Preparing for the sound design, the final stage before getting the FINAL MIX in a motion picture requires planning and precision. John Chalfant has worked with our film organization for two decades. He most recently was the sound designer for ONCE UPON A TIME the highly successful ABC television series. However, we met John at SONY when he was working on Stuart Little just prior to beginning the sound for BEYOND THE GATES OF SPLENDOR.
John and his capable crew will be working diligently on the final sound for CALEB'S HOPE during the month of June 2019 and we would ask for you to pray for his entire team. This is an important step in the production journey as it concludes the final phase of creative film production.
When the film is complete the future of the movie is based on funding. This is for the promotional side of the motion picture where you pay for advertising, promotions and all the prints needed for the theatrical box office release. We are not a distribution company, but a family of film companies dedicated to making films that matter. Our sister company is GR Productions, which stands for GOLDEN RULE and we know strategic partners will be the solution for every film we make.
Miraculously, through the generous gifts of those who have been giving to this motion picture through CALEB'S HOPE, we have almost funded the documentary. Many team members gave their time freely because they so believed in Caleb's journey and the powerful message he was sharing. Other crew members discounted their fees as a direct result of the courage they saw in this entire family.
We have a request. It will be impossible to share this film in 100 theaters without large donors coming alongside of our project. We also need resources for a screenplay. I believe if you will pray with us fervently and be bold in helping join our army to find the reources, I believe the Lord will bless in a huge way.
This hashtag has become quite famous with millions of followers getting behind Caleb Freeman. The stories we have learned only touch a small portion of the many miracles involved in his story. You are part of this story by giving and we deeply appreciate your support.
Never underestimate the power available to those who hear God's call and follow. In my personal journey, the key to real obedience has always come through the struggle of choosing light or dark. Whatever your choice, it is always so important you realize God has given you more than you can imagine or dream. We are praying for you, for your family and for angels to be stationed around you.
Thank you for being part of sharing truth and interceding for us.
We love you very much.
Dr. Kevin McAfee
PS Would you pray for Lorretta Segars in Alabama who has a cancer that has returned to her body. She is one of the author's who created a book entitled, SAND IN TUSCANY and we are creating two films together in VERITAS and thank you for praying for this amazing lady.
VERITAS MISSION FILM ASSOCIATION has just experienced our largest month in our non-profit's history with the premiere of our feature documentary, CALEB'S HOPE. This powerful story has been lived by Jeremy Freeman, his wife Emily and their entire family, focusing on Caleb Freeman. Caleb and his brother Clayton were on their way to an OU basketball game when their car spun out of control on a wintry night. An eighteen wheeler hit the boys and nearly killed them both, but that was not the end, but the beginning.
Caleb was in a coma for several months as Clayton fortunately was only mildly injured. However, Caleb's prognosis was not good and a miracle was needed. Thanks to the prayers of many in the community and literally around the world, Caleb Freeman slowly began to wake up. With the help of the OU Trauma center, medical surgeons and the Craig Hospital in Denver and Omaha Rehab, Caleb slowly began to get better.
I was so very thankful to have been asked to direct this film by Jeremy Freeman and John Dickey. These men saw a need to share this vision with the world using the visual language of film. I was honored to join in this journey and now, we are on the final production "leg" to complete the sound design. Sound is a complex process in cinema because a digital package has to be assembled to complete the 5.1 surround sound mix.
John Chalfant who worked with us on BEYOND THE GATES OF SPLENDOR will be working with our team on the West Coast to complete the sound. His movies like SPIDERMAN, STUART LITTLE and recent hit on ABC television ONCE UPON A TIME brings expertise, a massive sound library and the technical studio professionalism we need to prepare for a box office release.
The cast and crew of this wonderful film have so moved us, but the star of the film, Caleb Freeman continues to overcome enormous odds in his physical fight back to health. Please remember him in prayer and know that when you Pray for Caleb, just like it shares on FB, you are making a difference by extending hope to all those who have gone through a traumatic injury.
We continue to celebrate the power of prayer, even in the worst of storms and Caleb's storms are not over. It is through our faith in Christ, we believe his best days are still ahead. His family, his church and so many are circling for the purpose of prayer in intercession for this young man's physical journey.
