After a short getaway to the Thousand Islands to celebrate our 2-year wedding anniversary (check out our AgapeVisuals Instagram account for photos), we headed to Norfolk, VA to begin work on the next project for our missional year with the Military Missions Network (MMN). MMN is a group of evangelical churches, chaplains, and ministries collaborating for a greater synergy in outreach and ministry to military worldwide. They ignite a vision for touching the world through collaboration in missional military ministry, link military with ministries, equip and mobilize military believers.
From the moment we arrived we were completely blown away by the generosity and hospitality of all of the staff, most of which are volunteers. In addition to just being wonderful people with big hearts and gentle demeanors, they lent us one of their cars to use for the 10 days we were there, put us up in one of their carriage houses, a beautifully decorated studio apartment at one of their homes, and even stocked the fridge and pantry. Aspects of the apartment and the proximity to the beach reminded us of a combination of both our parents houses, allowing us to feel right at home.
We jumped headfirst into the project with a production meeting where the one video we had originally discussed morphed into four separate videos highlighting different aspects of the ministry and one of the affiliated churches. We had our work cut out for us!
Over the next 8 days we visited naval bases, churches, bible studies, cookouts, Memorial Day ceremonies, Sunday school classes and young adult gatherings to see military ministry in action and gather footage to showcase the intentional military ministry being done well in the most military-populous area in the world. We interviewed 21 people including pastors, chaplains, ministry directors, lay leaders, active-duty military, retired military, and military families to gather a wide range of perspectives on the necessity of ministering to the military and the huge opportunities that service members have to be missional. We had an overwhelming amount of footage and a record number of interviews for one project, and just short of two days of editing to wade through it all and put together four videos. The task seemed impossible, but with God all things are possible, and God was with us. We finished two of the videos by the day we had to leave, the third was mostly done but is still awaiting a newly designed church logo, and the fourth will be finished after we complete ONE more interview with a pastor in North Carolina. So here are the first two videos we completed.
The first video was for MilitaryBeliever.com, a connection hub created by MMN uniquely for military, churches, chaplains and ministries. The video steers away from the traditional promotional, ad-type video and focuses more on the movement of military believers, told from their point-of-view about the impact they can have within a church and out in the world when you invest in them.
The second video was a more straightforward organizational video, explaining the mission and vision of MMN and the effectiveness of bringing together churches, chaplains, and ministries to provide gospel-centered ministry to the military.
We were truly sad to leave when the day came, and not just because we barely had any time to explore the beaches in the area while we were working our tails off, or because we felt so well taken care of by the staff, or even because we discovered a new Duck Donuts location in VA Beach. It was because our eyes had been opened to the amazing work being done in God’s name to counsel military men, women, and families, and we were completely caught up in it. Never again will we view a member of the military, Christian or non, in the same way, but we will definitely be able to understand their needs and be able to point them in the right direction thanks to MMN. Once again, we went into a project with the idea that we were going to be a blessing for an organization and came out on the other side realizing we were the ones who were blessed.
For more information about the Military Missions Network and how you can support them or how you can educate yourself about and get involved in intentional military ministry, visit the MMN website.
If you’re in the military, check out militarybeliever.com to find military friendly churches and ministries all over the nation. Or, if you represent a church or ministry that has a heart for ministering to military, contact militarybeliever.com to be listed in their directory (it’s free too)!