Movie Review by Andre Viljoen
Eighty six per cent of Muslims worldwide don’t know one follower of Jesus, says one of many experts on Muslim background believers, featured in A Narrow Path a documentary movie by adventurous filmmakers Jeff and Anneen Davies.
The movie, which premieres in Cape Town tomorrow (May 5 2017) and includes fascinating footage from the couple’s faith-stretching 31 000km motorcycle safari through East Africa and the Middle East, succeeds in its goal of challenging Christians to reach out to Muslims — and to evaluate their approach if they are already reaching out.
The film, which was completed two years after Jeff and Anneen rode out of East London on their two motorbikes, includes three strands — a travelogue, interviews and a scripted fictional story about a difficult friendship between a Muslim student and a Christian student.
The travel story features some beautiful scenery; footage from remote places where travel is arduous; and most poignantly, glimpses of unsung heroes of the faith who are reaching out to Muslims in difficult and dangerous circumstances. We also meet former Muslims who come to Christ understanding that the cost includes excommunication from their close-knit communities and the threat of physical harm or even death.
There is also interesting footage of open-air debates between Muslim apologists and Christians. We see Muslims who sincerely believe that the bible is a corrupted book and that Jesus was never crucified but that Judas took his place on the cross.
But the most powerful message from those on the ground is that it is not Christians’ theological arguments but their friendship and discipleship that plays the biggest role in helping Muslims to become Christ followers. Supernatural experiences, including dreams and miraculous healing are also shown to be helping people to leave Islam.
In addition to urging us not to hate or fear Muslims but to reach out to them in love, Jeff and Anneen’s adventure challenges us to step out and trust God wherever we may be. We see that the further north they go, the more they have to rely on God. We also see how they have to persevere for breakthrough when dwindling finances and bureaucracy threaten to block their way.