Congratulations Caleb and for the ovations for you who are so well deserved, we know you would turn and give those ovations to the Heavenly Father for sure. You are a blessing to our lives.
In His Faithful Service,
Dr. Kevin McAfee
From the very first time our team began working in the film industry we knew the importance of prayer, but we did not implement this into our practice, until Mart Green. Mart who was the founder of Mardel Christian Store and Supply which was an offspring of the Hobby Lobby company had a dream to make a film and this is what he did. Together, we were honored to create EVERY TRIBE ENTERTAINMENT where we produced BEYOND THE GATES OF SPLENDOR and END OF THE SPEAR.
However, Mart wanted to make prayer an integratl part of every film we made. He had never made a movie, but after hearing Steve Saint speak, he suggested we have one person for every day of the month become a prayer warrior for each film and it changed how we did business. I am so thankful for his gentle leadership and kind spirit to lead us by placing prayer at the forefront of our newly developing film practice. Bill Ewing and I were charged to connect with a filmmaker whose heart was based in the Lord's guidance back in 2000.
Ever since those early days two decades ago, we have continued this tradition and every movie we have created as a film support company alongside of the film production companies associated we have included a foundation of prayer at the center. Prayer is the real key to everything.
In recent days, on FB we have seen the V300 grow to over a thousand prayer warriors strong in our team. I am so very thankful for every member who is praying once a month for a day or they are involved in the film projects on the horizon for VERITAS. However, we don't just need to pray for VMFA films, but for all film groups who are being birthed for one purpose, to expand the work of films of family, of faith and of freedom.
This past month at NRB, the Erwin Brothers, Kevin Downes and Gunn all came together with LIONSGATE to make films and we are interceding for this new group. You see, there is ZERO competition here because if you had the Kendrick Brothers, Cindy Bond, Priscilla Shirer, Mark Burnett, Roma Downey, Ralph Winter, Ken Carpenter, Tim Tebow and so many other groups like Sherwood who have come forward to make a difference for God, we can always thank the Lord for their leadership. Pray for these people and those who are working hard to make a difference.
Every film company needs PRAYER and every film team needs prayer so from this day forward, VERITAS MISSION FILM ASSOCIATION will be serving an industry we helped begin in 2000 where films of faith would begin to change and impact our culture. Without PASSION OF THE CHRIST and the success of this wonderful film I am not sure what or industry would be doing or where we would be, so we have to thank Mel Gibson and Steve McEveety.
Another actor who has made such a huge difference is Jim Caveizel and with Randy Quaid and others who have truly stepped up their game, we have a trend finding its sea legs and getting momentum. However, everyone will need prayer. There are several groups who have been doing prayer like MASTER MEDIA and the HOLLYWOOD PRAYER NETWORK.
I am thankful our team will be praying and interceding. We cannot "bless" or endorse films without seeing the film, unless you have a direct relationship with our team. If you want our team to endorse your film, please send a screener copy to our address at 1070 WHITEHALL DR, FRANKLIN, TENNESSEE 37069 and we will be honored to review what you are doing.
There are many new independent filmmakers who are doing great work and we are praying for you. Also remember we have the FILMMAKER'S ROUNDTABLE at www.books2film.net and are happy to work with you on ensuring you have a third party, adjudicated primary work ready for film studio presentation. Let's remember to keep those indy filmmaker's in our prayers.
Lastly, I want to thank Barry Landis who began the FILM BREAKFAST in Franklin years ago with the purpose to provide leadership in this area. Barry has been a friend for many years and I love him dearly. He has worked with us as a Music Supervisor on LAST OUNCE OF COURAGE and worked behind the scenes in an industry who needs to give him an IMPACT AWARD. Barry is a champion and an ambassador for all of us and I do believe ROARING LAMBS and his legacy with the famous author continues to extend the legacy we all need.
May God use us in this season of PRAYER and I implore you, if you don't have a prayer team for your films, do everything you can to make this a reality.
In His Service,
CONGRATS TO RUN THE RACE
Great news for the team of executive producers Robby Tebow and Tim Tebow along with producer Ken Carpenter and Director Chris Dowling on the expansion of RUN THE RACE from 853 screens to over 1100 screens. The successful launch of a two million dollar opening weekend keeps the per screen average high enough to warrant expansion. Our team has been in this exact place before so please rememer this wonderful group in prayer.
