Potential in Poverty

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied.

Matthew 5: 3-6

When you become an Athentikos team member for I AM ART, you are strongly encouraged to watch Athentikos’s documentary, Reparando. So, armed with my favorite pillow and blanket, I set up my laptop and sat on my bed with my roommate and we began watching. Neither of us really knew anything about Guatemala, so this was going to be an educational experience for the two of us. If you didn’t know, Guatemala suffered through a 36-year civil war, the longest in Latin American history. Their civil war lasted longer than I’ve been alive. As a result, Guatemala has been struggling to rebuild, which is quite a challenge when poverty levels are high. The most extreme examples of poverty are slums in “Zonas Rojas,” or “Red Zones,” where the crime rates are high and the standard of living is low. Reparando focuses on La Limonada, one of the largest slums in Central America, with an estimation of 60,000 inhabitants. The conditions in which people are living are horrible. There is violence, hunger, intense pollution — things that most of us could never even imagine. And some of the people living in those conditions are children. There are kids living in dangerous places, experiencing traumatic things, stuck in a cycle of poverty, all for a war they had nothing to do with.

A study done in 1994 by Duncan, Brooks-Gunn, and Klebanov looked at poverty’s impact on child development. They concluded, “Family income and poverty status are powerful determinants of the cognitive development and behavior of children” (Duncan et al., 1994). And unfortunately, nothing about that conclusion is surprising. Poverty-ridden areas are known for drugs, crime, and low standards for education. This information sounds hopeless, I know. No one wants to hear that there are children in these conditions. Casa Bernabé (House of Comfort) is an orphanage and Oasis Residential Home takes in girls who have been the victims of sexual abuse. The kids from Casa Bernabé and Oasis Residential Home have been in extremely rough conditions. There’s nothing easy about that.

Fortunately, coming from a difficult background isn’t a life sentence. Resilience is the ability to adapt to challenging or threatening circumstances and kids are notoriously resilient. But that doesn’t mean just hoping for the best. Change requires action. Athentikos is helping kids learn how to express themselves and process the world around them through creativity. This isn’t something that will instantly transform Guatemala. Our camps will not reverse the problems that their civil war caused. It’s not going to fix the world. But it will, in a unique and beautiful way, change their individual worlds. I read that proactive orientation is “taking initiative in one’s own life and believing in one’s own effectiveness” (Alvord & Grados, 2005). Immediately I thought, “that’s what Athentikos is doing.” We’re teaching these kids to believe in themselves and to see the possibilities that are available to them. We hear over and over again about how children are the future, so it’s important we treat them well. Their lives have not been easy but they have potential to create beautiful art and tell their stories.

If you want to watch Reparando, the incredible documentary I mentioned, you can rent it on the Athentikos website for $2 or purchase it for $10 (https://athentikos.com/reparando/). This documentary solidified my passion for going to Guatemala and it’s well worth it to see how the people of Guatemala are finding their potential in poverty.

View More: http://ameliajmoore.pass.us/iamart2014

Reparando for Education and Exhibition Uses

The film Reparando is about hope and redemption at it’s core and we’ve been thrilled to see the effects of what a film can have on a community, even a country! And now that there’s even more ways to watch the film, such as through digital downloads, online streaming with Hulu and Amazon Prime and yes, we still sell physical dvd’s as well, there’s even a greater chance the film can impact more people and bring more awareness to what’s happening in Guatemala.

But what some of you may not know is that we offer Reparando to be seen in other settings than just your home. Because purchasing the film in the before mentioned manner is for home use only we wanted to have a chance for individuals to show the film in churches and other organizational settings, even classrooms! This is why we offer two different licensing options for the film, an education license and an exhibition license. Let us explain:

[one_half] Reparando – Educational License
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[one_half last=last] Reparando – Exhibition License
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An education license allows an institution to purchase the film for the purpose of using the film as an education resource. The license is a one time purchase and is held by the institution indefinitely. The one restriction about the education license is that it cannot be used for fundraising purposes. If an organization wishes to use Reparando as a way to help raise funding, then they would need to purchase the exhibition license.

An exhibition license for Reparando allows any organization to use the film for the sole purpose of raising money for that organization. The license is granted for one month and becomes active at the time of the first event. From that first event a licensee can use the film multiple times for 30 days. After the 30 days the license expires. If an organization wishes to use the film again another license must be purchased. At the end of each term the licensee must submit information of the total money raised and 10% is collected from that organization.

