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Breakthrough: James O. Fraser

In 1908, a young English college graduate gave up a potential career and fame to serve as a missionary in the remote regions of China.

  • Item 501292D
  • Region: All
  • Media Type: DVD
  • Running Time: 36 min

Alternate formats: Digital Video - $4.99

Retail: $19.99
Price: $11.99
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In 1908 a young English college graduate gave up a potential career and fame to serve as a missionary in the remote regions of China. But after six years, there was little response and the mission needed him elsewhere. What would James O. Fraser do? Breakthrough is a deeply inspiring half-hour docudrama which tells the story of how thousands of Lisu people came to faith in Christ. Breakthrough inspires many people — whether viewed at home, with a college group, small group or church class, during a missions course or any prayer gathering.

DVD Features:
Languages: English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, German, Thai, Lisu
Subtitles: English, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Nederlands (Dutch), Korean
Interviews with Breakthrough Director and Lead Actor
Potential Next Steps Interviews, and more

Editorial Reviews

James O. Fraser (1886-1938) was a British man who was studying engineering but felt called of the Lord to join the China Inland Mission as a missionary to that land. However, unrest in China led him in 1910 to minister to a Tibeto-Burmese minority people, the Lisu, living in the high mountains along the borders of China and Burma. He worked among these people for 30 years. Fraser is best known for developing an alphabet for these people, known and used even today.

This production shows the importance of following Jesus rather than a chosen career if one must choose between the two. The DVD tells a compelling story concerning the power of prayer, walking by faith, not giving up (God often begins to work when we’re about ready to give up), and being faithful wherever we are planted. The story also demonstrates that “unknown” people can be greatly used of God. This production could be effectively shown to young people and even older people who are searching for God’s direction in their lives. Baptist Bulletin

Ken Haron's docudrama chronicling the early missionary life of James O. Fraser (adapted from the biography MountaIn Rain, penned by his daughter Eileen Fraser Crossman) serves up a heartfelt look at the trials faced by many missionaries, the cultural impacts of Christianity on Chinese natives, and the power of prayer. Inspired to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ shortly before graduating from college in the early 1900s, Fraser (played by Stuart Simpson) left Britain to join the Christian cross-denominational China Inland Mission (later named OMF International, the producers of the film) ultimately choosing to work in a remote area of China, home to the LIsu people. Fraser, who found that the Lisu had no written language, transcribed into English what he heard - compiling about 400 LIsu words in all - creating what is called the "Fraser Script," which remains the region's official written language. Fraser struggled for six years, enduring many setbacks and bouts of deprression before the Christian faith took hold among the Lisu, thanks in part to the support of fellow believers in England, who organized prayer sessions on behalf of his work. DVD extras include interviews with director Haron and star Simpson, and more. an engaging spiritual profile, this is recommended. - C. Block

Fraser was an ordinary 20-year-old man who answered God's call to go to a people who had never heard the gospel and whose language had not yet been written. Arriving in China in 1908, within one year he was sent to the western part of the country, ready or not. While with the Lisu people, he wrote a script of their language (still the only version available today), had his mother start a prayer circle to take the burden of the Lisu upon itself, and battled deep depression. Through all of this, he committed himself to leading hundreds of Lisu families to Christ. Fraser's persistence in following God's call makes this an inspiring DVD to watch. The camera work is eye-appealing, the locations are genuine, and the combination of narration of recreated historical scenes works well to explain the story. - MTK

Customer Reviews

- Worth Knowing

A man worth knowing about. Movie documentary is too short. You almost think it is just a preview and then it is all over. No gravesite information either. I bought it thinking it might relate to The Cambridge Seven. Besides interest in Chinese mission, I love to see the folk clothing. This is a great movie for that. In addition to the actors wearing costume, there is a special treat where they include a very old film bit of Lisu coming from the mountains dressed in their authentic clothing. The docudrama has a very sincere main actor .
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