Ken has worked for many years building his film skills and this is his first feature so we are thrilled for him as our Franklin neighbor. Also, the Tebow family met us at the SBC where we spoke in New Orleans on the launch of our film LAST OUNCE OF COURAGE that Darrel Campbell and I worked on together.
As you all know, we rally around films of family, faith and freedom and RUN THE RACE fits all of these areas and we are honored to support through our V300 prayer team this wonderful film. I am so thankful for all the filmmakers who are out there in the market place making a difference for Jesus Christ. Inspiring films are what our nation needs right now.
In a world when politics does not seem to be serving the people, when faith is even questioned and when confusion runs amuck, we must all rally around messages of hope. I believe this wonderful new film of two brothers brings hope into this world, which is a huge opportunity to share of VMFA films as an update!
SAND IN TUSCANY
The filmmaker's have agreed to create a non-profit donor based opportunity with a new feature documentary entitled SAND IN TUSCANY about the wonderful story of an American GI from Sand Mountain, Alabama who falls in love with an Italian girl in Tuscany during WWII in the Italian campaign against Mussolini and Hitler. This gripping story will honor the men and women of the 88th Infantry Division and the 313th Combat Division.
Our team will be partnering with famous archival film partners of WWII and this moving story will be emotional for every couple, along with action filled for those who are moved by the bravery of the "greatest generation". This is a huge opportunity for donors and sponsor to get involved, so if you are interested, please contact us immediately as this window of opportunity for giving will be filled in the coming months.
The first family screening of CALEB'S HOPE took place in the last weekend of February 2019 and what an amazing turn out we had. We are absolutely thrilled and excited to bring this story to the world. We are only half way completed, but we have the first draft of the edit. The next phase is the "sound design" and we will be turning to John Chalfant who helped us with BEYOND THE GATES OF SPLENDOR and LAST OUNCE OF COURAGE, two movies our team was making.
If you have any access to a place our team can stay in LA for about five weeks, please let us know as this is a major need as we work with John to get this ready for a final mastering process.
April 12 -13 Caleb is speaking to the Women's Conference of Falls Creek in Oklahoma to over 5,000 women. Please remember Caleb, Jeremy and Emily as they share in this historic event for their family's ministry. We believe the doors are opening huge for this film.
We were asked how much money do we still need to complete the movie? We need around $100.000 to complete the film and we will need money to put the film in theaters. The more money we raise the more theaters we can launch into mass distribution. Please pray about giving and being a part of the most powerful story coming out of Oklahoma in decades.
Be checking next month for two more new film projects on the horizon which have just recently come to fruition from a series of meetings our team has been having. One story is a very famous story we have been asked to be a part of and we will be excited to share more. The second story is about a family's personal struggle with cancer and is sure to inspire everyone. Be praying for these discussions and we will announce next month in our blog.
Thank you all for praying for us. We are praying for you. The V300 prayer partners is over 1000 strong and growing. We continue to ask for prayers for every project where we are involved. May the Lord bless each one of you in your lives and if we can pray for you, please post on our FB page so our entire online community can pray.
God bless you,
One of the greatest blessings in all of VERITAS MISSION FILM ASSOCIATION since we began has been the transforming message we have been directly impacting with non profit organizations. There are those amazing groups who are doing incredible work in ministry everywhere. Some of these are small obscure ministries and some are large growing ministries, while others are almost new business start ups.
In every phase of our journey, we focus on trying in inspire, educate and bring up awareness not just of our films, but other films of family, faith and freedom. On February 22, our friend Ken Carpenter has produced a new movie with Tim Tebow and Robbie Tebow called RUN THE RACE. This wonderful film promises to do very well in box office and has a wonderful cast and crew.
We want to recommend RUN THE RACE just as we did with I CAN ONLY IMAGINE because of the quality of these filmmaking professionals, the excellence found in the cast and crew and the message they bring to the world. We have also supported Stephen Yake's REMEMBER THE MUSIC with Executive Producer Stan Moser. This is a really wonderful series of the CCM Music world from the past and in 2019, there promises to be even more on the horizon.
