I came around the corner and saw it. My heart jumped and my brain started to scan. I found the file. It was from the summer of 1978. It was the summer after my sophomore year in High School. Our church had lost its youth pastor and an interim had been hired. He was a film student at UT in Austin and we spent the summer making movies together.
Our summer long epic involved a group of soldiers who were carrying a secret message through enemy lines. Along the way members of the group died until only one was left to deliver the message. I learned tons about film special effects. I learned how to make explosions, squibs, matt paintings. I learned to cut film, and splice it back together. I learned about sound editing. At the end of the summer we premiered our movie. We all loved it. Some of the older adults did not get it. When the last soldier passed the backpack along and they opened it a Bible was revealed. We understood that it would be difficult to keep the Word of God alive, that we only get to keep it for a little while and we must pass it on to the next person. Our enemy is trying to keep that from happening. We loved the film, but were bothered by parts of it.
We never could find the location we were looking for, so we had to use a matte painting and it was not very convincing. We were looking for a white painted church, all alone with no other buildings near it. We pictured the group of soldiers hiding in the church for the night. We spent hours scouting for such a location. This was before google maps, instagram or the internet. We gave up the search, except I never did. Last Thursday, I found the location.
We were on the way to the location of our new Youth Camp and when I saw it. I immediately pulled the car over to look at it. Then I started to drive off. I stopped again and got out of the car. I took a photo. I am sending it on its way to several of my friends who were involved in the project. It was a really fun moment.
The passion I developed in those days has never really left me. It frames my ministry. I love creativity in the cause of Christ. I love the Bible and fell like it is my responsibility to study it, protect it, and share it. I believe I am in a battle that is real and we cannot afford to let the enemy win. I love getting to do it with a group of soldiers (community). I hope I never loose those passions.