Hacksaw Ridge opens unprecedented witnessing opportunities in Central Europe

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Hacksaw Ridge opens unprecedented witnessing opportunities in Central Europe

Adventist youth in Krakow, Poland prepare to distribute Znaki Czasu (Signs of the Times) to movie-goers. [Photo courtesy of the Trans-European Division]

Karolina and Monika, from Krakow, Poland have spent a lot of time this last month at their local cinema.  Recently baptized teenage twins, you will find them there, dressed in World-War II look-a-like T-shirts similar to the uniform Desmond Doss would have worn.  On the back is written, “Desmond Doss saved 75. Jesus saved all. I’m an Adventist like Desmond Doss – ask me more.” 

When they stand up at the end of a screening of Mel Gibsons WWII epic,
“Hacksaw Ridge,” they make an impression.  They answer questions and share with movie-goers a special issue of the Polish ‘Signs of the Times’ (Znaki Czasu).

They are not alone. More than 100 Adventist youth in cities across Poland have spent the month of November volunteering at cinemas, on the street, at a book fair and at special screenings of the Desmond Doss documentary film, “The Conscientious Objector” in their local churches.

The result? People are already having Bible studies with pastors after watching Gibson’s film and at least 100 have attended an Adventist Church for the first time.

All this did not happen by accident. Marek Micyk, youth director for the Adventist Church in Poland, joined with public relations consultant Michal Rakowski, and a group of youth to formulate a plan that could maximize the witness of the Church during the time of the cinema release. 

It was not just the youth. The entire Polish union executive committee bought into the vision.  The publishing house printed and sold 30,000 copies of a magazine that normally has a circulation of 3,000.

The Polish Hope TV studios gained permission to subtitle and distribute Terry Benedict’s 2004 documentary “The Conscientious Objector.”  Screenings were organized in five cities and 600 DVDs were sold.

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