It is so cliche to say “Where do we begin“ with all that was accomplished in 2023. But, here we go. Last year was the culmination of decades of preparation. Firstly, we finalized our major project with Imagine Entertainment, Ron Howard’s new documentary division Our series, Murf the Surf: Jewels, Jesus, and Mayhem in the USA, had the honor of being the studio’s premiere project of their new division. We premiered our four-part docuseries over four weeks by gathering with Central Florida friends of our ministry for the viewings, dinners, and Q&A sessions following the screenings. We want to take this occasion to thank our gracious hosts, Dr. John Wilker and his beautiful wife Debbi, for their spirit of hospitality which created a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere for our partners and friends to meet and fellowship with one another. The variety of delicious post-screening dinners, prepared by our generous hosts, fostered new friendships, and remain beloved memories for all attendees. Murf the Surf: Jewels, Jesus, and Mayhem in the USA: available for viewing on MGM+.
BREAKING NEWS AWARD NOMINEE
"It is my honor to personally invite you to attend the 31st Annual Movieguide Awards Gala on February 9th, 2024. Your MURF THE SURF: JEWELS, JESUS, AND MAYHEM IN THE USA: Episodes 1.1-1.4 is a finalist nominee, a testament to its meaningful storytelling and positive values.
Dr. Ted Baehr,
Founder and President of Movie Guide."
An option to begin work on a Murf the Surf feature-length film was our anticipated next project after the docuseries was released. However, the great reviews and success being garnered from the docuseries resulted in the feature-length film being put on hold. We prayed and asked God what to do next. Without hesitation, the answer came clearly. “Finish what you began in the 1970s.”
Flashback: October 1977.
On a typical Friday evening, our small home fellowship group would gather. Most who
came were new believers who had come to Christ because of the nationwide Jesus movement. The home group was a place to meet and develop Christian friends and learn about our newfound faith. It wasn’t long before we realized that very few in the group knew the Bible basics… the foundational truths and practices of Christianity. And so, we began a project to meet the need for discipleship with a Biblical Worldview by producing one-sheet topical resources (8” x 11” folded in half) covering the most important tenets and ordinances of the Christian faith. We titled them Quick Notes. The results were incredible!
Over 3 years, our group grew to over 80 people with an average of 40 attending weekly. We exercised a first-century approach to becoming faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. We gathered to devour and discuss the Word, praying for one another, and learning how to minister in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We worshipped together, shared testimonies one with another, and evangelized by sharing the Gospel with everyone and then inviting them to fellowship with us. Leading that original group resulted in our call into full-time ministry. And, from among those we spiritually nurtured in our living room in the early days, many remain as our lifelong friends and devout followers of Jesus.
In obedience to God’s guidance to “finishing what we began”, led us to author our new book, The Assignment. We updated the Quick Notes and addressed the question, “Why is the church of Jesus Christ in decline in the Western world?” (See George Barna’s research on the church). The conclusion many have come to is that the early church discipleship method is in stark contrast to a typical church classroom environment of the 21st century. The early church gatherings occurred in homes - in small groups - and all who attended participated in worship learning the Word, sharing communion, and praying for one another. It was a highly interactive event with all attendees involved in evangelism. Gatherings were the definition of the koinonia lifestyle, where interdependent accountability was truly experienced.
Having professional marketing, sales, and media production backgrounds, the temptation was to approach distribution via a typical business sales model. Though seemingly the natural path, we were impressed to allow God to promote and distribute The Assignment and Quick Notes. We felt initially not to sell them but to “seed” them into the fields of the Lord. Beginning on Easter Sunday, 2023, we have “sown” over 350 books and more than 1,200 packs of Quick Notes. The response has been rewarding. In eight short months, our obedience to God’s direction has resulted in The Assignment materials being read and put into action from coast to coast (and Italy). It is being implemented in prisons, jail ministries, and halfway houses. It is now Aidan University's entrance course for all ministry and theology students. A 1000-plus Quick Notes were made available to new converts by putting them in the hands of evangelists. Small home groups are being formed and the facilitators are using The Assignment and Quick Notes to lead people to Christ and disciple them. The book is being shared via social media with over 2 million followers. At Christian concerts and events, books are gifted to leaders and Quick Notes are given to those who respond to altar calls. In restaurants, hospitals, and one-on-one encounters everywhere they are being sown as lifelines to the discouraged and hopeless.
