The wait is over

Usually by mid-February, we are anxiously waiting for spring to come. This year however, we feel like we’re still waiting for winter to arrive! Forecast after forecast brings us days in the 70s and sunny skies, making it hard to stay inside and edit. Most days we do, but then on some occasions, we ditch work early to paddle out on our canoe in the lake across the street from our house or take a quick bike ride to feel the wind on our faces and the sun on our backs. With some of the azaleas already in full bloom, the tulip magnolias gracing front yards and the daffodils popping up, we don’t feel like we are waiting for spring. Instead, we feel like we’ve been waiting sooooo long to share quite a few videos with you, but now, the wait is FINALLY over!

If you recall, at the end of September we documented the New Wineskins Global Mission Conference, an Anglican global missions training conference that happens once every three years. More than 1,200 people gathered from more than 60 nations to celebrate, reconnect, learn and grow, and hear God’s call afresh for their next season of ministry. We had the opportunity of interviewing 25 attendees to produce nine video stories of the conference’s impact on a wide range of people — from those who have attended every conference for the 25 years it has been in existence to first timers who were financially sponsored from faraway places. It was a crazy four days of filming and photographing in the beautiful setting of the Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina, and we were inspired by the stories we captured as well as challenged by the speakers we overheard while filming. With no further ado, below are just a couple of the nine videos we produced, but if you like what you see and want to watch more, CLICK HERE for ALL NINE VIDEOS.

The impact the New Wineskins Global Mission Conference can have on someone is huge. Rev. John Chol Daau is one of the people we had the pleasure of interviewing, along with his friend and co-author Lilly Ubbens. They co-authored the book God’s Refugee  based on Rev. John Chol Daau’s incredible, true story of surviving the genocide in South Sudan by running through the wilderness hundreds of miles to live in refugee camps for more than a decade. Many, many years later at one of the New Wineskins Global Mission Conferences, Rev. John Chol Daau heard the voice of the Lord calling out to him. This video is hardly the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Rev.’s story of being one of the lost boys of South Sudan, so we highly recommend reading the amazing book (we already did!).

Below is another conference testimonial through the eyes of two unlikely friends, Rev. Jon Stasney of Midland, Texas. and Rev. Cn. Rocky Sendegeya of Uganda.

New Wineskins Missionary Network hosts their Global Mission Conference once every three years, but there’s a lot more to the network than just the conference. The video below explains more about the network itself and how it accomplishes its mission to mobilize Anglicans for authentic, cross-cultural partnership around the world.

If you like what you’ve seen and want to take a look at the other videos we produced for New Wineskins, click here.

Another big project we’ve been working on this year is with the Foundation of FirstHealth in Pinehurst. We recently wrapped up producing a series of six videos highlighting different “physician champions” in the oncology field. From clinical trials specialists to a breast cancer surgeon to radiation oncologists, there are a lot of passionate caregivers at FirstHealth who are looking forward to the future Comprehensive Cancer Center coming to Pinehurst in 2022, which will unite all their subspecialties under one roof. Check out the video series below!

With all these videos now approved, we’re all caught up on our work which has allowed us to take on a few (slightly random) side jobs… like taking pictures and video footage for a window washing company, taking headshots and drone footage for a realty company and volunteering to film and produce a couple videos for our church (one for the website and one for a sermon on love). We’ve also been enjoying the ability to open our home and invest in our community by doing things like hosting a weekly book study, a monthly movie night, and we’ve headed up a new monthly initiative/neighborhood movement to beautify the lake we live on that we’re calling Friends of Greenfield Lake (we’re even printing t-shirts, so it’s REALLY official!). Then in our spare time, we installed our walkway, submitted a film grant application and have been lining up logistics for our international film projects that begin next month! We’ve got some exciting things on the horizon and we look forward to sharing them with you in our next blog update.

Until then, thanks for reading, watching clicking and praying!

2019 YEAR IN NUMBERS

A 10-Year Summary by Cassie

Cassie & Jordan, 2010.

