God used many people, events, trials, and experiences to bring us to the point of pursuing ministry in Prague. One very powerful tool that he brought our way through a friend at church, Steve Larsen, was a set of mission DVDs. Nancy and I were sitting in the fellowship hall enjoying a conversation with friends during a church lunch. Steve apparently overheard us talking about a Voice of the Martyrs conference we had just attended, so he approached our table and began to tell us about a set of DVDs he thought we might like to see. We were immediately interested, and Steve brought them to church the following Sunday for us to borrow.
The next evening we popped one in the player. Within five minutes we knew we held a great treasure in our hands. The series is titled, Dispatches From the Front, produced by Frontline Missions International. So far there are nine episodes available for viewing. The episodes include the following:
Episode 1 – Islands on the Edge: Southeast Asia
Episode 2 – A Bold Advance: Albania, Kosovo, & Montenegro
Episode 3 – I Once Was Blind: West Africa
Episode 4 – Souls of the Brave: India
Episode 5 – Father, Give Me Bread: Ethiopia & South Sudan
Episode 6 – The Power of His Rising: South Asia
Episode 7 – Day of Battle: North Africa
Episode 8 – No Regrets, No Retreat: China
Episode 9 – Every Tribe: Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos
The first five episodes came in a set when we purchased them. (All nine episodes are now available in a set.) There’s a short description on the back that describes the series for the viewer.
Believers everywhere desperately need a renewed vision of Christ and the unstoppable advance of His saving work in all the earth. Our view of God’s Kingdom is often too small and limited to what we have experienced. Dispatches from the Front highlights the marvelous extent, diversity, and unity of Christ’s Kingdom in our world. The journal format of each episode underscores the daily unfolding of God’s activity on the “front lines,” bringing viewers up-close with sights and sounds from distant corners of the Kingdom.
Personally, I believe the series is so well done that I often feel as if I am on the field, walking along some remote path towards an unreached people group just ahead at the next village. I can smell the smoke from their fires and hear roosters crowing at a distance. It’s as if I have walked through a door into another world totally unfamiliar to me.
The one constant in each episode is Tim Keesee, the journalist who narrates each story. You will quickly think of him as an old friend and comrade in the advance of the Gospel as he shares story after story of how God is mighty to save. The stories will haunt you in a good way and lead you to more fervent prayer for people groups and cultures you probably never knew existed. They will ignite a passion for world missions, especially in the hard places, the difficult corners of the world where lost and hurting people live without hope.
My wife and I watch these DVDs over and over again. They never grow old. To the contrary, they challenge us in fresh ways each time we revisit them. I have also read Tim Keesee’s book that shares the same title. Both the series and the book will grab your heart and not let go. Thank you, Steve.