One of the most exciting outreaches God has opened to Visible Light Ministries is with our newfound friends in Southern California, John Ruttkay and Ron Juncal, of www.thejesusgathering.org. We have seeded books and Quick Notes which they are using to provoke discussions in multiple leadership groups. Their home groups have expanded to large group gatherings in San Diego, CA, College Station, TX, Boston, Albuquerque, NM, and more. attracting hungry young people to their “Woodstock-type” evangelistic outreaches and home fellowship get-togethers. They are experiencing the revival of the 70’s Jesus Revolution (https://www.thejesusgathering.org) in like manner as John and Ron came to Christ and were discipled by and closely ministered with Chuck Smith and Lonnie Frisbee. John personally ministered with Lonnie Frisbee around the world for 8 years. They are excited – as are we – to be spiritual parents to largely unchurched, non-religious young people seeking hope and truth in this crucial hour. We are sending Ellen Couchman to their next large gathering in College Station, TX as Visible Light's representative. Please keep this ministry outreach in prayer.
Happy 2024… the Year 5784 on the Hebrew Calendar.
Each year has a significant meaning for God’s faithful. The year 2024 (5784) is the year of opportunities and open doors. The unprecedented 2020 event that by edict or choice resulted in shuttered churches worldwide, has resulted in the permanent closing of one-third of those churches. That means there are tens of thousands of people without fellowship who would greatly benefit from The Assignment’s inspiration to reconnect with other believers, share one-on-one, in small groups, and in-home koinonia gatherings. That’s our opportunity… Visible Light Ministries’ open door! The need is great and grave! Evangelizing new believers, removing blinders from the deceived, discipling converts with the Gospel truth, and bringing believers back to the message and practice of a Biblical Worldview is key!
Everyone who receives this newsletter can become a Soldier of the Light! It’s as simple as handing out Quick Notes to the spiritually disengaged people you encounter every day. Get started by requesting your free copy of Quick Notes for your study and one to share. If, perchance, you have not read The Assignment, please do. We will send a copy to you for a love gift of any amount. Contact: visiblelight.org. It is an easy read and to the point. Be a part of the Visible Light team and pray for us as we have God’s directives for 2024 below.
Vision for 2024
·Continue to provide The Assignment and Quick Notes through the generosity of our ministry partners to help individuals and ministries grow from coast to coast and around the world.
Produce an Audio Book narrated by Jeff Ferguson, co-writer, and narrator of “The Anointing” by Benny Hinn
Translate The Assignment into different languages: Hebrew, Spanish, Italian, etc.
Produce vdeos on each of The Assignment subjects for universities and the web.
Engage in an expansion to Social Media outreaches: Zoom classes-Facebook-YouTube-Instagram
Welcome Partners/Sponsors to fulfill the last words of Jesus in the four Gospels: Go Ye and Make Disciples!
We are so excited about the ministry God has called us to in 2024! Join us today by providing The Assignment and Quick Notes to those who need to meet the Jesus of the Bible and become His bearers of Light to this generation. May the urgency of the day inspire you to plant your financial seeds in the fertile ground of Visible Light Ministries. Every dollar given goes directly to evangelism and in support of discipleship training. To date, we have not requested partner support to launch this ministry initiative and have primarily self-financed the sowing of seed as God has directed us. Without prompting, God has inspired a few unsolicited donors to support phase one. Together, we have been able to pay for ALL expenses for printing and shipping.
Faced with swiftly expanding requests, and the Development of Phase Two projects at hand, we now reach out to you asking for prayer as we venture forward, and that you seek the Lord about financially supporting the Visible Light Ministries team as we reach out to the many who can utilize the materials we have created for evangelizing and discipling the nations.
May God bless and empower you to fulfill His will and plans for 2024,
Domenic and Charlie Fusco