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.
As far as our work goes, we’ve been extremely busy filming and editing for some really awesome causes. In April, our trip to New York was in partnership with a church in Red Hook, a neighborhood/housing project in Brooklyn. We accompanied a North Carolina-based church that supports Redemption Church that helped the one-year old church plant to put on a MASSIVE Easter Egg Hunt. Pastor Edwin is a Brooklyn native and has the heart to reach “the hipster and the hood”, so their Easter Egg Hunt was a big outreach amidst these two contrasting but coexisting populations. The help of a team of people from Providence Baptist Church in Raleigh made it possible for Redemption Church to show Christ’s love in tangible ways by serving food, offering games, arts and crafts, a photo booth, and thousands of candy-stuffed Easter eggs to the community surrounding them. Below is one of the two videos we produced from the trip, which includes an incredible testimony from a Red Hook native.
From New York, we flew to Thailand to work with a different Providence team just outside of Bangkok. Our main project was filming a summer camp for local high schoolers, but we were introduced to the bigger story of a medical clinic run by a team of church planters on a mission to reach the people of Thailand. Below are both videos we produced from this trip.
From Bangkok we flew to Chiang Mai to work a second year in a row with Cornerstone Counseling Foundation. They had some really creative ideas for the videos we’d be working on this trip. The first video we did was more of a departure from the more documentary style that we typically produce, allowing us to plan and script scenes to illustrate a Thai native’s poetic story of transformation through counseling. We’re really happy with how it turned out, but Cornerstone tells us that it’s even better if you actually understand Thai because of how beautiful the words are. Regardless, there are subtitles, so watch it and be refreshed!
The second video we produced for Cornerstone was a vision casting video for their capital campaign they are running to raise funds for expanding their Thai counseling ministry for Thai nationals. We’ve heard and seen how counseling can literally save lives, repair marriages, renew people’s passion for their calling, and transform broken people into wholeness through Christ. It’s something we’ve become really passionate about and we encourage you to donate to this great cause!
Closer to home, we’ve been continuing to work on a several videos with the Foundation of FirstHealth Hospital in Pinehurst, NC, and the project has become a huge blessing for us. What started as a request for a couple videos has grown into two separate projects, one of which could give us enough work to fill up the rest of the year on its own. Most of the videos we’ll be producing in the future are for their internal staff, so we won’t be sharing them with you, but below are a couple of other videos we produced for their efforts in building a new comprehensive cancer center, which we’re excited to share.
Actually, we’ve made a big lifestyle change in response to our project with FirstHealth. As we listened to the stories of two grateful patients for one of those internal video projects, we were surprised to hear testimonies of how these people got off all kinds of medication they had been prescribed for decades — all by changing their diet. Their doctor prescribes a reading list to her patients, all books and documentaries that promote a whole foods plant-based diet. We were amazed at the results these patients told us about, so we looked into ourselves, and after watching the Forks Over Knives documentary (which also is a book, website, cookbook, etc.), we were convinced. Although we don’t have any health problems, we felt that the research that backed the diet, which is basically vegan, was overwhelming and hard to deny. We’re six weeks in and are still figuring things out, but in the little time we’ve been advocating this lifestyle change, God has arranged us to meet other fellow vegans and vegetarians and provided us with cooks while on assignment overseas that not only cater to our preferences, but enjoy doing it! That said, it’s definitely much easier when we’re cooking at home… well, except for the fact that we’re in the middle of a kitchen renovation.
When we returned home from our projects in New York, Mexico and Costa Rica (just in time for Fourth of July), we walked back into our half-demolished kitchen. Before we left, Jordan began the demolition by ripping out a couple walls and an electrician did some rewiring and installed recessed lights, other light fixtures and switches while we were gone. The next steps are pulling out the existing cabinets, countertops and appliances and pulling out the flooring. We have less than a week to complete the rest of the demolition, all while working on editing everything from our last filming trips, before we take off again for more filming in Pinehurst, a short vacation with Cassie’s family and a project in the Czech Republic. While we’re gone the rest of the month, our carpenter will be working on putting everything back together and the next time we come back from our travels, we’ll hopefully be walking into a renovated kitchen that just needs a few finishing touches.
Regardless of the ongoing construction, we’ve hosted lots of family and friends — something that we’ve been given the opportunity to do since our house purchase. After four and a half years of being a guest in other peoples’ homes, it’s been nice to return the favor. We like to think we’ve perfected how to be good guests, but we’re still figuring out how to be good hosts! Since we got our keys three months ago (though we’ve been away on assignment for about half that time), we’ve hosted 16 overnight guests. Jordan’s parents (who live 20 minutes away) have helped us tremendously helping us paint the entire inside of the house, lending us tools to tame our overgrown bushes, and keeping our vegetable garden, herb garden and house plants alive while we travel for weeks at a time with not a drop of rain (until we return, which is usually the pattern).
We look forward to sharing the videos from our projects in Mexico and Costa Rica in the future, but we’ll leave you with some photos from our very short vacation between projects in the Yucatan Peninsula. We rented a car (for $2 a day!) to navigate to some incredible sights. We wandered around the mind-blowing ruins of Chichén Itzá (one of the Seven Wonders of the World), swam in several cenotes (cavelike sinkholes) that dot the Yucatan, toured more Mayan ruins in Tulum built to the edge of cliffs overlooking the Caribbean Sea and kayaked in the crystal clear waters of the Lagoon of Seven Colors in Bacalar (and got caught in rainstorms multiple times!). Below, enjoy the visual vacation without the heat of the Yucatan!