It’s hard to believe we’ve officially started a new decade. When I think back on all that has happened in these last 10 years, it brings tears to my eyes. God has done so much. In 2010, I graduated from college with a dream to be a photojournalist and to make a difference in the world with my camera. I gained my sobriety and put my life in Jesus’ hands once and for all. I documented relief efforts in Haiti after the devastating earthquake, experiencing terrifying aftershocks, a hurricane and a cholera outbreak. In 2011, I lived in Nicaragua for half a year, serving with my camera for a Christian medical nonprofit. While I was there, Jordan came to visit me, gave his life to Christ and we got back together — this time dating as Christians with the intention of getting married. In 2012, we dated long distance, Jordan in NYC and me in NC, until Jordan got some sense knocked into him (literally) and moved a bit closer to the South when he got a job in Northern Virginia in 2013. That year we got married and plugged into our church, which filled us up spiritually, connected us socially, and gave us great fulfillment in life. Working desk jobs in our field from 2013 to 2015, we learned that there was so much more to life than having a fancy title and getting a fat paycheck. In 2015, we took the biggest leap of faith we’ve ever taken — we quit our jobs to do what we do now. We had no idea how much it would change our life forever. In 2015, we traveled to the ends of the earth documenting Kingdom work being done in God’s name all around the world and met so many beautiful people with stories of hope. Now five years in, we’ve worked in 35 different countries and have produced more than 350 videos. In 2016, we worked out of South America all year. In 2017, we did our second world tour, which continued into 2018. Mid 2018, we took a sabbatical to seek new vision as we thru-hiked 2,200 miles from Maine to Georgia on the Appalachian Trail. We prayed continually every step of the way, especially for Jordan’s mom who was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer during our thru-hike. We finished our hike just in time to witness our prayer answered — Jordan’s mom was cured of her cancer only halfway through chemotherapy treatment! In 2019, we bought a house, a basecamp of operations for our documentary missionary work after living out of our suitcases for five years straight. We renovated our kitchen, and got more photo and video work than ever before in North Carolina. We plugged into our church home and have gained a stable community for the first time since our nomadic life began five years ago. Whew! What a decade!

Here are some before and after pictures of our home renovation, which we couldn’t have done without Cassie’s brother’s design expertise who drew up the whole plan for us! We kept the layout pretty much the same, but updated and brightened up the entire first level (kitchen, dining room and sunroom). We are loving the result! We didn’t think to take before pictures of the bathrooms, but included after pictures of both bathrooms as well. We loved the original tile in the bathrooms, so just updated the vanities, mirrors and light fixtures, ripped out some built in cabinets to make them both feel bigger, as well as gave everything (the whole interior of the house, in fact) a fresh coat of bright white paint.

Since Our Last Update

In September, we filmed the New Wineskins Missionary Network’s Global Mission Conference where more than 1,200 Anglican Christians from more than 60 nations gather to gain and/or refresh their calling to missions. Our purpose at the conference was two-fold: to capture stories about how the conference inspires, encourages and launches Anglicans to be missions minded, but also to tell the story of the New Wineskins Missionary Network, the nonprofit that does a lot more than put on a massive conference once every three years. In all, we produced 8 videos from our week of filming in Black Mountain, NC. All the videos have been edited, but are still in the review process, so they can’t be released just yet. We had the honor of interviewing some incredible stories, including the Rev. John Chol Daau of South Sudan who told us only the short version of his story as a lost boy who ran for his life when his village went under attack during the Second Sudanese Civil War (1987–2005) where two million men, women and children were killed. Now the Reverend is an Anglican priest and we recently finished reading his amazing book that he co-authored called God’s Refugee. We highly recommend it! 

