Steve Douglass, current President of Cru, shares this story:
Solomon Islands “Warning!” the radio sang out. “Please change your plans. Come another night. There is danger in the area.”Gentry and his team sat still as they listened to the radio call. Discouraged, Gentry pondered their course of action. This was the third time they had tried to send a film team to this area, and yet again, the village’s enemy tribe was too close for comfort. Gentry knew in his heart this village needed to hear the story of Jesus, so he gathered his team and prayed, asking God for direction. That night Gentry and his teammates sensed they should go through with the showings despite the warnings. Tribal fighting loomed over the area, but they were confident God was at work. They responded to the church leader, saying they respected the warning but still felt God wanted them to minister in that village. Knowing they were determined to go ahead, the leader warned them their team would take personal responsibility for whatever might happen to them in the village.When Gentry and his team arrived, the community did not formally welcome them as was custom. The atmosphere was instead filled with fear, so Gentry and his team prayed for God’s protection and peace. At nightfall the showing began, and villagers slowly emerged from their homes, fixated on the screen, fixated on Jesus. As the JESUS film played, everyone fell quiet. Only the message of the movie could be heard in the darkness.
Silent and unseen, 30 armed men from the nearby tribe approached the crowd in the dark, hidden behind the cover of trees and using the film’s distraction as an opportunity to strike. But as they approached, they heard the words of Jesus. Then two members of Gentry’s team stood up and shared their testimonies along with the invitation to follow Christ.
The men paused, convicted by the Holy Spirit. They came out of the bushes, submissively putting their arms and weapons in the air. The leader of the armed men could no longer hold back his emotion. In tears he admitted they had come to fight and to kill, but “Christ won us tonight.” That night 478 villagers, including the armed men from the enemy tribe, decided to follow Christ. And over the course of the next few days, peace was restored between the two warring communities.