Mike's BlogLetters, stories, and other stuff
Although the story was difficult to revisit in some ways, it was fun to mix cameras and airplanes again.
As the years march on for our family, we are understanding more and more how transient mission life can be. We have probably said goodbye to more dear friends in the past five years than many people make in a lifetime. Like life in general, the missionary life is practice in the art of letting go.
Post-production is well underway for our mission's movie. We are aiming to have the film complete by September this year. Here's the trailer we posted to the movie's website, edited by my team-mate Andy Brown. Check out the film's website for more about the project.
On March 4th, Kenyans go to the polls to elect a new president among many other posts. Five years ago the same elections led to riots, chaos, violence, and the death of hundreds. Those wounds have not completely healed, and now Kenya is poised at a crossroads once again. One path leads to a better future. And another to a bitter past.
And in a moment of suspended reality, a battered clapboard fills the frame in front of the lens. “Scene 70, Setup 2, Take 1,” it reads. The clapboard marks the audio and video clips with information to help the editors, and provides an audible spike to later synchronize digital files. But it also marks a kind of boundary between the real world and this one of our own creation.
My bags are packed, sitting by the door for an early morning departure tomorrow. I’m driving to the coastal town of Malindi with a bunch of our crew for the film project. The trip will take all day even though the roads are in relatively good shape. It’s mornings like this, however, when I miss the airplane…
What struck me from my interactions with those who shared their stories was how AIDS, once the politics and economics and demographics are stripped away, is always about a person simply longing for transformation: From sick to well. From outcast to loved. From hopeless to hopeful.
Our media team is a flurry of activity these days, and this short letter is mainly to give you an update on what’s going on there. We’ve recently finished a couple of smaller projects (including the video that Amelia helped out on – watch it here), and now we are shifting focus back to the larger movie project.
“And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?” I remember the first time I read those words in the book of Romans. I was a mere teenager, a tenderfoot in my faith, and up until that point it never really crossed my mind that there could be people in this world who have never had an opportunity to hear the name of Jesus.
This video, Bound to the Past give a glimpse into the life of two of Madagascar’s people groups – the Sakalava and Antakarana. These two groups are still considered “unreached” with the gospel, and in the video you can see why. They life in remote areas (especially the Antakarana). and their cultures are captive to a dark spirituality. AIM wants to place four mission teams among them in the near future.
We rolled up the legs on our trousers and jumped into the wild, warm surf as our little speedboat tugged against its anchor in the rising tide. Before us was a mesmerizingly beautiful beach, drawing, it seemed, all things toward itself. As our team waded through the water with baggage and provisions atop our heads, stumbling in the thick, powdery sand, we felt like explorers in a new land.
Funny how your place in this world seems tenuous when you consider the place of the world in a grander setting. And how time seems as massive and unstoppable as the motion of a Gas Giant when you dare to hold a moment of it.
Dear family and friends, Well, we've been back at it for a couple of months now. Coming home to Nairobi was not much of an adjustment after the short furlough, but in some ways, we feel like new missionaries again. As you know, we returned to work with AIM's media...
We journeyed here to learn more about them: their culture, their hearts, and to generate some media that will help build up the mission teams who will one day serve here, as well as build the prayer support for those ministries.
This furlough, our family took a detour through stunning western Wyoming. We camped for 5 days in Yellowstone park - just long enough to get a taste of this wonderful place, and to know that I'll need to return one day with a backcountry pack and an open agenda....
Rich or poor, young and looking forward or old and looking back, comfortably settled or barely holding on, the people we have sat with and laughed with and prayed with are all, in some way, still searching for that place that is home – much like we are.
At the age of 68, after a truly ragged journey, that I would call a journey of sin and mercy, I am absolutely convinced that it means more to Jesus to say ‘I trust you’, than to say ‘I love you’.
No matter what however, we were always happily captive to our imaginations, eternally optimistic, and not so mischievous to warrant a police record but not taking anything too seriously either. This was a great way to grow up and sometimes I miss the kid I was.