BROOKLYN, NY – There are more than 3,200 people groups around the world. Most are illiterate and need access to the Gospel in their own language. God used the partnership of an IMB missionary and a Georgia man’s first international mission trip to launch a ministry which could impact many of those people groups in a way that would allow them to see and hear God’s Word in their heart language. It all began with a man named Juan.
Juan was a witch doctor to his people group in South America. His group was made up of about 18,000 people, and at the time, there were fewer than 20 believers. An IMB missionary began his ministry to Juan’s people, and Juan was one of the first converts. The missionary continued his ministry to Juan’s family, reaching his wife, Maria, and some of the children. A few years later, Juan died. Maria was grieving his loss when she had a dream that Juan had come back and was leading her, their children, and their grandchildren up a road to heaven.
A new video ministry was birthed out of a desire to reach Juan’s people group. The IMB missionary devised a plan to use video with a volunteer mission team. He recruited the children of the indigenous group to serve as actors for a series of Bible story videos. Over a few days, they shot the Good Samarian and Zacchaeus. The team edited the story in the indigenous language, and at the end of the week showed the videos and passed out DVD’s to the families.
Paul Wynn was a member of that first mission trip. It was the first international mission trip that he had ever taken. And for him, it began a series of trips every year. The mission teams have changed, the sending churches have changed, even the IMB missionaries have changed, but the people group has not. Now, there is a library of 15 video Bible stories all in their language. The current mission partners have spread out to numerous villages, and now are reaching far beyond Juan’s immediate family using the videos to tell God’s story of love.
After experiencing the impact of these video stories, Paul began to wonder if this approach could be reproduced to reach other people groups in South America, Central America, Africa, and parts of Asia. Paul and his business partner, Doug Keesey, already owned a video production company that had worked with ministries all over the U.S. and on five continents. He approached Doug and asked what he thought about launching an actual ministry.
The two men decided to pray about it, so they set aside an entire calendar year and just prayed whether this was a direction they should go. At the end of that year, they believed that God was leading them to take this step. They spent the next year planning, building strategy, and seeking counsel on what would be the wisest ways to approach this vision. Wynn says, “Over that year, we talked to experts in storying, we spoke to other people who had launched ministries, and pursued missionaries who were already reaching people groups.”
Finally, after God laid the groundwork for five years, and Wynn and Keesey had spent two years carefully planning their steps, 2019 was the year to launch oneMESSAGE.tv. Wynn says the most amazing part of this year is seeing the other areas God had been working totally unbeknownst to them. Paul adds, “Our missionary partners were taking a journey from trying to learn their people group’s language fluently, to believing that using technology in their people group’s language was the more effective approach for reaching them.”
Keesey says, “The mission of oneMESSAGE.tv is to reach many more people groups like Juan’s, but instead of taking years to build a Bible video library, we want to do it in months, and repeat it over and over again in South America, Africa, and Asia.”
Wynn adds, “By using the technology that’s available in the modern world, oneMESSAGE.tv is producing a library of video Bible stories that carry the story of redemption beginning with creation all the way to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That library can then be duplicated on small SD cards and viewed on cell phones. The amazing thing is nearly everyone in these people groups have access to cell phones, and can then play these videos on their phones.”
The oneMESSAGE.tv founders believe this could be revolutionary in helping not only missionaries, but also to help every day Christians play a part in their call to change the world for Christ. Wynn says, “This tool overcomes the challenge of illiteracy in an amazing way. To translate just a portion of written scripture in just one language could take years, and then because many of them are oral learners, most still wouldn’t be able to read it. These videos can be produced in just a few months, but their impact can be eternal. It will show them the entire salvation story with their own faces and in their heart language.”
Keesey says, “Our pilot project is with the missionary partners who Paul has been working with. So our goal is to complete an entire 21 episode video library from the Creation to Christ with them by the end of this year. Once that project is completed oneMESSAGE.tv is already talking to potential partners in Kenya about doing a video library for people groups there.“
oneMESSAGE.tv is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity supported by the gifts of individuals.