This blog series is from a young missionary woman who shared this experience of how the movie, Courageous, helped to change the culture of a tribe she has been ministering to for a number of years. The Tumbuka tribe in northern Malawi is the tribe that she has been sharing her life and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s such a great story that she decided to send it to Sherwood Pictures to let them know the impact that the movie, Courageous, was having half a globe away. It’s a powerful story of how a person who was courageous in Malawi, helped changed many lives and how the power of film impacts culture and, in this case, for GOOD! We will share her story just as she wrote it and split it into three blog posts. Her name is Anna Ebert and she has given us the permission to share her story. We know you’ll be encouraged. Read Part 1 here…
Courageous in Malawi – Part 2
After first teaching the team about the film and the message in it, I said, “Let’s show it in the afternoon and only allow men and older boys can come and watch the film”. I thought this way the men would not be intimidated. Auter, a native member of the team was put in charge of showing it. I thought he would be the perfect one of the team to do this. He does not back away from confrontations. He has gone through a lot in his own life and would be able to teach and understand the men.
Auter began by explaining to the men what the film was about None of the men left. Well, I thought, that’s a start. Then he turned on the film. Every one sas motionless. Now I must add that they had never seen a white person before, and definitely had never seen a movie before.
When the movie ended, Auter explained it more to them. Then, I received the biggest surprise of my life. The men almost unanimously said , “We want that (pointing to the film). Our culture is bad. We have to change. We want to live with our wive’s and our daughters like they do in the film.”
Now you must keep in mind, that they did not understand a word. No, I shouldn’t say that. They did understand it . They understood it through seeing the actions. They saw the men in the film caring for their families, their wives, their children. They saw a father even risk his life for his baby…and they understood. They saw men giving their lives to the Lord and how it brought such peace to them.
These men were introduced to a whole new way of life. They never knew there was another way to live. “Why has no one ever told us this before?” “We only know our culture and our culture is bad!” “I never knew that there is another way!” … They never knew that there was another way to live! Can you imagine that? How thrilling it is to be able to give them new hope.
Well, by now, I was just jumping for joy inside. Is what I was hearing and seeing actually happening? Are they really that open to change? Are they really that sick and tired of their bad culture? Are they that tired of having no purpose in life? Is their life that void of meaning? Yes, yes, yes and yes. I realized that if we do not do what we are created for, there is a void, there is no meaning to life. These men have proven that. Their culture has robbed them of life – physical life, spiritual life.
Then, a problem arose. As we showed the film in village after village, the same question was raised again and again. They noticed that the men in the film had only one wife. “But I have two wives so what do I do?” “I have children with both my wives, now what do I do?” (And no doubt that was a huge problem).
Auter explained to them, “I cannot tell you to divorce your second wife but I can tell you to receive Jesus Christ as your Savoir so He can direct you and show you the way to what you can do. What you can do is to come together and talk to your second wife with all your children and teach them the Word of God because they don’t know what has happened to you. You should treat your children in the [same] way the Bible teaches.”
One of the men responded with, “I will try to do that, please pray for me so Jesus can lead in my life. On my own I cannot make a good decision. Sometimes I treat my wife very badly and now I want to do what is right.”