Since then, the Foundation of FirstHealth in Pinehurst has been keeping us busy with a lot of video projects— 22 videos, to be exact. This film work has been a bit of a departure for us, as we’ve been traveling by car instead of by plane to another part of the state instead of another corner of the world, but it’s been a huge blessing to us. A lot of the videos we’ve produced will be used internally, to train new providers that are hired, and we’ve been able to add some humor into the 20-minute videos and incorporate compelling stories from patients and staff. The Foundation of FirstHealth has been incredibly satisfied with our work, and every time we finish a project, they dream up the next project for us to work on! The most recent videos we’ve been editing are part of a campaign for the new comprehensive cancer center that they’re raising funds to build, where patients will be able to receive quality medical care on par with academic hospitals in a community hospital setting. The below video sheds light on how many lives cancer touches these days, and also casts the vision for this new cancer center. We’ve learned a lot from this project, and have been impacted to the point of making a huge lifestyle change, converting to the whole foods plant based diet. We’ve been feeling great and have been enjoying the diversity of our delicious home-cooked meals!

We also recently produced a video for Jillian’s Jitterbug Foundation, whose goal is to help children that have difficulties walking independently become mobile by providing financial assistance for families to purchase equipment that allows their children to become independent. The story of how the foundation started is incredibly touching, so be sure to watch the below video!

Miraculously, we met all our end-of-year video production deadlines. It truly was only by God’s grace. Since we got all our work done, we were able to enjoy our time off with our families over the holidays and the many, MANY immediate family birthdays we have at the end of the year, including both of our own! We celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas both in Southern Pines and Wilmington, and are back in full gear— editing, filming and scheduling projects for the rest of the year. 

AND NOW, A LOOK BACK ON 2019 WITH OUR ANNUAL YEAR IN NUMBERS:

173 miles hiked on the Long Trail in Vermont

94 trips to Lowe’s and Home Depot

61 videos produced 

26 flights flown

26 different beds slept in

21 overnight guests hosted (+ 4 dogs)

17 books read (including the Bible)

16 birthday freebie offers enjoyed 

10 nights spent in a tent

10 different churches attended

7 alligator sightings in our neighborhood 

6 gallons of kombucha brewed

5 countries visited 

3 flights cancelled

2 church presentations 
2 food-borne illnesses 
2 concerts attended in a canoe 
2 cars sold
1 car purchased 
1 car rented (for $2/day)
1 house purchased (& renovated!)
1 broken pinky finger (Cassie’s, rock climbing) 
1 airport rockstar sighting (White Denim band members) 
1 surprise birthday party thrown (for Cassie’s sister)

0 regrets

countless blessings

 

Looking to the Future

In 2020, we’re looking forward to several international projects that are penciled in on our work calendar. We’re also excited for our next long-distance hike across our beautiful state of North Carolina on the Mountains to Sea Trail. We plan to start in early fall, and have invited our adventurous 10-year-old niece to join us! We’re also looking forward to more opportunities to open our home to family, friends, and neighbors as we seek to build community and have an impact in our city.

Lastly, here’s our video reel, which we’ve been meaning to do for like… ever.

All Caught Up

What a great feeling it is to be all caught up with our video projects—a feeling we rarely get to experience! We’ve been traveling, editing and hiking like crazy, and by God’s grace, we have delivered 11 videos to some awesome causes around the world. But before we share videos with you, we wanted to give you an update on what we’ve been up to since our last blogpost.

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On the Go

Hello, friends, it’s been a while.

Since our last email, we’ve been on assignment in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Thailand, Pinehurst, North Carolina (twice), NYC (twice), Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and Cartago, Costa Rica. Ahead, we’re gearing up for Cassie’s family vacation in the mountains of North Carolina (what used to be an annual occurrence but since our life of travels has made that impossible for the past four years), more filming in Pinehurst, a project in the Czech Republic, and a kitchen renovation.

