ELLENS LIGHT is our newest film on the horizon for VERITAS MISSION FILM ASSOCIATION. The entire team is excited to begin producing this amazing journey with Nick Karas, Executive Producer. Our entire V300 is going to be key as we are calling on many to begin praying for one of the most groundbreaking documentaries of our time. We need your help today.
The explosive story will carry such a powerful impact to audiences due to the relevance within our global stage. On the international theatre quietly a storm was raging and just waiting to launch a darkness which prevails to this very hour. This epic start was the beginning of an awful litany of tragedies marked by revenge, bigotry, death and pride.
Bombs were set as a villain loomed in the shadows and soon, in the aftermath of a horrible series of explosions, Ellen would be almost killed. In the building where she was on a thirty day assignment she would be blinded when the birth of the reign of terror literally began under an Egyptian Jihad led by Osama bin Laden. On August 7, 1998 two US Embassies were bombed in Kenya and in Tanzania. She survived miraculously when thousands were killed. Her story is the hub of this moving film franchise and one of the most inspirational stories in history.
Laying under the concrete rubble covering over her body with shards of glass in her face, eyes and torso, she was barely breathing. Much of her hair was burned off from the heat, the survivors were dismembered and over 4000 Kenyans lost their lives in moments. Ellen waited hours before she was found laying unconscious, barely alive. What the rescuers saw was so completely damaged, it was horrible.
In late Summer of 2018, the goal is to have a film created honoring the survivors of international terrorism where the reign of bombings and Al Queda's vengeance was beginning. Compassionate contributors being approached in this new film for the interviews include Ted Koppel from ABC NIGHTLINE who interviewed Ellen four times. His groundbreaking coverage with producer Richard Harris of NIGHTLINE brought attention to those who lost so much during this horrible beginning.
Along with members of the journalistic teams, members of the Clinton Administration, medical professionals at Walter Reed and the Optometrists for trauma victims, the goal of the film is to help give Ellen the opportunity for a bionic eye prosthesis and begin a movement to help the visually impaired. Heroes of the forgotten were the legal teams who came alongside this famous story in Tom Faye, Ron Carp and Steve Perlis who continue to fight for the survivors and families of this horrible tragedy.
Madeline Albright, the Secretary of State visited Ellen in the hospital again bringing international attention to one of the most powerful women near the Whitehouse. She extended a loving greeting of kindness and hope full of prayer to all of the bombing survivors sharing the compassion from the nation's capitol and administration. Because of the notoriety of this woman who had now been placed in the witness protection program, Ellen's light was burning filled with hope, even while in darkness.
Ellen learned to live a life of blindness, but she brought more sight to people than ever imagined. The School for the Blind found a woman of great character, integrity and fortitude who never just thought of herself, but wanted to help others. Her legacy of bringing light to a dark world has continued for nineteen years and she is still hopeful for some measures of sight restoration. This effort is focused on making this dream a reality.
Only months after leaving Walter Reed, she held in her arms the granddaughter she would raise at ten days old. This baby would be her eyes for the next twelve years and Ellen would learn to live with a hope and a future many of us would never believe possible. All people who meet her, see her spirit, connect with her belief in God and realize through it all, she has taken tragedy and turned her life into triumph.
Under the shadow of the worst villain since Adoph Hitler, the time has come to create a FEATURE LENGTH DOCUMENTARY entitled ELLEN'S LIGHT and bring this to audiences everywhere. We plan to share her story with the International Film Festival community, with theater audiences and cable and television network partners. A new book is being created to accompany this exciting opportunity for real ministry.
Nick Karas, Ellen's brother was waiting for her at Walter Reed Medical Center when three days later she was flown for emergency treatment after stops in Nairobi and Landstuhl Germany hospitals which could not work on her due to the complex injuries her face and eyes had sustained. He is championing the financial models for VMFA and seeking sponsors to help make this dream a reality.