Funding that Athentikos raises from the licenses allows us to continue to make the Reparando available in these ways and bring greater visibility to the issues and hope in Guatemala. If you still have questions about licensing Reparando

Wrestling With Thanksgiving

I’m wrestling with Thanksgiving.

wrestling_featured_image
I’m not wearing a Lucha Libre mask, leaping high off the ropes to grapple a turkey (although that would be epic). I’m talking about being honest with myself about what I’m thankful for.

I’m typically thankful for the good things in my life:

God, Family, Food, Shelter, Health, Education, Friends, Travel … things that warm my heart and put a smile on my face.

But what about the other stuff?

What about the stuff that has angered me, saddened me, or hurt me? What about the things that have really been a struggle? Am I thankful for those things? What things fit into that category? Depending on my perspective (or lack of one) … anything can.

I’ve been immersed in Becoming Fools for the last three years. It has been a stressful journey and I have found myself growing more and more exhausted … and less and less thankful for the opportunity to be involved with the project. I used to feel the same way about Reparando. But that changed over time, after we released the film.

Like most humans, I forget too easily.

During my Becoming Fools scouting trip in 2011, Tita asked me to personally attend a screening of Reparando. I was honored for the invite, but was exhausted from two weeks of 16 hour days interviewing people and capturing footage in Guatemala City. Part of me wanted to just go back to my room and go to sleep. I couldn’t understand why it made a difference if I was there. I thought, “I am just a silly Gringo. They won’t care. And besides … I’m in Guatemala for Becoming Fools, not Reparando.” But Tita was persistent. She said she really wanted me to come. So, we drove straight from our production across the city to a church near La Limonada. Tita met us outside the church with hugs and we watched the film from the back of the room.

reparando_tee_01

After the film ended, Tita called Shorty and I to come up in front. She hugged me, and while everyone was clapping, they presented a gift from the people of La Limonada: A T-shirt covered with signatures of people who live in La Limonada … People who were very thankful we made the film. I could not have been more wrong about … everything.

My perspective was renewed.

Reparando brought me closer to many things in the list I made above – God, family, friends, education, and travel. On a personal level, it helped me understand my sons’ stories in a way that I could never grasp otherwise. On a broader level, Reparando has inspired countless resources given to mission that have blessed people with much more struggle than I could ever image – people who are very thankful.

I believe that Becoming Fools will do the same eventually. So why am I wrestling with thanksgiving over Becoming Fools? I’m human. I forget. That’s why we’re called to be transformed by the renewing of our mind (continually refocusing our perspective on truth). We forget. That’s one of the reasons we celebrate Thanksgiving: to remember. I am personally challenged to remember things that might not seem to easily fit into a warm and fuzzy Thanksgiving box. Because most of the time, I’m just trying to put these things in the box from the wrong angle.

Here’s the right angle:

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Everything fits in the Thanksgiving box with the right angle.

It’s not easy, but hopefully if I continue to wrestle, Thanksgiving will eventually win with a knockout.

What Thanksgiving do you wrestle with?

Reparando now on Hulu and Amazon Prime!

Reparando now on Hulu and Amazon Prime

More ways to watch “Reparando,” now on Hulu and Amazon Prime!

We have some BIG news to share with you. Thanks to our online distribution partner KinoNation, two big hitters in the online distribution world have picked up the “Reparando,” providing an opportunity for this story to inspire a broader audience to respond. We are thrilled that Amazon and Hulu are sharing the story with their networks. But in order to maximize this potential, we need your help:

If you subscribe to either Amazon Prime or Hulu, please:

  1. Login & view the film (even if you already have seen it)
  2. Rate the film.
  3. Promote the film via Facebook & Twitter

Staying on these streaming channels requires a high number of views and ratings. Hopefully, this is just the start. Plans for wider online distribution is underway. Follow us on Facebook & Twitter for the latest news.

The redemptive story of Reparando has inspired overwhelming generosity to help Guatemala. Let’s work together to make the most of this opportunity!










We thank you for helping us to continue sharing this moving film with as many people as possible. Your help will ensure these efforts continue!

Godspeed!
The Athentikos Team

All Working Toward The Same End Goal

All Working Toward The Same End Goal

By Sam Fisher

From age 16 to now (20), God has given me multiple amazing opportunities to serve Him through different ministries, all working towards the same end goal: to glorify God and make Him known by meeting needs both physical and spiritual.