Jeremy Camp's story is the new and upcoming film the Erwin Brothers are putting together and hopefully you have had the opportunity to see THE LEAST OF THESE where Stephen Baldwin serves as the famous missionary in the jungles.
While all of these wonderful films are on the horizon or are in theaters ,we are continuing to work diligently on the largest non profit project we have encountered, CALEB'S HOPE. If you have not gone to www.calebs-hope.com you need to check out the website and be ready for more posts in the future about this exciting new feature length documentary.
Last month was historic for Jimmy and Lorretta Segars who have now entered the non profit world with their feature documentary SAND IN TUSCANY! This epic story from WWII promises to bring romance, the plight of the 88th division which was heralded as one of the toughest in the European theater and a marriage between a GI from Sand Mountain, Alabama and a young lady from Tuscany. Stay tuned for more updates in knowing how you can support this movie, if you feel so led to do so.
MOVIES are a focus at VERITAS MISSION FILM ASSOCIATION and with awesome partners, publishers, film studios and more, we are honored to be serving in an industry filled with some of the finest people anywhere. Thank you for praying for us as we are praying for you through the V300! On Facebook we have over 1,000 who have joined our online prayer army and if you have not joined, please consider this today.
May the Lord bless each one of you and thank you for praying for our team. You remain close to our hearts.
Dr. Kevin McAfee
2018 went by so fast, but it was the best year for our ministry since we began in 2018. This happened in large part because of our sending church, Hillcrest Baptist Church in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Pastor John Dickey over four years ago asked us to preach in his pulpit and invited the entire congregation to pray for our ministry. Through this amazing gift of prayer, the trajectory of our film company, GRP FILMS changed with the birthing of our non profit ministry partner VERITAS MISSION FILM ASSOCIATION.
Through excellent advisors, counselors and financial insights we learned the power of working with non profit ministry and for profit commercial ventures. This added to the donors an opportunity for gifts that could use their finances to change culture through education, inspiriation, evangelism and discipleship.
Our team became focused and we dedicated our lives to doing films of only family, of faith and freedom. We have not changed this strategic direction. As a non-profit, bi-partisan and all inclusive team of filmmakers, our hearts beat toward the passion of helping others and living by the Golden Rule in every area of our lives. Did we come under attack? Yes we did, but we have always found that when you are under attack, you are probably doing things right and you stay the course. This proved to be the right road for our future.
We have served and given to many ministries over these past five years, but the greatest joy in the past decade has been hearing the voice of God and moving on His will. This happened through the foundation of prayer and this is the "secret spiritual sauce" for success. When the Lord opens the doors of your life, it is different than you opening or pushing the doors down. I believe the greatest part of life is getting in on what God is doing, verses trying to do things on your own.
Many films are now in film production as a result of you praying for VERITAS MISSION FILM ASSOCIATION and now the ministry has built a prayer army on Facebook of over 1200 prayer warriors. This year the V300 is literally FOUR TIMES the size we ever dreamed would happen. We pray for films, but we focus on people's lives, their well being, their health, their financial struggles, their losses and yes, through the mourning times of life. Many people do not go to church anywhere or do not have church home and while we are not a church, we are a "community of believers" who work together to pray for one another. Even when people are different, we love everyone and are committed to people having a "home".
Our greatest accomplishment has been in praying for people We love ALL people, regarless of background, regardless of political affiliation, even of faith and strive to be a light in darkness wherever we are. Our team are broken, imperfect and are forgiven because of the love of God. We try to share this love wherever we go and in every situation. We pray before the cameras roll and we build every film project in a missional way. We do not apologize for our love of Jesus Christ, but through gentleness and kindness we love everyone.
We conclude by saying "thank you" to every film prayer warrior. We want to say "thank you" to the authors who have trusted our team, to the production film crew members who have served so faithfully and for the families whom we love have shaped everything we do. There is not a film team, writer, producer or creator we would not be honored to work with in serving the "Golden Rule" and we are praying God continues to open every door for the future.
