacular film showings.