The first door God opened in my journey was when I was a sophomore in high school. I was able to join up with a group called GEMS (Guatemalan Evangelical Medical Servants) and go to Guatemala for the first time on a weeklong medical missions trip. During this trip God really took hold of my heart and gave me a passion for these people as we held medical clinics at the local churches in four different villages. Not only did we hold medical clinics to meet the physical need of each village, but we also played with and shared the gospel with the kids and parents outside waiting to go to the clinic through Vacation Bible School style activities. I got to work outside with the kids every day, and I absolutely loved it! It was on this first trip to Guatemala that God really opened my eyes not only to the needs of this people, but also to the incredible ways in which He is working in Guatemala. He has given me a passion for working with children in Guatemala.

All Working Toward The Same End Goal

After this first trip, I returned to Guatemala 3 more times with GEMS and met so many wonderful people also doing God’s work there in Guatemala. The second time that I went, the leaders of the group showed us the movie “Reparando“. This is a documentary of Guatemala, and more specifically the amazing ways in which God is working in La Limonada, the largest slum in Guatemala. When I first saw this movie, my heart was again touched, and I felt God calling me to do something. I wanted to make a difference and be able to help even when I was back in the States. So, I got a hold of Athentikos and asked how I could help. I was put in contact with Ericha Penzien, who helped me begin to plan a screening of “Reparando”. The goal was to raise awareness in my own hometown of the needs and the hope in Guatemala.

With some help, I was able to hold a screening of “Reparando” at my college and raise over $800 for Athentikos.

My adventures did not stop there, though. At the end of May 2012, I went to Argentina for a 6-month study abroad program through my college. I decided to go because I wanted to be fluent in Spanish. This would help me work in Guatemala with the people and children I feel God has called me to work with. I think it is so important to be able to communicate with these people in their own language and to understand their culture. So, I went to Argentina for 6 months to learn Spanish better and experience their culture. While I was there, I lived with a host family and attended church with them. I got to help out with their youth group a few times and began regularly helping in their children’s ministry on Sunday mornings. God taught me a lot while I was there. Not only did I learn to speak Spanish fluently, but I also connected with so many new people that became family to me. The main thing was that God showed me that He is and will always be enough for me.

All Working Toward The Same End Goal

After going to Argentina, I spent a week in Guatemala with a friend named Julia Arreaga. She is a missionary to her own people in Guatemala and works with many different organizations helping at-risk youth. While I was in Guatemala, I got to see what she does and volunteer at an AMG school for a couple days. AMG schools are schools positioned in red zone areas of Guatemala that provide education, meals, and share Christ with the at-risk youth that live in these areas.

Then, when I had returned home, Ericha contacted me and asked me to be involved in the Red Bus Project. This is a project that Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife started to raise money to provide adoption grants and fund special care centers. I met Ericha and the RBP team, and more than a year later, as the Red Bus Project traveled to a college in my home state. I drove 2 hours to volunteer at the Red Bus Project’s double-decker-bus-turned-thrift-store for this awesome cause.

Looking back, it is amazing to see how God took a movie, “Reparando”, to give me such a passion and inspiration for helping others. God is so good!

Recently, I went to Guatemala a few weeks ago with GEMS again. This time, they asked me to lead the children’s ministry at each village. I decided to share the gospel with the kids through soccer. My friend Julia connected me to a group called Champions in Action when she heard what I wanted to do. This is a ministry that shares the gospel and mentors kids through soccer camps in the red zones of Guatemala. They were happy to come up with us to our first clinic and teach the kids some soccer. They also helped love on the kids, play with them, and do different crafts. It was a true gift to be able to work with them and combine our efforts and goals.

All Working Toward The Same End Goal

Now, as this summer begins, I have been accepted as an intern at an orphanage for girls in Guatemala. It is called Principe de Paz (or Prince of Peace). This girls’ home has over 50 girls living there that come from all sorts of backgrounds. Many of them have been taken out of the court system and given a home here. I will have the opportunity to work with both the girls at this home and the missions groups that come to the home to help out. I am really excited to see how God will use me during the month of July at Prince of Peace.

God has definitely used me in many different ways, volunteering with many different organizations throughout the last few years. It amazes me still to see how many connections God has given me and continues to give me both in the States and in other countries. The passion that God has given me is to minister to the children that come from these red zones of Guatemala. I want to be a source of light and encouragement for these kids, and I want to be Christ to them. Honestly, I cannot say where I will be in five years or how God will use me. I only pray that He continues to receive glory through me and that hope continues to rise in the hardest places in Guatemala.