Happy New Year and God Bless,
Dr. Kevin McAfee
Caleb Freeman has changed my life in so many ways because of who he is, his perseverance and pursuit of a better life through his handicap. The limitations he has seen since having a horrific accident on December 19, 2017 have impacted every part of his lifestyle. Many people would have given up, but not Caleb. His speech, ability to find balance have all continued to have been impaired, but you don't see Caleb complaining. You don't see him throwing in the towel, only thriving.
He has represented the best in our youth today because he has not allowed circumstances to deafeat his heart and spirit. Instead of complaining about a new world where all the obstacles are facing him, he only is proving to find a way to live with positive and hopeful inspiration. In all of my life, I have never seen a young superstar in the faith emerge like this young man.
Last night, Trae Young came back to Oklahoma but not as a rising superstar from Oklahoma, but a franchise player for the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA. In OKC playing the Thunder, Caleb received tickets from the very athlete where he was headed to watch on December 19, 2017 but was hit by a semi-trailer truck almost killing him and his brother. One year later, Caleb is coming to see Trae play at the highest level.
Lon Kruger, the head basketball coach from OU called that night after the accident just to check on the Freeman boys and OU has continued to be so very supportive. Later the head coach came and even visited Caleb in the hospital and this kind of leadership in athletics should be recognized.
After the game, Trae gave his tennis shoes to Caleb honoring one of his favorite fans. However, this was not the most impressive part of the visit to the Thunderdome in down Oklahoma City. When Caleb walked into the arena, I saw people come up to him who were working security and begin thanking him for his life. It wasn't just the superstar but it was the real people who have been blessed by his world.
Also Jeremy Freeman and Emily have been amazingly supportive parents. Behind the scenes, they are always present and working so diligently to make everything happen for Caleb. They provide the necessary support when there are no cameras and no crowds, to simply be humble servants to all of their children. I am so thankful for their lives and how they represent the best of family.
We have over 200 people who have sacrificed to pay for Veritas Mission Film Association to capture the true story for the movie CALEB'S HOPE. To date, in the first month over $20,000 has been given through donations to the cause of beginning the filming for Caleb. Many people have wondered how we are investing this money and where is this going?
Every penny has been paying for RED camera rentals, film crews, technology, preliminary editing, production and catering for volunteers and paid film teams. VMFA has stewarded every dollar under the supervision of three men, Pastor John Dickey of Hillcrest Baptist in Stillwater, Pastor Jeremy Freeman of Newcastle First Baptist and myself. The goal is to reach $500,000 in production to be able to film all the interviews, the re-enactments, covering the story, working with the medical community, providing materials for speaking engagements, creating films focused on the story of evangelism and more.
What happens if we make profits? As a non-profit structure one of the most important aspects of our ministry is to be a good steward. The "three men" will meet to discuss distributions for medical support, materials for evangelism and discipleship and costs to cover films, books and music to support the speaking ministry of the Freeman family. VMFA is a missional organization focusing on home, state and foreign missions, evangelism and discipleship. Thank you for your prayers.
We believe in Caleb Freeman and are looking forward to serving as a ministry partner all along the way.
Perhaps the unsung hero for also all of our filming is GRP FILMS. Without the support of one of the most talented multi-ethnic and proven background teams from all over, we would not be here today. Thank you Lynn McAfee for the tireless efforts, for all of the CPA teams, for the excellent book-keeping efforts and financial management whose focus is always to be the most precision based non profit using for profit partners.
VMFA has used film teams from Minnesota, Florida, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, California, Australia, Africa, Romania, Alabama, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Arizona, Mississippi, Georgia and we continue to find experienced pros around the world who have come alongside of our mission. To maintain our ministry, we are never limited to one team, but multiple teams from everywhere. Our volunteers and our film teams are to be congratulated.
Please consider giving a donation to Caleb's Hope today. All you have to do is go on this sight to the #butGod donation to learn more about how you can give to www.calebs-hope.com. May the Lord continue to bless every step of the way.
I love you all,
Dr. Kevin McAfee
This month has been a huge month for our ministry. Thank you for being in our team and providing insights, wisdom and counsel to everything we are doing by using the visual language to help others. From the time we began as a non-profit we knew destiny would surround our mission. We especially recognize pastor John Dickey and his church in Stillwater for sending us into the film community to use our art to move mountains.
