This year, the Jesus. All About Life (JAAL) campaign is reaching further than ever before, sharing Jesus’ message of ‘life in all its fullness’ in five countries at Easter. In 2023, the campaign is running again in Australia and in Fiji, and for the first time in New Zealand, Kenya and Rwanda.The Jesus. All About Life campaign is making an ongoing impact in the South Pacific. In 2022, Christians in Fiji and the surrounding areas were delighted with the campaign.
Around 1,500 young people flocked to the two-night production, ‘He Sees you’. “For the campaign, we engaged with the whole of Fiji,” says Miliana from Bible Society South Pacific (BSSP). “The 150 volunteers came from different churches. There were around 12 different denominations and between 20-30 churches who engaged with the campaign. They all took part in making the production. They really enjoyed being part of it because they get to work with different churches in different organisations and coming in with different skills.
Traveling far, sacrificing sleepless nights, staying up to memorise lines was worth it. ‘It’s worth it’, they told us.”This year the campaign is running again across Fiji and the regions. A large part of the campaign is supplying churches who sign up with Bibles and resources to use at Easter, including a Bible distribution trip into the remote Yasawa group of Islands, located in the Western Division of Fiji and made up of a chain of 20 volcanic islands. “The group of islands are reached by boat and then a dinghy from island to island,” explains Teupola, a BSSP staff member.
Training sessions in Trauma Healing and Sunday school teaching are a part of the campaign in regional areas during the daytime and the youth production in the evenings, over three nights. “There are some changes to the production this year,” Teupola explains. “The story line has changed, with a different script each night: the first night on the Easter story and the five people at the cross during the crucifixion; the second night on the Bible Society story of Mary Jones, and the last night based on an excerpt of the story ‘In their Tongues’ by Fiji-born author Satendra Nandan, on how the Bible came to Fiji.
Also, this year, instead of involving youth through other organisations, the youth will be directly involved from the churches, connecting them with their local churches.” By distributing Bible resources and connecting the people of the South Pacific with churches, Bible Society South Pacific hopes to bring about spiritual revival.
African Enterprise (AE) in both Kenya and Rwanda have adopted the Jesus. All About Life campaign in 2023, with hopes for a similar impact in their countries. Worryingly, AE Kenya have recognised that evangelism is no longer a priority for majority of believers and churches in Kenya. If this tendency is not slowed or stopped, it will result in very little or no growth of the church in Kenya. African Enterprise hopes that the JAAL campaign will challenge people to consider making a personal commitment to follow Jesus Christ as the Lord of their lives. “As individuals and communities continue to grapple with the disruptions brought about by COVID-19, the question of what life is all about is in many people’s hearts and minds.
As Christians, we need to be strategic in sharing Jesus as the answer to this and other existential questions about life by the grace of God,” says Williams from AE Kenya. “We are hoping that the campaign will encourage Christian believers to hold on to Jesus in their lives and to practically live out their faith in Jesus Christ wherever God has placed them and bring others to him. The hope is that local churches will be empowered for on-going evangelism and discipleship outreach.”In Rwanda, the African Enterprise team have similarly seen the potential of the campaign to reach into people’s lives, meet their relational and cultural needs, and challenge where their faith lies. Although it is 28 years since the genocide against Tusti happened in Rwanda, the scars are still noticeable among many Rwandans.
“What I love about JAAL campaign is the goal to raise awareness of Jesus Christ and the relevance of his teaching in today’s modern world, by mobilising Christian churches to re-engage with their local community,” says George, the Missions Director of AE Rwanda. He explains that in the language of Rwanda — in Kinyarwanda — the Jesus. All About life campaign is translated to be “KUBAHO NI YESU” — “To Live is Jesus”. “It is very interesting that many church leaders and Christian organisation we partner have embraced the campaign. And we love seeing many believers embracing the times of Easter by sharing the Gospel to their neighbours!”
“This message is so relevant for people still coming out of the COVID period,” says Neels Janse van Rensburg, CEO of Bible Society New Zealand (BSNZ), who are running the Jesus. All About Life campaign as a part of their focus on ‘The Bible is life’ for 2023. BSNZ is also committed to resourcing churches with Bibles and Scripture resources. “The great thing about the JAAL resources offered is that they address adults, and children of all ages,” says Neels. “We want to empower churches, schools, and individuals to make the JAAL campaign their own with our support, with resources.”
The campaign in New Zealand will reach a broad audience, Neels explains, with exposure through the BSNZ Group’s Manna retail stores, Christian radio media, and through BSNZ’s network of churches, individuals and schools. “We want to reach Christians outside the church, people on the margins,” Neels says. “COVID has crippled the church, yet at the same time people have become more searching. With the Bible, we can experience true life.”