For the ‘Long Haul’
This past January I [Kirk] found myself sitting at one end of our dining room table, while at the other end my wife was in a meeting with two guys about a project. One of the guys—Daniel N.—was present with us, and the other—Brendan C.—was on a video call from Connecticut. While listening to their ideas about this book project, it dawned on me the significance of this moment. Join me on a walk down memory lane to when I was living in New York City—4 years before I was married to Sarah.
In 2003, it was my [Kirk‘s] fifth year in NYC. Several years earlier, I (and a student from NYU) had started a ministry for and with college students who were in the arts. After 3 years we were slowly finding success at engaging their fellow students in creative ways about Christianity and Jesus. So much success that during the summer of 2003; myself, several other staff from NYC and about a dozen students traveled to Barcelona, Spain for an arts summer project—to take students deeper into their art and their walks with Jesus. About eight or nine of those students were from NYC and involved in our ministry. The art we focused on was filmmaking because it was the medium most suited to include a variety of creative skills. It was a summer I will never forget. This project helped launch the arts summer project that we did in NYC for years afterwards.
Later that year (in the academic year of 2003-4), we started an outreach event through the ministry called The Angle. This was designed to be a creative experience using visual, written (like poetry), performance, and musical art to address topics related to spiritual things and the Christian worldview. We addressed things like: belief in God, meaning and purpose, contradiction and darkness—and many others—all in a way that engaged multiple senses of the attendees. Not just their minds, but their hearts and souls as well. Most times, at the end of the events, I gave a short talk on the topic to prick their consciences and invite them to consider what is true and who is the source of Truth.
Fast forward to my moment of realization in 2023 at our dining room table and Sarah’s meeting with Daniel and Brendan. Brendan was on of the students who went to Barcelona in the summer 2003 with me—he was a film student at NYU’s Tisch Film School in Manhattan and a student leader of the ministry. Daniel was our “resident poet” for The Angle and wrote a poem or two for every event we did—he was an English Literature student at NYU on full scholarship.
Daniel and Brendan have started a film production and book publishing company together called Plotnaut. For their first book project they have hired Sarah to do the design. Beyond that, they are about to start filming a movie that Daniel has written and Brendan is producing and Daniel recently returned from traveling to promote his most recent book release, “The Many Assassinations of Samir the Seller of Dreams”, which has followed the previous success of his book “Everything Sad is Untrue”. Last December, Daniel and his family moved here to Rock Hill because of the unique arts community of Christians we have here.
If you would have told me back in 2003 that in twenty years two of the students I was working with were going to be running their own film/publishing company and hire my wife for their first book project—all the while trying to walk with Jesus—I would not have believed you. I am full of astonishment and gratitude.
Your investment in the kingdom has not only been for Sarah and me, but it has also been through Sarah and me. God does His work for not only now, but also the long haul. Don’t underestimate the value of the Kingdom work God can do through you. May you be as astonished and as grateful as I am.
>>Pray the prayer with us that we try to pray before every event, "Jesus, help us be a part of someone's next step toward you."
>>Please pray for our hearts and souls. This season of losing Sarah's best friend, Audrey and our brother-in-law Wronsky in the midst of life's ups and downs makes life weightier to bear for us and our families.
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