At the suggestion of four friends we are writing to ask you to consider supporting our family.
Most of you are aware that I resigned my position at Lamb & Lion Ministries around August first of last year, not knowing exactly what I would be doing. Although to many people, this has been deemed a "reckless and irresponsible" decision, Lori and I believed and still believe that it was God's timing for us to move on, trusting that God would provide opportunities for me to utilize my gifts and passions more fully. Within days of my resignation, I wrote my talent agents, Jaco & Philipa Booyen's of Advantage Model and Talent a letter and told them that I needed to replace my income. Their response was to tell me about the vision for After Eden Pictures, a calling that Jaco had received in mid-July. Simply stated, the vision was to be "light to the cesspool of the entertainment industry," and produce uplifting programming of all kinds. The calling is distinctive in that it demands very high production values that can compete with Hollywood and must be able to reach the unchurched. We are particularly interested in reaching young people who spend an average of five hours a day attending to various forms of media and are more than 400 times more influenced by the media than they are their parents, teachers, and church contacts.
Most of you know that we downsized about three years ago in order to focus on paying off debt and living more simply. We also felt called to spend more time together as a family and started a house church called His Olive Branch. God allowed us to reduce our debt from $204,000 to $82,000 including our mortgage. We home school the children and Nathan has been participating in an honors Christian worldview program for English, history, and social studies.
When I resigned from Lamb & Lion Ministries, after ten years of service, I was given a gracious severance of full pay until the end of last year. We have been able to pay all of our bills, maintain our vehicles, and missionary giving on time and we haven't missed any meals. The Lord has provided part-time flexible jobs for Lori, Nathan, Noah, and me and we have received numerous unsolicited gifts during this time. I have not sought permanent full-time employment because I feel compelled by the Lord to stay available for my work with After Eden Pictures, because that is where I believe God intends for me to serve. I also want to stay available for acting opportunities. My first feature film role is in a Christian film called Framed that God-willing, will be funded (3 million) the end of this year. I have not felt that it would be fair to potential employers to take a full-time position knowing that my heart's desire is to be engaged in the work of After Eden full-time within a few months.
What is the status of After Eden Pictures? We have two feature films and two TV shows in the works. The most promising developments are with one of the films, a true story of a godly small town hero; this film has investors who have verbally expressed a willingness to supply around $2 million for production, we have a commitment from another wealthy individual to supply $2-3 million for publicity and advertising. The second film also comes with some funding but is not as well developed at this point. We have shot promo and pilot footage for two TV shows: INsight and Hey Nice! Several networks are willing to carry the shows and have been very pleased with the concept, talent, and HD quality. Now, we are faced with the question of how to pay for the initial production expenses. God has not presented that solution yet. Since our first feature film has the most financial backing at this point, it may be that God will allow it to generate what is needed to fund our other projects but that would be a significant delay. We have also developed a social media network called INsightscene.com. You can visit www.INsightscene.com and view clips of INsight. You will notice that the site and the INsight TV show are not overtly Christian. We have designed it this way because the purpose of the show and the site are to reach unchurched young people and build relationships with them. All of the hosts and field reporters for INsight are solid, on fire, bold evangelicals. The majority of the guests will also be strong, well-known believers who have excelled in sports & entertainment.
Just so you know, the type of films that I desire to act in, produce, and direct...I would encourage you to watch The Butterfly Circus http://www.thedoorpost.com/
Please pray about helping us during this transition period, in whatever way the Lord leads. We would be especially grateful if someone could sponsor Nathan in continuing his participation in the Christian World View course in the Fall and if someone could assist with paying our share with Samaritan Ministries (a Christian alternative to typical health insurance). Please feel free to share this email with others.
Perhaps I have created more questions than answers, so please ask for clarification if needed. And feel free to call me anytime at 214-578-2644.
I'm going to sign off at this point and turn it over to Lori who has a few things to share with you.
Thank you for making it to this point in our email! :o) We felt it was important to put as many details as possible, so you can understand where God is taking us and how God is working in our lives. It's crucial that you know, that when Don said, "I believe it's time for me to leave Lamb and Lion," God spoke to me in my spirit and confirmed that fact. If Don had said that a few weeks earlier, my response would not have been so positive, because that would not have been God's timing.
We know, without a shadow of a doubt, that we are smack-dab, in the middle of God's will. He has confirmed that on a daily basis this whole time, but especially since our income with Lamb and Lion was over, the end of the year. Each year, I write down blessings that the Lord has graciously given to us (or done for us) and we read them together, as a family on New Year's Day. Normally, I would have about 70-100 things written for the entire year, with 2-3 pages total. I started writing on January 18th, and in two months, I am already at #76 of blessings and am on page 10! How cool is that?!?!? God is a good Father and provider. He has been so gracious to remind us each day, with gentle encouragement, how we are staying in his will...and I might add, there's no better place to be! Living a life of faith is not always comfortable, but when you read the Bible, it's not filled with pages of people who lived lives of ease and comfort...instead they are faithful followers of faith, who often lived lives filled with hard work, sacrifice and suffering for the Lord. However, like us, no matter what the circumstances, they had the peace of Christ in their hearts.
As Don said, numerous people have told us that they would be excited about making this kind of investment in the lives of all people, young and old alike...and, that they know of others who would feel good about making this kind of investment. That's why we feel affirmed in sending this to you...most of all, we appreciate your prayers.
Yours in Christ,
Don and Lori and family