This past year continues to be the most professionally and personally fulfilling of my life. God has repeatedly confirmed to me that my calling involves standing with a camera in cross-cultural experiences. Directing scenes cross-culturally was definitely a humbling experience for me, yet also incredibly exhilarating. I never doubted that I would find the experience professionally and spiritually satisfying, nevertheless, working very closely with a Create team for the last few weeks has been a powerful confirmation of my calling and a dream realized. Praise be to God.
We have recently returned to Chi*ng M*i where we will be very busy editing the two films for quite some time. The first is an evangelistic drama specifically designed for the Sh*n people of Burm* and the second is a mobilization documentary introducing these people to folks back home and raising up prayer and support for them. While up north on the border, we worked closely with a few ministries focused on demonstrating the love of God to these people through practical ministry like children's schools, orphanages and biblical instruction.
The goal has been to create the tools that Christian workers among the Sh*n have requested for their ongoing evangelistic efforts. Working with a dedicated team of Create students and staff we partnered with the ministries to produce both films.
During the first week we worked diligently on finishing and translating the script into the Sh*n language and culture. We scouted locations, cast actors and shot footage for the documentary. The second week we hit the ground running with long days and nights shooting footage for the drama in a multitude of picturesque locations. The story centers around two brothers who are separated while young when the elder brother leaves to seek revenge for their father's untimely death. Years later the younger brother travels from Th*il*nd to Burm* to determine the fate of his missing brother. Along the way he confronts his fear and discovers the One who saves us from fear and death.
Personally, I was able to participate by directing a few scenes, shooting a lot of footage, editing some scenes, and providing other crew functions as needed to give others a chance to learn and shine. Basically, it was an opportunity to do a lot of things that I love while confidant that the work was eternally purposeful.
As a team we saw God answer all of our prayers abundantly. We were fighting time and translation difficulties to complete the production. We maintained team unity while we worked long, hard hours without conflict. We even saw God protect the integrity of our location when we were surrounded on every side by rain that threatened to cancel our shoot. Plus, we realized a number of Create firsts:
shooting an entire film in HD
using a dolly for a zolly in an alley
and showing a short movie trailer at the cast party!
As we prepared for the cast party, I was asked to whip together a short trailer for the film. We threw a cast party for the actors and they were incredibly enthusiastic about their movie! We ended our time by worshipping God together in a pub with songs and prayers. The believers from this area blew us away with their enthusiasm. This short trailer is available for viewing at the link below.
Because part of the story takes place in Burm* we need footage of key locations and events that take place on the other side of the border from Th*il*nd. Peter and I have been selected to go to Burm* in mid-November to secure this important footage. Burm* is an oppressive communist country with a record of human rights abuses. We'll need all of your prayer and support to discreetly slip in and out of this country on this important assignment.
You will now also understand why we are being more discreet in our communication so as not to send red flags up anywhere about the nature of our work. We also do not want to comprise our project partners who routinely work inside this closed country.
As we continue to work on editing these films, and providing the last bits of footage we need, will you stand with us in prayer? Can you imagine living in a land where there is no Bible or church or even other Christians who can encourage you? Now add a government that persecutes you relentlessly, political instability, religious bondage, drug and sex trafficking and extreme poverty and you have a picture of what every Sh*n person faces daily. Our deep desire is to see this gateway group of over 6 million people have the same access to the gospel that we enjoy—the good news that we are free in Christ. (Gateway groups are people in a prime position to influence other people groups.)
our team here in Chi*ng Mai to complete the postproduction on time
safety in travel as Peter and I cross the border to get more footage for the film
time and access to complete our shot list while across the border
needed finances to cover the expenses for this expedition
the gospel to be presented in a culturally sensitive way so the Sh*n can be free to worship God will remaining true to their cultural identity
the continued use of broadcasts to reach these people with the gospel
the Lord to raise up more people from both outside and among their own population to complete His goals for them.
If you would like to acquire a beautiful prayer guide for the Sh*n people, please send an email to sh*npr*yer@ gmail dot com
Meanwhile, back in the United States Allyson is settling into our furlough home in Falmouth, Massachusetts. Here in her own words she describes the transition and the families specific prayer requests.
We are settling into our lovely home in Falmouth generously loaned to us by our dear friends. God has clearly paved the way for us to be here by providing both a home and a car that meet our needs perfectly. How great is our God?! The kids are adjusting to their new schools here in town and are slowly making friends and beginning to feel at home. Abigail has begun studying French, Rachel has joined a creative writing club, and Samuel is playing ultimate frisbee and participating in Model UN. Sam is also looking ahead eagerly to college next year. We have the added bonus of being in the same town as my parents for the first time in almost 22 years. It's been fun.
Overall, our transition has been a smooth one. It was hard to leave Thailand and the energy that came with being on the field, but we are confident that God has directed this move. I know our missions career is only just beginning and it is exciting to be part of a larger plan even while packing lunches and driving our kids to school!
I appreciate your prayers as well and ask that you would pray with me for the following:
wisdom as I fulfill the role of two parents for a little while longer
frugality as we stretch our income over two continents
guidance as I help Samuel navigate the college application process
God's will as I look for part-time employment and manage the kids as well
opportunities to serve the unreached world from here.
Thank you! We love you all and are so grateful for your participation in our lives!
Please inform us directly if you would like to contribute specifically to the
the bring “Steve home for Christmas” fund
or Allyson and the families needs in Falmouth.