We began shooting the film CALEB'S HOPE. Overall, we have begun the journey with nine donors. When you give, this is a wonderful way to express your commitment to not only participate with your finances, but with your prayers and support to projects.
Since our inception, we have not solicited except to help others in the visual language mission we are called to carry out. However, in these last days, CALEB'S HOPE has inspired us to change this position for one purpose, our heart is to take the monies you share with VERITAS MISSION FILMS and bring about this amazing film. Stories like this seventeen year can truly change the world.
Caleb needs your prayers every single day. He is walking, but it is still very shaky. He is talking, but it is still not as clear as he dreams. He wants to run and we must pray because he will run. Finding his center of balance is so very difficult but he believes God allowed this to happen for a purpose. He told us, "I would not change or go back to the way I was before because now the Lord has given a platform where I can share Jesus".
We want to thank the ten people who have sacrificed by giving. It is because of your faithfulness, movies are made that matter. Yes, we need a lot more than ten, but we know God's timing is perfect.
BEATRICE WILLIAMSON PROJECT
Many of you know how Africa changed our lives when we began working overseas in 2014. Even to this year we saw Randy Hartley and Darla, his wife working with William Mwizerwa to share their story with the world in a feature film. Now, we have a second story that is powerful and we engaged with Beatrice Williamson a couple months ago to begin the journey of sharing her story with the world.
We are honored to come alongside her in this mission to the nation of Kenya. I especially want to thank Richard Hogue and Larry Jones for their counsel in helping us impact others, feed children in villages not only in Africa but around the world and provide creative ideas for sustainability.
PRAYER AND SUPPORT
We cannot move forward without prayer and support. Thank you again for being a part of who we are and for being such a faithful team to support us with your loyalty.
How are you doing and how are you following God today? Did you know we remember you in prayer each week and we gather to pray for you, for your family, for your health and more. If we can intercede for you, plese let us know and we are happy to do so.
Serving God Together,
Dr. Kevin McAee
This has been a month of miracles. Allow us to share from our non-profit ministry the blessings of having a sending church who believes in miracles, the blessing of a community who prays for them and how one life can change the lives of so many. There is only one thing to say, but God.
Pastor John Dickey of Hillcrest Baptist Church, is from our sending church in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He contacted us to discuss a story he has been praying about since December 19, 2017 after a tragic accident where a car and eighteen wheeler collided in Norman. John's daughter, Morgan became close friends with a young man her age named Caleb Freeman at Super Summer, which is a church camp held annually in Oklahoma. However, Morgan's dear friend was in a terrible traffic accident that December night and the event changed the trajectory of his life and his entire family. In fact, after the accident, they gave Caleb less than a 5% chance to live that fateful evening. He had suffered a brain stem injury and needed a series of healing miracles, multiple surgeries and more.
The best news in the middle of this tragedy is simply put; the Freeman family believed in miracles. They began a movement called #butGod and asked people to for their son in a Pray4Caleb movement and the family launched a concert of prayer globally. People from everywhere came out of the woodwork and began praying for a miracle for Caleb and the prayers continued.
A few months ago, we were called by John Dickey and his family to pray. They were at rehab in Nebraska with Caleb Freeman and his parents. They had all together and watched the film Larry Jones had encouraged us to share of the miracle in my life after my stroke that inspired their entire family. What an honor to pray for people who need a miracle, so we did. At the end of the prayer, I simply shared that in the next 100 days the Lord was going to begin doing a miracle through Caleb's life.
What is even more miraculous, was when John called us to ask if we would pray again two weeks ago. He shared the Lord had put it on his heart about making a movie about the story of the Freeman family. Without Jeremy and Emily involved, we did not feel right moving forward. However, we began to pray. We were honored to pray about this monumental miracle story, but never dreamed we would be making a film about them. Never has VMFA been involved in the "life" of a young man like Caleb Freeman. Then, after speaking to Jeremy and John over the phone, it was obvious the Lord was in this move and #butGod and VMFA were joining forces.
As a ministry who has been here since 2014 we believe our sending church at Hillcrest Baptist Church has been preparing for this movement since they commissioned us to use the visual language of film.
