Examining Time

We shared our vision for Athentikos with Joel VanDyke, Director of Center for Transforming Mission Latin America.  Joel is directly connected to most of our potential stories in Guatemala City and is very excited to partner with us in this project.  Many of these stories focus on ministries with incredible accomplishments in very difficult places despite little or no substantial financial backing.  We all hope that these ministries will gain greater support through the publicity of our project.

As we examined stories and discussed logistics, we were reminded that Latin America runs very differently than we are used to.  We will not have finalized production schedules until right before we travel because the average person in Guatemala doesn’t plan that far out in advance.  Although this might seem unusual, I have experienced this before on trips to Guatemala, Peru, Costa Rica, and Mexico … Life is not as “controlled” as it is in the USA.  That isn’t a value judgement, just merely a fact.

As Americans, we live in an “efficiency oriented / time is money” society.  Perhaps this is because as Americans, we have more time AND money than most other countries throughout the world.  With greater opportunities at our disposal, we have tasted financial success and found it to be “delicious”.  We focus our efficiency on the product of our work … we have evaluated, theorized, and repurposed ourselves to be producers – many times at the expense of other “valuable commodities” – the greatest of which is often relationships.

This is not to say that Guatemalans (or citizens from other Latin American countries) are inefficient or lack in the ability to produce; nor is it to say that Americans completely de-value relationships.  Guatemalans are quite productive and resourceful especially considering the very limited resources available to them and Americans have a lot of friends despite the fact that we spend so much time “working”.  The difference is in the details which are missed unless we take the time to notice them.

I look forward to exploring these details in January.

Late Night Pre-Production

Athentikos pre-production is moving forward with passion. Monday’s pre-production meeting lasted until 1 AM and we were still excited. We all have full-time jobs outside of this production, so we have to work on it after our “normal day” is finished, which means many late nights. My body is beginning to realize the lack of sleep, but it is worth it. I am so thankful to be able to partner with an amazing team to tell this incredible story.

We finalized some of the web site content, evaluated different models for production for our time in Guatemala, examined technical gear and developed a plan to begin fundraising (which we hope to begin in the next few weeks).


After hammering out details of pre-production, we watched a documentary called “China Rises” to brainstorm ideas for telling stories. The hour-long episode ended up being over two hours as we paused it numerous times to discuss, evaluate and critique the content.  We like the basic model of “China Rises” and will incorporate some of it into our production.

The Big Picture

Amelia and I spoke with a contact in Guatemala this afternoon via skype to begin logistical planning for our trip in January. I am thrilled to live in a time where we are blessed with technology to help us communicate and work. The concept of using a computer to call someone in a different country – for free – amazes me (not to mention being able to see them with the whole video chat phenomenon). These are things that Captain Kirk used in movies when I was a child growing up in the 70’s and 80’s. In a mere twenty years they have trickled down to people like me … people who are not exploring the final frontier and best friends with Spock.

I realized several years ago that I am a story teller at heart. I love the power of story. Stories have entertained, educated and transformed humanity since the world began; first in spoken word, then in written form and most recently in motion pictures. I imagine if that I lived hundreds of years ago I would have been a sort of Bard or playwright. However, since I live in a modern world with technology that would have caused good ol’ Captain Kirk to soil his polyester jumpsuit … my medium for story telling is digital motion pictures.

My passion for story telling is fueled by the fact that I cannot isolate my story from the greater arching story unfolding around me. As I conversed today with our contact in Guatemala, I was reminded once again that God has uniquely designed me with experiences, abilities and passions that correlate with other uniquely designed individuals. When God gave me the vision for this project several years ago, He was also similarly inspiring other people with different experiences, abilities and passions towards the same goal. We fit together like pieces of a grand mosaic to communicate a story that none of us could tell on our own.

Athentikos Blog Begins

This marks the beginning of the Athentikos Blog where we will be highlighting our production. We are currently finishing our web site and building our team. More information will come soon.