Reaching and Discipling the Nations through Media

Zahra’s New World

Intrigued, I asked an Egyptian Cru staff friend if she would check out a six-part web series, Zahra’s New World. After watching, she wrote, “It’s a comedy that helps explain some misconceptions about Christians and what they believe and some funny things about cultural differences. This might be good for Middle Easterners who come to the U.S to help them explain American culture but [it’s not for] back home to explain about following Christ.”

As far as I know, Zahra’s New World is the first-ever comedy of its kind. It seeks to dispel misconceptions about following Christ for Middle Eastern women living in the United States.

According to their website, “Zahra’s New World is a comedic drama about Zahra, a devout Saudi Muslim who comes to Southern California to study English and ends up sharing an apartment with Jenna, a 20-year-old Orange County Christian student. Jenna and Zahra have two funny neighbors – Shirin, an Iranian wanna-be actress, and Yafa, a Palestinian who has started to go to church with Jenna.”

They further explain, “We are excited for you to explore the cross-cultural world of these women and in their stories, see experiences to which you might be able to relate. There are so many misconceptions about different cultures and religions in the world today, especially those that divide East and West.

“Through this web-series and the online community that will come as a result of it, we invite you to join an ongoing conversation where understanding and truth can be safely explored.”

Visual Story Network

Reaching and Discipling the Nations through Media

I dug deeper and learned about Visual Story Network (VSN). I learned the following from their website.

Visual Story Network’s purpose “is to foster movements of media, story and innovation that accelerate disciple-making and church planting.” They do this through training, building networks, and producing media.

“In 2005, Jim Green (Director, at the time, Jesus Film Project) and Rob Hoskins (President, OneHope) were waiting for a plane together in Bangkok, Thailand. Each shared a deep desire for the body of Christ to be more effective in leveraging visual media for the Gospel. Several conversations followed that led to a May, 2006 meeting in Orlando between leaders of the OneHope, Jesus Film Project, Bearing Fruit Communications and the Caleb Group. . .

“There was overwhelming agreement on the need to expand a movement of ‘visual story’ for the kingdom of God. The group agreed to form a core group that would research, advocate and collaborate on new ways to reach people in our increasingly media-saturated world. Clyde Taber (Director of Multimedia Design, Jesus Film Project at the time) was asked to oversee this new initiative. In 2008, Clyde left Jesus Film Project to focus full-time on the development of the network.”

You might want to check out VSN’s initiatives. Find others interested in visual storying for Christ.

Could you invite someone to watch Zahra’s New World?


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