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God's Beauty Displayed

Each year the SFM travels to a different country to make a film—wherever and however God leads. This year, I was part of a team that filmed in Central India.

We go on outreach to bring change, and we end by being changed ourselves. This is the paradox and the beauty of what God does through missions.

Certainly it was the case when I met this beautiful girl, Ra, during our shoot in India. Like the rest of our Indian helpers, she seemed very reticent and shy, and for the first week or so I was mostly impressed by her graceful quietness.

We had been rigorously trained in ‘cultural appropriateness,’ so we didn’t push her to be forward with us. In truth I wasn’t sure if she would ever come out of her shell, though we were filming in her village for weeks.

She is unable to confess the truth to her Hindu parents, and so she lives a sort of secret life, and a dangerous one.

Then, slowly, she began to gain a little more confidence, and take us up on our offers to try the camera, and actually have conversations. It turned out that she knew a lot of English, and so out came her story in bits and pieces. We learned that she was the sole believer in her family, and that only her brother and sister knew of her faith. She is unable to confess the truth to her Hindu parents, and so she lives a sort of secret life, and a dangerous one.

On our last day with her, there was a time of thanks and appreciation, and the pastor asked if anyone would like to stand and give a testimony. Personally I would have found such a situation intimidating, speaking in front of so many people. But Ra jumped up with her beautiful white smile, and talked about how we had blessed her.

I was so moved—not only that she had been blessed, but by her boldness and faith. I realised that this is a girl who truly knows and is walking with the Lord. He has done a miraculous work in her heart, the way he is doing with so many people across the whole nation of India.

She is an example of the beauty and wonderful power of God.

 

Angela is a recent graduate of the School of Frontier Media

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Outreach in Indonesia

There are 1.1 million Jambi Malay people living in Indonesia. The majority of them are unreached, having never heard the gospel before. This April, Create Perth and the School of Frontier Media traveled to Indonesia to create media resources for the evangelisation of the

Jambi Malay people. It was our desire to create a film that would help to reveal to these men, women and children the true character of God his Fatherhood, mercy and compassion.

Our first few weeks in Indonesia were spent building relationships, learning about the culture and collecting photographs and stories along the way. These photographs and stories will be collated and developed into a mobilisation website, sharing the strengths and the needs of the Jambi Malay people through their stories.

One family that we met shared a story with us of a large flood where the river swelled, flooding their home for a number of weeks. During this time they had nowhere to go, so they remained in their house, living, sleeping and cooking inside in their small wooden boats, encountering cobras and alligators in their own home. It was great to take the time to hear the stories of the local people. Many people we met were honoured by our listening ears.

We also spent time focusing on our evangelistic film project. After meeting a local contact who is also a Muslim background believer, the doors were opened for us to make an evangelistic film and we quickly got to work. We spent six days shooting a short script that we had developed. There were challenges in finding locations to shoot and working with a cast who had never acted before, but God continually showed us his faithfulness and each challenge was overcome. Our local contacts are as excited about the completion of this film as we are. There are many potential opportunities in which this film could be used to share the gospel in the main city as well as the surrounding village areas.

We have just begun post production and editing on the Jambi Malay Evangelistic film, which will be available for distribution in Indonesia later this year.

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A Lesson in God’s Faithfulness

This is a story from Josh, a past student from the School of Frontier Media:

On my School of Frontier Media I had the chance to make an evangelistic film in India. When we began, we didn’t have the actors that we needed to shoot the film. We were quickly running out of time, and we realised we just needed to pray and ask God in order to figure out how we were meant to shoot this project. After praying, we felt like we were just supposed to continue to do whatever was possible. This meant shooting the scenes that we could, even if we didn’t have everything else worked out, and to just keep moving forward from there. We began to do this, filming the scenes that we were able to. And as we did that, God gave us what we needed. We picked up actors along the way, always at the perfect time, and somehow arrived at the end with a completed project.

This was massive for me and has influenced my whole approach to film making.

During this time of shooting in India I learned to understand an audience in order to create a film specifically tailored for them, their unique culture and their unique ways of communicating. To do this we had translators and cultural advisors working alongside us to educate us about the culture, including their language, their dress, and their ways of relating. This was massive for me and has influenced my whole approach to film making.

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A Memorable Trip to Turkey

The following is a reflection from Nathan, one of our past staff members, on his time with Create International Perth.
 
As I reflect back on my years in YWAM I have to say my School of Frontier Media trip to Turkey in 2007 was one of my most memorable experiences. There are many reasons for this: the good team dynamic we had made it so much fun and I got to learn a lot about documentary film making. But the special thing about that project was learning more about the goodness of God from a family of Iranian believers that were in the midst of seeking refuge in Turkey.

We knew months in advance that we were heading to Turkey to help create contextualised videos that would assist in sharing the good news with Iranians. So I was excited to start researching past and recent Persian history and culture to get a better sense of who these people were.As I started looking into it, it became clear that, especially in 2007, Iran was continuing to develop a very negative reputation with the western world from a political viewpoint. The frequent reports in all forms of media about Iran were painting a picture in my mind that was making me uncomfortable with the idea of getting close to them. Yet I knew there was obviously more to the Iranians than what the media said, and that the policies of a government don’t always fully reflect the heart of a people, so I delved deeper into research and began to see the gifts God put in them.

By the time our team arrived in Turkey I was really looking forward to meeting Iranians. During our first week there I was asked to be a key person in a Video People Profile that would have me relating directly and closely with a family from Iran. I was super excited.

The family shared their incredible story of how they all came to faith in Christ one after the other, leaving behind a life of nominal Islam. The family had fled Iran years earlier and faced various harsh conditions along the way. In the midst of their troubles they suffered the loss of one of their twin boys due to sickness. The reality is that it would have been easy for them to have decided following Jesus wasn’t worth it as their circumstances hadn’t seemed to improve much since deciding to follow him.  But in spite of painful times they couldn’t deny they had found a freedom and a peace in their hearts from Jesus that they’d never known before.

I felt humbled and grateful for being able to go to Turkey and meet these people and hear their stories first hand. I realised there’s a whole generation of Iranians just like this family with similar testimonies of finding Jesus and holding on to Him in the midst of pain and suffering because He is true and He is good. I started to see a larger and more accurate picture of Iranians – that though they may face much injustice at times, God is still working through these situations to show families and individuals the unconditional love of the Father. Persians are discovering this love all across Iran and across the world.

I believe its clear from history that the Persians as a people have a gift of unrelenting determination to struggle through and survive intense antagonism from both outside and within their nation. This generation, more than ever, is using this gift from God to hold on to Christ no matter what, once they’ve found Him because they know they’ve found something precious and true. What I heard and saw from that one family in Turkey convinced me that God is working in Iranians’ hearts and is going to bring new life to Iran from the inside out.

As our time in Turkey wrapped up and we headed back to Australia I remembered the family’s stories and knew in a deeper sense that in spite of the great pain and suffering people are enduring, God truly is there with us all in the midst of it and is able to bring healing and rest to anyone that’s asking for it.

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