Now, we have a new BUT GOD DONATION opportunity on our VMFA page where you can be involved directly in the life of helping us tell the story of the Freeman Family in making Pray4Caleb a miracle story reality. This is truly the impossible dream, but all things are possible with Christ, and we believe this is the next step in moving forward.
Please pray about being a part of supporting this film. Every penny you donate will go toward the production of the movie and we believe will honor the Lord. Thank you for your prayer support and now for supporting Caleb in this amazing journey.
May God bless you,
Dr. Kevin McAfee
PS Be watching for a new website coming your way soon!
This past month was amazing because the people we met had stories of lives which transformed us. A woman who had grown up in Kisumu, Africa had nothing. She was living in an apartment in the nineties for seven dollars a month and was paying too much. Her childhood had been filled with difficult times and the people in her village had experienced great hardship.
When she shared her story, I called Larry Jones formerly from FEED THE CHILDREN as the past founder to truly understand the pain of what she had endured in Africa. It was important for me to understand the culture of her tribe and to see deeper into the social and economic problems facing this part of the world. The more I learned from this great leader about Africa, the more I began to realize how blessed we are to live in America.
A few years ago, I had the great honor to volunteer my time for a film project through VERITAS MISSION FILM ASSOCIATION. This doesn't happen very often, but I was being paid do a large film and met a man whose life had been changed by Africa, Randy Hartley. He was a financial advisor and carried so many amazing stories about his beautiful daughter Andrea.
Randy told me the story of how his family had adopted Umahosa in Rwanda when she was young and this beautiful girl had a father in prison due to the genocide between the Tutsi and Hutu tribe there. Together, we went to Africa to help tell the story and we made a movie entitled, THROUGH THE VALLEY about the entire story. The Lord blessed this effort and for the first time, I saw Africa and it changed me.
There was a time in my life when I was younger, I would grow up in prejudice because making fun of people and comedy was a way I could mask not dealing with problems. However, this change in my life came face to face when I saw first hand, the graves of tens of thousands in Rwanda. 800,000 people will be killed in 100 days. Can you imagine?
It's impossible to describe to you how I feel about this continent, the beautiful people there and my heart toward this nation right now. After coaching 22 years with Bob Hoffman from the Mercer Bears, I have been in many huddles where the eyes and ears of many races have looked deep into my face and listened carefully. Now I ask myself, was I listening to them? Did I take time to learn their stories, to understand their past, present and future pain?
May I challenge you to do something different in your life? This Sunday, invite a family of another race to your home for lunch or dinner. Find an Asian, Chinese, Vietnamese, African, Sudanese, Norwegian, Scottish, Native American, Hispanic or any other race other than yours to come have a meal with your family? Martin Luther King said the most racist day of the week is on Sunday, during church.
We must stop this kind of backward thinking. Let us change the way we do everything and bring Christmas, our holidays and our family gatherings into the "family of man" get togethers. Don't think the same way about people, but truly embrace the family of man as God always intended. Get your hands dirty and get involved with missions and don't look back on helping others.
Give everything you have to bring the good news of the Gospel to those in need. This will make you uncomfotable and you will not feel "normal", but make this your new norm and stop the prejudice today.
We were so blessed to attend a worship service led by Michael W. Smith and CeCe Winans at the Bridgestone Arena this week in our home town of Nashville, Tennesssee. Prayers from the Hispanic Culture, the Chinese Culture, the Native American Culture and African Culture resounded with those who were present from every tribe and we learned to love God and worship TOGETHER. Please we need more events like this.
Africa thank you for changing me, my life and everything I believe in about you. Forgive me for not doing more and keep bringing stories we can help tell for non profits, for profits, for individuals and for every tribe so that the whole world will know the truth. The family of man has a story to tell and I sure hope we can tell as many stories as possible for many years to come.
God bless you,
Dr. Kevin McAfee
ADVOCATE - FAMILY OF MAN
Kevin McAfee is a filmmaker who writes for the purpose of inspiring others to make a difference in the world through faith in God and using the visual language of film. His blog shares the hopes of impacting culture, because his heart is in media missions and the church. Below Kevin is seen with Lynn McAfee and Corina Pataki. Below this is Christopher Atkins from BLUE LAGOON and Dr. McAfee.