Thanks to Stephanie Musser and her following up on this amazing story, we had the honor to meet Ellen this August 2017 and were all impacted by her courage, her contagious spirit of joy and her desire to make everyone around her know how blessed she is. This landmark testimony will live forever and we honor her, we thank the Lord for her faith and believe ELLENS LIGHT will impact every heart. Her love of all people, including Muslims, the Arab world and Christians everywhere is just another example of purity and joy for "the family of man".
While in Jetta, Saudi Arabia she met the bin Laden family and only had kind words to say for the family who was led by one of the worst villains who ever lived. This kind of "love" is rare in this world and after twenty years of darkness, her light continues to this very hour. GR PRODUCTIONS, will be the film production company for VMFA sharing ELLEN'S LIGHT for the non profit documentary production and the for profit feature.
Whenever I think of people who are real heroes, I think of all those who have darkened the doors of Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington DC. I am thankful for Major Ed Pulido, who almost lost his life in Afghanistan and survived an IED bomb which took the lives of so many. Serving in the military, on foreign soil and providing security for our nation is one of the highest positions anywhere.
Ellen thank you for changing my life. Thank you for believing enough and having the courage to share your story with the world. I am especially thankful for Ted Koppel, for ABC and for the amazing journalists whose bravery continues to move me personally. David Bloom was a dear friend of mine, the former NBC Morning Show host who lost his life in Afghanistan covering the Iraq war and I continue to desire to honor our brave press core for going beyond safety in helping us see the world as it truly is.
Please be praying for this new project over the next five years. We plan on the documentary taking a year to create, hopefully finding a position for next year as a Holiday Special in 2018 to say to the survivors of International Terrorism, we do remember you and your life. A publisher will emerge who will partner with us, a distributor will come forward and a network to share the world Ellen's Light is real and we can all see differently, by her inspiration.
God bless you Ellen and we love you,
A new FEATURE DOCUMENTARY, a new book and a new FEATURE FILM are all in the works with this new inspiring VISION PARTNERSHIP you can help make possible. Would you help ELLEN see again, by being a part of an amazing movement for the VISUALLY IMPAIRED? This is our heart and passion and we need help today.
Contact Nick Karas if you would like to be a part of this amazing story honoring the surviving victims of international terrorism at 303-887--2063.
Few times have I stopped to talk much about my family, but I feel so very thankful for each one and would like to ask permission to share about Bear. Every child is important and when I talk about my youngest son, Matthew Stephen McAfee, I am reminded of the miracle he was in our lives because his beginning was horrific. My wife and I had gone through three horrible and strenuous miscarriages, which truly damaged us to the core. Any time you lose a child, it is a traumatic and difficult time in the life of family, but when we got the news our second child who was not embedded in the right place and was considered a "tubal pregnancy", there was nothing left to do but have the worst surgery.
There is nothing more horrible than the thought of going through something like this in your life, especially in light of the precious life of a baby being taken which we had prayed for through so much loss. It was a horrible time when the doctor as kindly as possible, gave us the news that an abortion of the fetus was the only answer because the child would not survive. They scheduled the procedure because it was a "tubal pregnancy" and the child would not live as we reluctantly had a couple days to process this impossible end.
Have you ever been faced with an impossible situation and you decided to pray with real boldness that somehow, some way, you would not have to endure it? Very seldom in my life have I ever felt that God was doing something to change the direction like I did during these hours. I was not willing to give up this baby, but inside my own spiritual journey, I was not going to accept this "medical diagnosis", even though our doctor had never been wrong about something so very precious as "life". For whatever reason, I could not let go of a promise God had given us.
The night before the "end of life" procedure I called three close friends of mine. Dr. Matthew Britt, one of my best friends from Oklahoma, Duncan Dodds from Houston and Rick Stanley, Elvis Presley's brother to talk about my dilemma. When on the phone, I shared with each of them my true conviction that I believed my wife would not have to go through the procedure. Telling them all, I believe that our child is going to live, they were all affirming, but realistic. Rick and Duncan were quick to say, "All things are possible and we will pray with you Kevin in boldness.". However, Dr. Britt was probably more pragmatic and said he would pray too, but the reality of a tubal pregnancy is devastating to young couples and he was very sorry. Medical science knows why this tubal thing would not work.
