GAD? Update 2_20_11

Sorry it has been so long since you have heard from us,  we have been focused on doing test screenings of Give A Damn? and our composer Ian Perry is hard at work creating an original score for the film. Its sounding awesome!

There has been a lot of waiting to hear back from festivals. We did not get into South by Southwest, and are waiting to hear back from Tribeca, Hot Docs, & Sheffield. We plan to submit to Silverdocs and the Los Angeles Film festivals. From there, we will start expanding to enter into a wider array of festivals. If you are the praying type, we could definitely use some help in this one!

We have done more than a dozen test screenings with some awesome results. I have attached a picture from one of our screenings. If you would like to be apart of our next screening or organize one yourself, just shoot us an email. The picture we attached were some friends who contacted us and took the initiative to get some folks together. On Feb 27th, we will have one of our largest test screenings at a coffee house out in Pacific, MO at 6pm. Let us know if you are interested!

I am a Human Being

There is a lot of crap in the world today, no doubt about it. Sin is everywhere and people are hurting. There is no denying it. Tonight I gave a presentation on Human Trafficking to some cool local college students. As they discovered, this issue is dark. The only hope I see in it all, is the light of Christ which reveals itself in those who know Christ on the personal level. As Moses' face radiated after seeing God, so do Christ's followers radiate light where there is darkness. This video is what light looks like when shone over the dark. I am a human being. I am loved. I am a work of art. I am precious. I am created with purpose. I am no different than any other person God has created. Here is a man who gets what it means to be a created human being and live with purpose. It's awesome really what one person can do. This guy could be you. 

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Reagan's precondition for any good

Earlier this week was the 100th birthday of former president Ronald Reagan.  Whether or not you believe in Reagan’s philosophy of governing by “Peace through Strength”, there was a more foundational side to lasting peace, strength, and stability Reagan believed in.  Although Reagan championed peace through strength by forming a stronger military against the Soviets, he also penned in a letter written to Monsignor Meyers on January 19, 1984, “I believe that a spiritual renewal is the necessary precondition for the accomplishment of any good if it is to be lasting and pervasive.”

Reagan understood that he was up against more than a military conflict with the Soviets.  He was battling out an oppressive ideological force as well, that of communism.  The religion of such a regime has no room for a creator God to look to.  It is atheistic.  I believe Reagan’s confidence in being able to defeat communist regimes, came from his belief in America being on a stronger moral foundation.

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A new focus

Poverty can be hidden, it can be covered, it can be pushed to the outskirts so it's not visible to the business class of a city, but it is still there. The reality of such tragedies hit me this week, and of all places here, in the capital city, in a sprawling urban metropolis, poverty can be seen at its worst. Well, in my imagination at its worst, but in the reality of things, those starving people living not two blocks from my house are the middle class of Burkina. Out in the villages, three, four hundred kilometers from Ouaga is where desperation is screaming at you everywhere you go.
Blaise's Barber Shop!  
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13 Yr. Old Prince has a Dream for Congo

Have you ever thought about what you might say if you drafted your own version of Martin Luther King Jr.’s, I Have a Dream speech? What dreams do you have? What hopes do you have for yourself and for your community?

 

Prince lives in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Four years ago, Prince, who is one of many street kids born in a war zone and living on the streets, asked my friend Esther if she could help him go to school. Now 13 years old, Prince and his classmates recently studied the life of Martin Luther King Jr. This past November, Prince stood in front of his class and recited MLKJ’s I Have a Dream speech. As he finished, his classmates applauded and Esther told him he did a great job and that he could take a seat again.

 

Prince stood there in front of the class. He hesitated for only a moment and then said, “But that was MLKJ’s dream for America. I have a dream for Congo.”

 
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Who Notices When a Homeless Person Dies?

My son, Jesse, lost a friend on Friday night.  Shaky lived in one of the parks in Santa Barbara and, as I understand it, was a bit of a legend in his community. He and his friends were together Friday evening and he decided to go to sleep before the others. In the morning, Gator, Shaky's best friend and constant companion, went to wake him but Shaky was gone.

Jesse didn't get to the park until Shaky's body had already been taken away. He was told they'll cremate him and wait to hear if there is something that someone somewhere wants done with the ashes. Jesse gathered Shaky's earthly possessions from behind the dumpster where he had been asleep and brought them to Gator and the others. There wasn't much. 

Gator had a number for a woman he believed to be Shaky's mama. He didn't want the coroner to contact her about the death so asked Jesse to please make the call. Jesse did. He found out that she was actually Shaky's grandmother and he explained to her that he had some bad news. Of course, she was very upset by it but Jesse let her know that Shaky had been well loved.
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Tragedy in Tuscon

For the past couple weeks America has been mesmerized by the senseless murders in Tucson. The question that I keep getting asked is, 'How could God allow this tragedy, especially the death of a nine year old girl, if He is good?' While there are no easy answers for this question, here is a link to a podcast of an interview I did on a radio show with David Wheaton on the subject. The Christian worldview provides the most plausible solution to suffering and evil. Enjoy!

http://thechristianworldview.com/tcwblog/archives/4426

Your Worldview!?

The children at the Shalom school are inspiring, and they have worked their magic on me. Without education their future isn't bright, or it wouldn't seem bright to us Westerners. In America it's stressed that if you don't finish high school then your future will be flipping burgers and digging ditches. Here finishing primary school is barely a goal, flipping burgers and digging ditches is a career, and anything more is a gift from god. When I get home from Burkina I plan on fund raising money for the Shalom school. I want those kids to have all the tools necessary for their education. Even though they'll most likely never have electricity, I want to fund raise enough money to spoil them in every other regard! Look around and be thankful for what you have. We are a a society privileged to the fullest. It takes coming somewhere like this, and working on a day to day basis with the people to truly be grateful. If you think you are, well think again.
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