Recycled smartphones can act as ‘missionaries’ when used as video players by adding translated films about Jesus Christ.

Each year, more than 100 million smartphones in the United States are discarded, forgotten and tucked away in a drawer. These unused smartphones can be repurposed as ministry tools and act as ‘missionaries.’

Dr. Jerry Brandt, the founder and president of Action Evangelism, teamed up with the Kolo Group in Orlando to help reach the estimated unreached 2.5 billion people on earth with the gospel message of Jesus Christ. The Kolo Group has translated The Jesus Film into more than 1,700 dialects—many of which are tribal languages, along with The Story of Jesus for Children and other films portraying the good news.

Since 1972, Action Evangelism has been around the world spreading the gospel through Mission Action Teams (MAT) and biblical training through Kingdom Life University. While these missionaries and campus ministries have proven fruitful, many tribal communities are still unreached.

“Our heart is reaching the unreached villages of the world,” explained Dr. Brandt. “We are able to do that in our populated areas, but we are talking about remote villages with no electricity or in Muslim and Hindu nations.”

Additionally, many of the unreached tribal people groups do not read or write. The need for oral teaching in their tongue can be accomplished through using films on phones. Action Evangelism receives the donated smartphones and turns them into video players.

Every phone is downloaded with The Jesus Film, the Bible, a children film and videos from the World Health Organization that provide information on how to recognize Ebola, AIDS, etc. A solar unit is placed on each phone and then transported by missionaries or volunteers headed to that region.

“It’s a huge mission opportunity that makes a big impact but doesn’t cost the church much,” said Dr. Brandt. “They set up a box in the church lobby to collect phones, we load the videos and then these smartphones become a missionary to a village.”

Norman Blanton, a local minister from Plant City and longtime friend and associate of Dr. Brandt, said, “We are in the beginning stages of locating some collection sites here in the Brandon area.”

If a church or business would like to become a collection site, you can contact Blanton at 326-0749 or Smartphones must be unlocked, without its chip and reset to factory settings. Monetary donations are also needed to help pay for the expense of the solar unit. The cost of each solar unit is $25.

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Amanda Boston is the Christian Voice Editor for the Osprey Observer. She is a graduate of Bible Training for Church Leaders (BTCL), who enjoys sharing how God is working in and through the community. Amanda resides in FishHawk with her husband and two children.