Early in the morning we left for the doctor and I will never forget going into the waiting room as I saw the tears coming from both of our faces. About thirty minutes into the process a nurse came and got me and took me back and I tried to gather my emotions to be strong. The doctor was meeting with both of us in his office, "Mr. and Mrs. McAfee, I cannot tell you why, but I was preparing to go through this D&C process and wanted to take one final look at the location of the tubal pregnancy and miraculously, the baby has completely moved and is in the right spot, you do not have to go through this procedure. While I know this is impossible, the baby is not in the same place it was when we took our first test, inside the fallopian tube. This has never happened in my practice and I just wanted to give you the news we all wanted, your pregnancy actually now appears to be perfectly normal and congratulations.
We can all say what we want, but here was my take. I believed God was going to do something that man could not do. I told my three friends I believed it so strongly, I just knew God would show up and show off. There was no reason for our doctor to be wrong, but God knows and hears the effective servant prayers of righteous men. These three men have and will always remain an important part of our lives. Their prayers with the prayers of our family and so many friends were heard and answered. Our child was born months later and he is our pride and joy with a special Bible name of Matthew. However, I always liked nick names and was wondering if he could have one?
When this little baby was still growing in the womb, I was working on an assignment for EPCOT at Disney Studios on THE LAND in Orlando. This was a special project related to "aviation" and I remember leaving the park one evening and as I was stopping by and looking at the "Winnie the Pooh" "doll hanging in the window, there was a thought. I said, "I believe Bear would love to have a "Pooh" in his crib, so I am going to get this for him". When I took the stuffed Disney toy home, I laid the present in the empty crib where Bear would soon sleep. From that point on, I kept calling him the simple name of...Bear.
This September 16, Bear and Clytee are getting married and next month is going to be another miracle and wonderful celebration adding Clytee Burchett to the McAfee clan! There is nothing more special than thinking he is now serving as the Young Adult Minister at Council Road Baptist Church on the same staff where I began my own ministry under Dr. Wendell Estep. Clytee is also serving in the Children's Department there taking care of kids and they both have such an amazing heart to serve others.
What is funny to think is that the name BEAR stuck with my son and when he graduated from high school, when he graduated from college and when he is getting married, the invitations say, "Bear and Clytee" and it all began with a miracle of faith. Don't ever think that God doesn't want to begin a new miracle in you. Don't ever believe the negative talk of others when they cast darkness and shadows instead of spreading joy and light.
Even when the doctors bring bad news or when things seem impossible. Don't just agree, but instead go ahead and stop to see if God has other news for you. Many people in our lives have shown us the importance of faith and truly believing Jesus can heal. Our heavenly father is the creator, the master of the universe and He is big enough to handle every problem we face.
He is even big enough to handle your challenges, trials and difficulties. Are you facing some things in front of you that just seem to be overwhelming today? Are you ready to throw in the towel and say, "I give up" or even "I quit" because the news appears to be so negative and so bad?
Don't buy into "stinking thinking". Just because you go through some bad news, don't fly into the Murphy's Law and continue to propagate negativity. Daddy always said, "We killed old CAN'T and run old COULDN'T out of town". Are you doing this and are you believing God can do the impossible and He can really do "ALL THINGS"?
God is faithful and He gave us a son named BEAR and a new daughter in law on the way. We praise him for Clytee and for her wonderful parents. We thank the Lord for their raising a beautiful daughter who loves Him, has an amazing joy in her life and honors her parents. She has embraced us and we are thrilled beyond measure to have a new daughter in law in September.
Take time to love your children and let them know how much they mean to you.
I love you son,
Kevin McAfee is a film maker who writes for the purpose of inspiring others to make a difference in the world through faith in God using the visual language of film. His blog is shared in hopes of impacting culture, but his heart is in media missions and the church.