A magical sun halo sighting in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

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2018 Year in Review

It’s hard to believe it has already been more than one month since we summited Springer Mountain in Georgia and completed our 2,200-mile sabbatical thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Time has flown by as we’ve celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas and multiple birthdays with family, but overall the transition off the trail has been surprisingly easy for us. We heard from other people that we would be “weird” after the trail (we probably already were), or that we would have trouble sleeping indoors in a bed (ridiculous, we sleep like rocks), or that we might experience post-trail depression, but that hasn’t happened (probably because we weren’t trying to escape from our everyday lives and actually really love what we do). We mostly feel more aware and grateful for all the little comforts of the modern world that we live in.

If there is any drawback that we’ve noticed since coming off the trail, it’s how many distractions exist and how easily we can be distracted from what matters most. While we were hiking it was easy to be praying for extended periods of time throughout the day, but it can be hard to carve out that time off the trail. Continual prayer is just one of the many habits we developed while hiking that we have tried to adopt into our lives off the trail. Another more obvious one would be staying fit — hiking close to 30 miles a day became a breeze, stopping not because we were tired but only because we ran out of hours in the day. We were in the best shape of our lives by far and didn’t want to lose that physical ability and endurance just because our hike was over, so we’ve taken up trail running, easily jogging six miles a day. Another habit we wanted to continue was waking up early. Although we’re no longer waking up at 4:30am like when we were on the trail, we do enjoy getting up before the sun to see the sunrise and enjoy the stillness of the early morning that seems so much more peaceful than any other time of the day.

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TONS OF VIDEOS & OUR BIGGEST NEWS SINCE 2015!

The past couple of months have been a heavy editing time for us, mostly in North Carolina, but if you know us you know we are always on the move. So of course we also made a trip to the D.C. area to visit our home church, in addition to traveling to South Carolina and Guatemala for filming projects. We celebrated five years of marriage and even managed to take a good ole fashioned road trip to St. Louis for a family wedding.

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Timpys in Asia (Part 3)

We’re back from our first international trip of 2018, which took us to several places in Asia for lots of different projects including an international Christian school in Thailand, a university ministry in Malaysia, a foreign exchange program in China and more. But before we jumped into those filming projects, we crossed off a few things on our bucket list and visited New Zealand and Australia.

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Timpys in Asia (Part 2) & Our Annual Year in Numbers

If you missed Timpys in Asia Part 1, click here to read the blog post about our time in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia and to see more pictures like these…

Picking up where we left off on our last blog post, we departed the hot and humid jungle town of Sanggau on the island of Borneo in Indonesia and 36 travel hours later [via car, plane, and train], we arrived in the chilly city of Busan, South Korea. All our projects for this overseas mission were in Southeast Asia where summer is in full force year round with the exception of this project in South Korea. Busan city is about the same latitude as North Carolina and since it was now November, we got to experience the beautiful colors of autumn but had to pack a whole different wardrobe for this one project. Our down jackets and close-toed shoes were definitely necessary, since temperatures were between 30 and 50 degrees! On the three-hour train ride from Seoul to Busan we traversed the entire length of the country from the northern border to the southern tip, and got to see the changing landscapes from bustling city to beautiful mountainous farmland. South Korea appeared to be a very well off country, far more advanced and Westernized than all the other countries we’d visited on our tour of Asia so far, and that’s precisely the reason why we were there!

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Timpys in Asia (Part 1)

Thailand

We had a lot of work ahead of us for our five weeks in Asia, but first, we had to build in time for a big bucket list item. A trip to Southeast Asia would not have been complete without seeing Thailand, which is why we actually started our trip there, just for vacation. Cassie’s been dreaming of visiting Thailand ever since her sister traveled there more than a decade ago to scuba dive. Now that dream became a reality.

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Summer in Moldova

Sometimes when someone tells you about a place where they’ve had a wonderful experience, you aren’t sure if their experience was swayed by their personal circumstance or if it truly is an objective review of a place’s culture and setting. That’s how I felt when one of my (Cassie’s) friends told us we were going to LOVE Moldova, the teeny-tiny landlocked country in between Romania and Ukraine, and the poorest country in Europe.

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