Perfect storm… a movie, a thesis, a theatre production

This is it. We’ve seen it from a distance for a long time coming. The perfect storm of a movie production, a thesis completion, and a drama production all before the end of October. All great things that we are privileged to be a part of, and we are trusting strongly in God not giving us more than we are able to handle (through his strength). Yet this is a season like we’ve never had before, and we are asking you to please be lifting our family and these events up in prayer. The movie On Tuesday, Andy’s team begins filming on “the Distant Boat“, the first feature-length drama to be done by his team, and a landmark project for the African church. Last Tuesday, 50 Kenyan church leaders from many denominations gathered to pray over and commission this film. Simultaneously, across town, Andy was gathered with the 13 principle cast members on a 2 day rehearsal retreat. The past year of writing and planning and praying is becoming reality, and we deeply feel the responsibility, privilege, and gravity of what is about to happen. Please pray for: Andy as a first time director, that he would have wisdom and grace and vision to coach the best performance possible from the actors and crew Safety in filming, in the many locations and settings that are required, especially considering the inflammatory environment that has been incited in Kenya and throughout the continent regarding religious film-making. For our family, as filming requires 50 long days and late nights, including a 3 week trip to the coast for filming. The coast-location shoot,...

What would you risk for a stranger?

Africa Inland Mission’s On-Field Media team is making a full-length movie! This is a first on many levels: It is our first feature-length project, our first true drama, and our first piece created with the African church as the intended audience. This is a missions film, challenging the African church to a greater role in the Great Commission – a core message that resonates with AIM’s vision to see Christ-centered churches established among all of Africa’s peoples. The OFM team has spent much of the last year in preparation for this production, and we’re nearly ready to start shooting. However, because of the scope of the project, AIM’s normal budget for OFM cannot cover the expenses related to the film. So, we have been actively trusting God as we are giving others the opportunity to partner with us to make this film a reality. We’ve already received financial contributions from individuals and organizations (such as Wycliffe), but we still need more help. With less than 30 days to go before we need our production budget in place (a delay now will push the project to next year due to furlough schedules), we are asking the AIM family to join us in the effort. By utilizing our collective networks, we believe that God can not only inspire many with the film’s vision, we believe He can work through many partners who may share this vision to provide the remaining needed funds. The approach we are using taps into the social networks that so many of us already have in place (via email campaigns, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) The idea is to...

Stories from Egypt and Iraq

In May I had the opportunity to travel to Egypt and Iraq with International Christian Concern, an organizing dedicated to advocacy for the persecuted church. I was tagging along with a friend of mine, Aidan Clay, who is the North Africa/Middle East regional manager for the organization. My task was to capture photography and videography of the stories from persecuted Christians in both these countries. The Arab Spring brought some freedom and democracy to North Africa and the Middle East. However, the western view of “democracy” with a separation of church and state doesn’t work as well in these highly religious countries. While the west hoped secular governments would arise to rule these countries in the void left by dictators, in every case an Islamist party was elected. Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Iraq, and now Syria looks fall the same direction Most of these countries have an ancient Christian population. Sizable populations (10 million Coptic Christians in Egypt for example), but still a minority. In Baghdad, Iraq, before the 2003 war, there were 60 churches. Today there are only 6. A dictator was removed, yes, but the situation on the ground got much worse for Christians under democracy. Many Christians fled the country completely, if they had the means, or fled to Northern Iraq where the Kurdish government allows some religious freedom and more importantly, some protection. I talked to pastors there from Mosul and Kirkuk, cities that were too dangerous for us to visit as high-value-target-westerners, who told stories of car bombings and threats and terrible persecution in their community. Pastors who had patiently endured without fleeing like most of their...
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