Torchlighters: The John Wesley Story (DVD Review for the Crew)
FishFlix.com was started by a Turkish Christian named Dr. Enis Sakirgil after he helped produce a film about the Apostle Paul as a way of letting western Christians know about the rich biblical history of his home country. Turkey is one of the nations least reached with the gospel, so when Dr. Sakirgil and his family immigrated to the United States, he began selling the film (Apostle Paul and the Earliest Churches) online, as well as other Christian movies, as a way of helping a radio ministry back in Turkey. FishFlix.com is currently based in Mora, Minnesota, and the company’s goal is to “glorify God though amazing customer service, quality Christian content, creating honorable jobs, and expanding the Kingdom of God in Turkey.”
FishFlix.com offers a wide selection of Christian and family-friendly movies of many different types, and all orders over $35 have free shipping. By purchasing movies from FishFlix.com, you can help support their vision of ministry while providing quality entertainment for your family.
About Torchlighters: The John Wesley Story
Members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew were offered several different DVD selections from FishFlix.com. Our family was excited to receive Torchlighters: The John Wesley Story, part of a series from the Christian History Institute designed for children ages 8-12 (though my 3, 5, and 7-year olds have enjoyed all the episodes we’ve seen). We have already used several of the Torchlighters videos about heroes of the faith as part of our school experience, but this was the first time my children had ever heard about John Wesley.
The 30 minute video starts with a dramatic scene in which young John Wesley is saved from a fire in his family home. As his parents praise God for sparing their son, they tell John that God must have a very special purpose for his life. John grows up doing his best to prove himself worthy of his rescue that memorable night.
At university, he and his friends form a “Holy Club,” supporting and encouraging one another in practicing prayer, fasting, Bible study, and other habits of righteousness. He and his brother Charles even travel from England to America to preach the gospel, but they are frustrated by the lack of fruit from their labors. Eventually they are both led to a fuller understanding of God’s grace, and it radically transforms their lives and ministries. When he is rejected from many churches after telling people that they are all sinners in need of God’s grace, he begins preaching in the fields, readily accepted by people who have no doubt as to their own wretchedness. He even preaches to a mob trying to kill him. Many people receive his message of God’s love, and the rest of his life is spent serving the Lord by spreading the good news of His love for all people.
In addition to the main video, the DVD also includes several helpful bonus features. There is a 51 minute documentary about the beginning of the Methodist movement that arose from John Wesley’s ministry. There are also study guides that you can access by opening the DVD-ROM on your computer. (They are also available to download from the Torchlighters website.) While these resources are a little beyond my children right now, they are definitely something we will revisit as they get older and we study church history in more depth.
The dramatic beginning captured my children’s attention right away. I imagine some sensitive children might be bothered by the scenes involving the fire and the shipwreck, but for us it just added to the excitement of the story.
I loved the beautiful message of salvation by grace. After years of righteous living, trying to prove himself worthy of God’s salvation as a child, John learns that he cannot earn his way into heaven. I think that is such an important lesson for all of us, but especially for children who grow up in Christian homes who may be tempted to trust in their good behavior and righteous choices as proof of their salvation. This is definitely a message I will want to revisit many times as my children grow up, and I’m thankful for this DVD as a way to help instill in my children an understanding that they can never earn God’s salvation but only receive it as a gift given freely in love.
I’m so glad to know about FishFlix.com, and we’ll certainly be looking to them in the future when seeking to purchase Christian DVDs. I love that I can help support the spread of the kingdom of God in Turkey by purchasing through them, especially when it’s something our family would be buying anyway. Be sure to click on the banner below to see what other Crew members thought of this DVD and many others available from FishFlix.com!