I am typing this from a hotel room in Memphis, Tennessee at about 12AM as I am down here with a very small City on a Hill crew here shooting a video for an incredible ministry to recovering inmates in the Memphis area and beyond.
This will also be my first real personal entry to the City on a Hill blog, even though I have been creating video content for this here blog for a good long time. It is one of the joys and stresses of my internship at City on a Hill Productions. A position only a select few will ever achieve in their lifetime. A coveted position. A position often referred to by those who know as "indentured servitude".
Why am I here, doing this? I decided to write about that particular story. (Out of a good many I could have possibly chosen.)
So I shall start in the beginning... I was born in a small run down apartment owned by my parents in the east end of Louisville in July of 1989... OK. So maybe not that far back.
I'll start with more recent events. In 2006 I was 16 years old, and was only just beginning to feel the wind beneath my wings so to speak. Maybe I was a socially challenged homeschool student, (that's a joke actually) but I had begun to really feel the calling of God on my life to pursue media. Then my parents decided an ordinary life with 7 kids wasn't enough and they adopted 5 more from Western Africa. At that point I knew God was challenging my family to change our thinking in the area of family and ministry. What I wasn't aware of was how God was changing and forming me for ministry in an area I began to have an inexplicable passion for. It happened as easy as breathing in a smoke filled room. I had to do it, even though it wasn't always easy to follow through with. I didn't get my desire to craft films and media with a neat little instruction package, so to speak, but I am blessed with parents who recognized my need to pursue this dream I had.
Fast forward a little. I am growing frustrated. I learned a lot through trial and error. Going to Africa I found the story, but struggled in learning how to communicate it. I do know that during this time I developed the most crucial connection I have made. Media is a mission field.
Yes I was ON the mission field, but I realized that what I was doing, bringing the mission field back to people safe in their homes through the power of visual storytelling, was a vocation in itself. I knew there was a language to learn, and I began praying that God would bring someone into my life who could help me better learn that language.
Enter City on a Hill. Stage left. It almost was that simple. I had placed this growing passion back in God's hands a good many times, and it was during one of these spells where God proved he knew what He was doing, and that He knows how to keep secrets. I had no idea that there was a little production company growing up right beside me in my hometown. I couldn't have dreamed that it was doing exactly what I was just feeling a desire to do, to use media to tell story and support missions, and to do that excellently. I am also pretty sure my mom did a good job of convincing Shane he needed to be teaching me. (Thanks mom!) Though I don't think it hurt that I was not going to a full time school and was able to commit to an apprenticeship of sorts, and that I was able to drive. Believe me, I have run many an errand for City on a Hill. Many.
So you think that sounds easy? I wish I could write everything this has entailed, but for the sake of the ministry I will not. PETI would probably get involved if they knew how things really went down here.*
I continue to learn to communicate using this powerful medium of film, and I think I have found my home here for a while. I might have even convinced the staff I can be funny at times, which is quite an accomplishment, let me tell you.
I can only speculate what the continued journey will bring about. I am sure it includes fund-raising, and many projects I never dreamed I'd be given the chance to be a part of. Currently there are two specific projects I will be heading up in the near future I really should mention. One is a documentary in the country of Nepal I will be making this December. The other is "Shepherd's Project" which has has been put on hold as we are extremely busy with other projects, like Easter Experience and such right now. It will be a very cool project though, and I am excited about it's ministry potential. (hint: It's about adoption)
There you go. That is my update for now. I hope you continue to enjoy reading and going behind the scenes with our ministry and the lives of the staff members who make this team of creative amalgamation. Thanks for listening.
[*People for the Ethical Treatment of Interns]