Thursday, May 31, 2012

So... What do you do exactly?

Telling people what it is that I do can be a bit of a challenge. It's easy to show them the results of my work. All I have to do is press play and they can see it. But explaining what it takes to make those videos and the impact it has on the people I serve that is another thing entirely. So I thought I would give someone else a chance to explain it. Becky Kendal is one of the missionaries that I got to work with in Kankan, Guinea this past April. This is what she had to say about my visit and work.
We so enjoyed having Drew Hayes come out to make a video documentary of life and work in Guinea. His efforts have yielded some great tools for telling others about what life here is like and also about our lives and ministry focus. Drew’s prior cross-culture experience gives him a comfort-level in the culture that most “newbies” and short-termers don’t have.  He wasn’t fazed by setbacks or the rigors of food prep, time schedules, or daily life in rural Africa.

Drew’s lens captured and portrayed the rigors of maintaining solar power, shopping for vegetables and meat in a bustling market, teaching your own children. More than just the activity he captured emotions – the quiet word, a smile, a caring heart or a listening ear. The neighbor kids who bully my children, when seen through Drew’s lens, were again transformed into the children I came hoping to draw to Christ. The dusty, trash-filled streets, a constant drab backdrop to life, were filled with beautiful people I care about and flooded with the hope of a beautiful sunrise.
What I am unable to communicate to my supporters and friends, because it is my everyday life, Drew captured on video as a beautiful story.

I’ve forgotten how my life is different here from what my friends in the US experience.  I’ve also forgotten that how I live and interact here is different than those around me - that the fragrance of Christ is on me.  But in Drew’s lens I saw again what I can’t always see, but what is the whole reason I am here – God at work in and through me, reaching out to those around who don’t know Him yet.  

Thank you Drew for your work."

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Eye Opening - Part 2

Balancing work, life, friends, and editing has definitely been a challenge.  But I continue to make head way.  This week I was able to finish up two new videos.  Take a look and let me know what you guys think.

The next step for me is continuing and finishing the fundraising for this project.  I still need about 50% of my support in monthly commitments.  That roughly translates to $30,000 dollars.  If you haven't committed to giving already but would like to use the links on the right; or if you prefer you can give a one time donation. Again use the links on the side.  Thank you for being part of this project and I can't wait to share the rest of the videos with you all soon. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Eye Opening

After a few weeks back in the States, I've had the energy and time to think through the incredible experience that I had in Guinea. To put it simply the trip was "Eye Opening." The idea behind this preliminary trip was to test the idea behind the project. Could it really be done? Would it work? Could I shoot and produce using Guinea as a base. Would it be possible for me to live in that community?

The resounding answer throughout the trip was, "Yes, It's what I made you for." I've never felt more certain that I was created to tell stories in this way. I was continually struck by how well I fit into the work I was doing.  Experiences and skills that I really hadn't considered became useful and helpful to producing these stories. My personality allowed me to patiently wait for the right shot and quietly watch the story unfold.  I didn't feel like I was home or that Africa was were I belonged, my skin and the language barrier were constant reminders of that.  It was more a sense of being perfectly tuned to the purpose at hand.

My eyes were opened to God's ability to provide and prepare. I have been dreaming of telling stories in this way for so long. I've written often about how tiring it can be waiting for these dreams to become reality, but this trip was not one of those times. It wasn't part of any of my planning and worrying, but the trip couldn't have gone better. It encouraged my confidence that God has made me to tell these stories and is continuing to work out His plans to use me to tell His story.

These are a few of the images that God used to open my eyes to these truths.

Even now as I am going through the tedious task of editing hours worth of footage into only a few minutes, I am reminded that He is working and preparing me to be used to Open the Eyes of others.