“Pacific islanders are very friendly but are not always forthcoming, especially when speaking to strangers. Having campus evangelism tools such as … a tablet with short films can be a major advantage,” shared Maseikula, a Bible study leader at the University of the South Pacific (USP) in Suva, Fiji. In this fast-paced, technological world, campus workers sometimes find students unwilling to watch the whole “JESUS” film or engage in a long spiritual conversation. To help overcome these barriers, Student Life, the name of Campus Crusade’s ministry on university campuses in Fiji, started using short films produced by Global Short Film Network (GSFN), a ministry of The JESUS Film Project, as a part of their outreach.
The films have an underlying biblical theme, such as forgiveness, success or love, and provide a bridge to deep discussions, especially through the included follow-up questions. Maseikula finds the follow-up questions helpful in guiding people to think about personal application of the theme. He also uses the films to encourage group interaction.
Sione, a Fijian student at USP, understood the power of the gospel after watching the film “My Last Day,” a nine-minute animé film that tells the story of the Crucifixion from the perspective of one of the thieves crucified with Jesus. Sione sought out a Student Life staff member and shared: “The film … shocked me, and although I had heard the story of … Jesus, it really shook me. Can you please tell me more about Him and what I must do?” As a result of that encounter, Sione prayed to receive Christ and joined a discipleship group.
Some students at USP even hope to produce their own short films to speak directly to the unique worldview of Pacific Islanders. Biu, one of those students, received training from GSFN to help them reach their goal. Biu shared his passion for this project: “Each culture and society has its own heartbeat that it relates to. … Doing a short film solely focused on a theme that will reach the heart of students here could have a great impact!”