WATCH: “Victory in Christ”- An Award-Winning Film by King’s School of Media in Jerusalem

“In Jordan we met an Iraqi girl, a Christian refugee, who slept one night at her grandmother’s and when she went home the next day her whole family was gone, blood everywhere…”

Greg Williams is the director of King’s School of Media (KSM) in Jerusalem. Their students are a diverse group with everything between Arabic-speaking Orthodox Christians to Messianic Israelis straight out of the IDF and International Christians, together learning about video production from start to finish.

Greg explains, “We train them in marketing, design, writing, and film production, but our hope is that our students work with us and get inspired to make massive impact through kingdom projects, unlike so many in this field who just want to win awards.”

The award-winning documentary “Victory in Christ” began a few years ago in a time of thought and prayer, after hearing the news of 20 Coptic Christians beheaded on a beach by ISIS.

“I spent a lot of time praying, Lord what can we do?” Greg shares. “That morning I opened my Bible to Romans 8 and read Paul sharing with the persecuted Church at the time, you know the Romans were worse than ISIS in many ways, burning people at the cross… Paul is saying, what shall we say then? For your sake we are sheep led to the slaughter. But if Christ is for you, who can be against you? Nothing will separate us from the love of Christ. That spoke to me.”

Greg’s original idea was to make a video of Christians from all over the world reciting Romans 8, to send a message of inspiration out to the world, as the persecuted tend to become victims, yet they might be victors in spite of it all by the power of Yeshua.

“In Israel you see a clear line between who is a victim, angry at terror or angry at the whole situation they’re in and their focus gets stuck there instead of on the Kingdom of God. And in many cases the Church comes here and just expresses sympathy and consolation, but that alone isn’t the model that we’ve been given. I could see this line even among my students, some would put their focus on their problems and be stunted in their walk with God and others looked past the problems and did great work. So we wanted to use the powerful tool of media and do a film not focusing on the trials to raise awareness, but show testimonies of victory in people that overcame great hardship, to inspire and encourage the believers in the Middle East.”

One of the students had worked in the past with Andrew White, the famous “Vicar of Bagdad”, and arranged a meeting with the KSM staff. When presented with the idea of a film about Christians in the Middle East in Arabic instead of the typical international film to raise awareness, he agreed to cooperate after turning down 16 other filmmakers that year. They proceeded to visit refugees in Jordan and were drawn into the happening.

Greg says, “I was witnessing a real revival in Amman. When persecution takes place the people come alive and walls of denominations fall. A Catholic priest opened his compound and Andrew started a school for Iraqi refugees. Hundreds of children bussed in for school, because they can’t go to public schools. Father Khalil would tell us sharply, “Don’t call me Catholic, I am Natzere” (meaning “of the Nazarene”, the branding that Christians receive in the Middle East). Many believers of various denominations that once were so distant and even at times in opposition, have all come under the one label, as followers of the Nazarene!

“No one has health care, though many are seriously injured, so a Greek Orthodox hospital opened their hearts and facilities. There was a heart to serve, a glowing in their eyes. Multiple families were living in tiny rooms with only sheets separating entire families, men and women. Our students were running around filming half the time and translating and helping Andrew’s team all at the same time. We could see the clear distinction between those who were still in shock, living in fear, crippled to even move into a better place, and those who were full of faith and serving even after all the persecution and trials they faced.”

They met with people who shared their stories on and off camera, things difficult to hear, yet life-changing.

Greg continues, “We met an Iraqi girl, a Christian refugee, who had a sleepover one night with her grandmother and the next day when she went home her whole family was gone, only blood stains and a wrecked home… She went searching, but they were gone. Another Christian refugee family, who barely escaped Mosul with their lives, took her and her grandmother in to help care for them. Their story was so intense for us to hear. In the car as we drove away we were so shook up, we drove in silence as tears streamed down my student’s faces.”

Many don’t understand that the persecution started long before ISIS. Sunnis and Shiites were firebombing and driving out Christians. Some Imams offer financial rewards for killing a Christian and bringing their ID to the mosque. This is why Christians in Iraq flocked to Mosul and Nineveh, where many Christians lived and thrived, but then as soon as they came seeking safety there, ISIS began their conquest of that area.

Greg shares, “One lady had a big transformation in her life. Her husband drove a taxi, and another Christian family called for cars to extract them from a village as ISIS was attacking. They were ambushed, the other taxis escaped, except her husband. There was no closure, ISIS called her and taunted her, telling her that they would release him if she came with her girls as sex slaves. Fearing their threats, she fled to Jordan with her three small children, cold and hungry. She was so depressed she slit her own wrists, attempting suicide, but her kids got the landlord and sent her to the hospital in time. Afterwards, her friends brought her to church, and the pastor asked those who need God’s power to raise their hands. As she raised her hands to God, she felt someone grab her hands and was hit by the power of the Holy Spirit. Her life was transformed immediately.

“When we visited her she was one of the main community leaders at the school. She lived next to a mosque where the prayer spire speakers fired directly into her balcony, but she had no fear. She was hosting community Bible studies and prayer groups every week on her balcony. Her Muslim landlord pressured her to put up Islamic art and quotes in her home, but by our 2nd trip she and Andrew had led him to the Lord! When we interviewed her reciting Romans 8, the Mosque prayers began to blare, but she wouldn’t stop and said, “They won’t stop me from speaking the Word of God!”

The film is now being broadcast on Al ‘Hayyat to the Arab world. It spread through Egyptian and other Arab Christian groups on social media, as well as being shown to church meetings of Iraqi Refugees. It is also remarkable to note that it is also making an impact in the West. God TV is broadcasting it all over the world all year long, and pastors are doing movie nights at churches all across the USA to raise funds and awareness. The film has already won Best Documentary at the 168 Christian film festival in Los Angeles, while receiving a standing ovation. Now it is nominated for 3 awards at the upcoming International Christian Film Festival in Disney world Orlando.

Greg says, “One of my students attended  the film festival and said people all over the audience were weeping. The inspiration is contagious. One of my students has screened the film for over 25 churches in the USA, and another is inspired to use his production company to create more films like “Victory in Christ”. This is discipleship and what we get excited about. It’s not just for us to create films that impact the culture, but that our students are inspired to take that mantle themselves into their walk as a filmmaker.”

Click above to watch the film, and share the inspiration with others.

If you or someone you know is interested in learning professional Film and Television production with a Kingdom Focus in Jerusalem, Israel, click here for more information. The next semester starts August 1st, 2016.