Reparando – Still Repairing

05.31.13

 

Reparando is still repairing.

Reparando means “repairing” in Spanish. Athentikos produced the documentary, Reparando in 2010 to:

  1. Expose needs in Guatemala
  2. Connect viewers to organizations responding to those needs
  3. Inspire people to respond by giving or going to Guatemala to join the mission

Two years later, the film continues to challenge audiences all over the world and inspire them to live generously. An example of this is Josh Diaz, a Guatemalan who quit a job he loved in order to have time volunteer for Guatemalan mission organizations with his talents.

Josh shares his story in the video below.

Were you inspired by Reparando?

Let us know so we can share your story.

Reparando – Josh’s Story from Athentikos on Vimeo.

2012 was a year of adventure and blessing for Athentikos

2012 Athentikos Collage

We are grateful to be able to share the journey of 2012 with you:

  • Athentikos took a risk and began production
    on the Becoming Fools documentary without full funding, believing God
    would provide. As of December 2012, the film is 75% complete.
  • Athentikos was blessed with our first production intern, Brandon Rojano.
  • In June, Athentikos partnered with Guatemalan Churches, NGO’s, Local and Federal Government in a consultation event to explore homelessness and present an official report to the Guatemalan Government.
  • In June, homeless youth shared their story through a theatrical performance in front of over 400 people in Guatemala’s historic Teatro Abril.
  • Athentikos served on a leadership team with Lemonade International & Vidas Plenas to host an annual Art Camp
    for 100 at-risk kids in the community of La Limonada. Guatemala.
    Athentikos provided over 70% of the funding through individual donations
    and a grant given by LEGO.

Stories inspire change and hope. We are thankful to be
able to share these incredible blessings from 2012! They would not be
possible without you! Please help Athentikos continue to inspire through
the art of story by giving a tax-deductible gift of $50, $100, $200 or
more. Your investment will be exponentially returned as it inspires through the art of story throughout 2013 and years to come!

Thank you for believing with us and generously sharing your time, talent
and treasure! We are all part of this story to inspire together!

Help us inspire hope by giving a tax-deductible donation.

Please give online today or send a check to:

Athentikos PO Box 1902 Springhill, TN 37174

Thank you,

Scott & Amelia Moore

www.athentikos.com

Reparando continues touching lives

After spending time in Antigua at a YWAM site, Guy Crook contacted Athentikos to share his response to Reparando.   He expressed his passion for Athentikos and Reparando, after having seen Reparando while on a mission trip in Guatemala last year.  YWAM Antigua‘s mission is to know and love God and make Him known in Antigua, Guatemala and the nations.  YWAM Antigua uses Reparando to educate their students on the history of Guatemala and to paint a picture of “hope and inspiration of what one life can do to make a difference,” says Bruce Ahlberg, Director of YWAM Antigua.

Guy watched Reparando on a small group visit to YWAM Antigua.  He shared with us how emotionally moved he was by the film.

“I was moved to tears.” – Guy Crook.

“…I bought a copy on line from you guys, and have shown it to several brothers and sisters.  Every time I see it, I am deeply moved, considering myself one of those trophies of grace.  I was a piece of trash that Jesus Christ cleaned up for His use.  My name is Crook, which is a respectable English name after the shepherd’s crook.  However I am a thief, of the worst kind.  I stole sixty years from God, serving myself for my glory.  Now I am seventy one years old and know what I want to do when I grow up.  I will serve the One who created me for the rest of my days.”

Thinking of ways to help spread the word and continue touching more lives, Guy shared with us a creative merchandise idea, “I think there would be a market for black tee shirts with “Trophies of Grace” printed on them in white.”

We love hearing stories of how Reparando has touched lives and inspired people to respond!! Please share your story with us: ericha@athentikos.com.

***NOTE: Featured Image as well as other photographs are available as Metallic Prints on the Athentikos Store for purchase.

Reparando sparks conversation at Healing Waters

 

“To say that it was ‘spot on’ and a blessing is to understate its impact and the work of the Holy Spirit in our training room.”

These are the words from Ed Anderson, Chief Executive Officer of Healing Waters, after sharing Reparando with several ministry partners.  Ed shares, “I wanted to present something that helped us unite in Spirit and passion.”

