Thursday, March 22, 2012

Un-Answered Prayer

"Okay God, so what are you doing here? I mean now what?"

Two weeks ago, I prayed those words. I was confused, tired, a little depressed, and angry. All of February I had been praying and working toward being fully supported by February 29th, the one year anniversary of starting this fund raising process.  After working hard all fall, I had saved up enough to spend January and February not working but dedicating my time to this project. I was calling people asking them to give, to join my team, to be part of this project, I was expecting God to do something great, to bring it all together, to do the impossible, to bring in the funds that I need to get on the field in April.

He didn't.

On February 29th, I only had 45% of what I needed. It looked like I wouldn't get to Africa until the fall, if that.  I was out of money. How was I going to pay my bills until then? And so I prayed those words. Tired, confused, angry, and upset.

What do you do when you God doesn't answer your prayers? Or worse when He says, "No, I'm not going to do that?"

Admitedly, I didn't handle it well. Over the last two weeks, I kept asking those same questions, trying to figure it all out. Worrying about what I was going to do. Finally, I stopped. I stopped yelling and pleading. I was out of words. So God filled the space with His words.

"My love endures forever." Psalm 136
"I will not abandon you." Psalm 94:14
"The Lord is your Rock." Psalm 18:2
"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

Time and again as I read scripture or talked with friends, I was reminded of these truths. God kept saying to me,

"Relax, I got this. Trust Me."

And now I stand on the other side, amazed at my lack of faith and His faithfulness.  On April 1st, I will be in Guinea, producing videos that tell His story.  Check out the last Newsletter for the details on how that worked out.  More than just being able to do what I have been longing to, I get to see which of my crazy production ideas actually will hold water before the water gets too deep. With three week trip I get to see where I will be working, meet the people, and see the land and then come back and make any adjustments before I depart in the fall. It better than I had ever planned.

On top of that, through a couple of unexpected work gigs, I have made enough to pay my bills while away on this trip.  Now I feel ashamed, small, bewildered and humbled.

Why did I doubt?

Here We Go - Newsletter #4

Here We Go!

When I started this journey a little over a year ago, I couldn't have predicted what was going to happen. I still can't. If you haven't been following for a while check out the older Blog posts to catch up on the story. Right now there are some pretty exciting things happening.  Allow me to share a few.

New Plans - Journey Corps

Working with the team at World Venture, we have made plans to participate in a cultural orientation and training program called Journey Corps. It is an amazing program that teaches future missionaries how to integrate into the culture and be able to create impacting relationships.  For more info check out their website here. This is actually a 1 year program, but we have worked it out for me to participate for only the first two months. The plan is for these two months to act as a training for me. It will teach me the skills I will need to navigate through numerous cultures and help me be more effective in my video production.

The program is scheduled to begin in October 2012, so that means I will need to be fully funded and supported by then. Currently, I have 65% of the one time expenses covered and 45% of my monthly budget in financial commitments. There is a ways to go, but I am excited to see how God is going to provide. If you would like to be part of the team by giving, please follow this link to make a commitment or give now.

Going to Guinea

The original plan was to be on the ground in Guinea shooting by April.  With my support level and the plans to participate in Journey Corps, those plans had to change. But here's the cool part. The team of World Venture missionaries in Guinea are so excited for my work and eager to be a part of it that they are going to fly me out to Guinea in April to produce 3 videos for their ministries. I will be working with Nathan & Becky Kendall, Brenda Allen, and David & Billie Blessing. Our aim is to tell the story of how God is working through them and the opportunities He has for others to join in. If you would like to know more about Guinea check out this site.

This means that even though my project won't officially start until after completeing the Journey Corps training I will get to show you what it is all about by actually doing it. This will provide some much needed real world testing of the my project ideas and equipment. Keep a close eye on the blog to watch for updates as they happen and to see the videos when they are finished.

Why Worry?

With only three weeks to go before my first production in Guinea, there is lots to get ready for. Equipment has to be ordered and prepared, visa's secured, scripting done for each shoot, logistics and transportation arranged, vaccinations updated, and all these have to be checked and double checked.  In the midst of all this planning and work, I get overwhelmed and start to worry.  Thank fully God has been giving me daily reminders from scripture about His views on worry and how He is already working out all these things. You can read more of my thoughts on the blog,

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Psalm 136 - Remember

I am a dreamer. I imagine the future and the infinite possibilities. I create fantasies of the future in my mind and then try to translate them into realities, stories, and experiences that I can share. This often makes me optimistic and gives me the drive to do crazy things, like travel to Africa for 2 years.

The downside to being a dreamer? I can imagine all of the bad outcomes, obstacles, and challenges. For this project its visa rejections, missed deadlines, poor communication, logistics, broken transportation, funding, weather, illness, emergencies, political instability and the list goes on.  Simply put... I worry.

I put huge questions in front of me that don't need to and or  can't be answered. What if this? How about that? If this goes wrong what then? As the questions lay across my way, I find myself stopping and fixating on them, immobilized by the inability to answer these questions. Immobilized by fear of the unknown.