By Jonathan Porta
Guatemala City, Guatemala
I love how God is in the business of redeeming the beauty found in the midst of our chaos. How He rescued us from our mess, and now we can bear witness to what He has done. The 2 weeks of premieres in Guatemala were some of the most exciting and challenging weeks for me. Not because of my job or my task… but because of the eternal lesson of trusting in God in every step of the way.
My involvement with the film started a little over a year ago. I was a part final product development process. This created anticipation and excitement inside of me. I have loved seeing this film over and over again. And as a Guatemalan all I really just want is to help spread the word about what God is doing and what He wants to do next. So, these two weeks where just the tip of the iceberg or better said… it was the flourishing of the building up of months of work.
For the week of Premieres my job consisted of setting up the venues and organizing the event details (enlisting volunteers, setting merch, interface with the venues, oversee the tech set up). Of course I didn’t do this by myself; I could never dream to have done this alone. God in His master plan, handpicked each and every person who got involved in the process and became part of the team to help make all of this happen. At the beginning stages of the process everything everything went smoothly: negotiation, arrangement, and details. THINGS WERE HAPPENING and we were getting somewhere. We were all set and ready to move forward!
Our first premiere was scheduled to happen in Casa Santo Domingo, Antigua on Tuesday November 16. Everything was ready UNTIL Monday came around. The Athentikos team decided to go check the venue out, and noticed certain concerns. By the time I came around to talk to the hotel and address those concerns… the location, the sound system companies, and people were just dropping out and things started falling apart. I did EVERYTHING I could ever do to hold it all together, but it all just slipped away of my grip and control. I remember hanging up with the last bad-news-call and just sighed and said: “Ok God, this is your event, not mine… you take over, I’m done!!” and through God’s continued faithfulness…
I drove to Antigua with Hubert to see what we could do and by the time we were there… everything was solved. Location, sound, people, volunteers… EVERYTHING, down to the last detail! It was all fixed within an hour, and all I had to do was: wait and trust God! When we ended that day after our first event, I was just so grateful to see what God had done!! The people’s responses were amazing; and we were all grateful to God for being a part of His work.
Then on Wednesday I went to the movie theater with Hubert to prepare for the follow night’s cinema theater event. We spent all morning figuring things out, making sure we were prepared to set up the next day, and everything was great and ready. However, when Thursday came around Hubert went in early to the movie theater to start setting up when I got a call from the manager. I met with the theater manager, and turns out that we couldn’t move forward with the event due to financial miscommunication. EVERYTHING fell apart and this was our biggest event of the week! We already had over 400 people RSVP for the event. I remember getting on the phone and doing all sorts of things and just shaking. I tried my best to make this happen; but it just wouldn’t happen. Yet again… I just sighed and said: “Ok God, this is your event, not mine… you take over, I’m done!!” and when I let go … EVERYTHING got solved in a miraculous way and had yet another full packed event.
I don’t want to make this any longer, but trust me, I can continue going on and on, about things that went wrong (I still want to look good after you’re done reading this blog 😉 ) but at all times I saw the beauty of God’s hand and how He worked EVERY SINGLE DETAIL in the midst of my chaos. God reminded me several times, “I AM IN CONTROL!”
I am excited as a Guatemalan to see my own people understand the call that God is making to them! To us all! And being part of this process has been humbling and a true Honor. I am deeply grateful to God for everything that HE did this whole 2 weeks and the opportunity of being a small part of this amazing work that HE is doing!
Jonathan, Scott, Amelia, Joel and others meeting prior to the first screening in Antigua
People hanging out after the Screening in Guatemala City
Merch Table at the Antigua Screening
Some of the volunteers with Jonathan after the screening in Guatemla City
Jonathan and Scott meeting folks after the show
Lobby area after the screening in Antigua