Healing Waters, The Pier Institute, Adventures in Ministry and Children’s Hope Chest watched this film and discussed topics in the film that relate to their own ministries.  “The core theology of the film speaks volumes to all of us in ministry,” Ed said.

Healing Waters is an organization that partners with churches and other organization to provide a sustainable supply of clean water in places where poverty and contaminated supplies of water prevail.  Healing Waters also strives to provide education on health and business strategies to further assist and equip these ministries.

Other organizations, including Compassion International, will also join in watching this film this month and participating in the discussion as efforts are made to learn and grow ministries making a difference around the world.  Although Reparando is a unique story about Guatemala, the inspiration and work of God through struggle that Reparando shares can also be seen in many other countries.

Thank you to Healing Waters and the other ministries involved, for building relationships and sharing in discussion about Reparando and the hope that exists even through struggle and opposition.

 

Ringing Out of Control

I consider myself a strategic thinker. I like intentionality. On a practical level, that means I put a lot of thought into something before I pursue it. I count costs, develop a plan of attack, and then once there is a clear target … I dive in and invest my entire being into whatever it is I am pursuing. I don’t enjoy investing 50%. I am just not wired that way. There are probably many reasons for this characteristic in my life – not the least of which is my desire for control.

I am a story teller (communicator) by trade. So on one level, I want to have control over a message. I want to ensure that I tell stories with clarity and purpose –  simple stories with a rich depth. I prefer stories that connect with your heart immediately, but also reveal something new each time they are experienced. ‘Reparando’ is such a story.

Our goal was simple on paper: inspire viewers to respond. We set out to accomplish this goal using the metaphor of the repaired doll in the over-arching storyline. We wrestled through pre-production for over a year, weaving this metaphor through the story. Everything was intentional – from the “Michelangelo-esque” feel of the hand reaching down to pick up the doll in the title sequence, to the money exchanged as a ransom for doll parts, to the baptismal washing of the doll, to the white dress … I could go on and on … all of these things were intentionally included to reinforce the story of redemption.

During the editing process, I came across a statement by Shorty that inspired me as I scored music for the film. Shorty says “como campanas en mi meante” or in English, “like ringing bells in my mind” when he remembered the message of God’s love in his life. I loved this concept of ringing bells and employed them in the musical score from the very beginning of the film. Watch the film and listen carefully for bells. You will first hear them in the title sequence as the hand reaches down. Then, you’ll hear bells over and over again throughout the story. This was intentional bell ringing. I wanted to communicate that “God loved Shorty and was present from the beginning.”

OK, now fast forward to a few weeks ago when I was in Grand Rapids, Michigan for the final event of our spring screening tour. Oddly, I listened to something in ‘Reparando’ for the first time. I say listened, because I had heard it before, but not connected the dots.

If you own the DVD, fast forward to the final scene of the movie in the market and listen carefully. As the scene builds and eventually plays out, you will hear the sound of a bell ringing out of control. When I say it is ringing out of control, I mean it. Someone is ringing the heck out of a bell and we had no control over it. It was just the natural sound of the market and a vendor was ringing a bell to gain attention. Little did they (or I) know how profound their bell ringing would become. If you listen for the bell, it is clearly present in this scene. But it sat there unnoticed by me for almost two years as I focused on my own intentionality.

I don’t want to over spiritualize it. But these bells reminded me that no matter how much intentionality I put into something, I am not in control. This lesson could not have come at a more profound time. Case in point … immediately after returning home from the Michigan screening / bell epiphany, I learned that I am loosing my day job – the job that actually pays my bills. None of my intentionality or planning mattered at that point. I’m simply not in control.

To be honest, my heart is walking a tightrope between mourning and dancing. I am a critical thinker and a processor. It isn’t just loosing my job. It’s deeper than simply finding a way to replace my income. There is a certain sting that hurts your soul when you are told that your purpose and passion are not valuable – at least when you are wired like me. It cuts deep. However, I have learned a couple things through Shorty & Tita in the film ‘Reparando’ :

1. God was, is, and will be in control of Shorty and Tita’s life. And the same holds true for mine.

2. Because God is in control, I don’t need to be.

I cling to this truth as I walk forward in faith, hoping to pursue Athentikos full time. That is my dream and perhaps my calling. Only time will tell. But even if for some reason I cannot pursue this dream, I will joyfully dance to the sound of bells that continue ringing out of control.