Clowning For the King

It is always sad to learn that a friend has died. But, somehow it is even more sad when the cause of death is trivial in comparison to the life they once lived. One of our friends in Guatemala died unexpectedly. His name was Italo and he was a professional clown who spent his spare time serving youth who live on the streets of Guatemala City. I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had been shot. The streets of Guatemala City are violent. But our friend wasn’t murdered, he drown by accident while swimming in Lake Atitlan. Again, he drowned. This shocks me and I ask myself, “why? What is the point?”

We met Italo a couple years ago on our first Athentikos production trip to Guatemala. He had a magnificently charming personality. We immediately sensed his heart for the youth who had for one reason or another fled their homes to live on the street. His story was beautifully simple, yet so profound. He put on clown makeup to “pay the bills” by entertaining children who had families, so he could take off his makeup and spend his life giving Hope to these street youth. Their somber faces radiated joy when he arrived. He was the family they never had. He brought joy to the joyless, hope to the hopeless, through the love of Christ poured out in life.

In a perfect world, Italo would have continued to share his gifts of life and laughter for years to come. But we don’t live in a perfect world. His life of service was cut short by a seemingly random tragedy and I find myself asking why? With all of the struggle in Guatemala, why would such a “good man” be called up in the middle of such a seemingly selfless life that was making such a difference? How does Italo’s death actually proclaim the truth of the God louder than Italo’s service to the homeless when he was alive?

I can ask over and over, but I simply do not know how Italo’s death plays into the “big story” that is unfolding. I might not ever know the answers to these questions, and honestly, it doesn’t matter in the end. Even if I never know any thing else, I know God wove Italo’s story into mine in a way that gave me a fresh perspective on God’s love. That alone is enough to honestly believe life does have purpose. There are several street youth in Guatemala would would agree with me. Italo brought us joy. From what I know of God, I would say Italo brought God joy too. To quote a friend, “Italo is now … In His Presence … Clowning for the King.”

Press Release – Omaha Film Festival

February 14, 2011

Contact: Scott Moore


Reparando, a documentary on Guatemala’s attempt to rise above a 36-year civil war, to premiere at Omaha Film Festival March 5.

Omaha, NE—Athentikos presents ‘Reparando’, a documentary on Guatemala’s struggle to repair itself and its people following a 36-year civil war at the Omaha Film Festival on Saturday, March 5 at the Great Escape Theatre. Show starts at 2:30 p.m. and is appropriate for all ages.

The documentary follows Shorty, a pastor and former gang member, and Tita, who started a school in Guatemala’s most notorious slum, as they join forces to invoke positive change and repair the country and its people.

“In 2006, my wife and I visited Guatemala to meet our adopted son for the first time,” says Scott Moore, producer of ‘Reparando’, who is a Hastings College graduate. “We were amazed by the contrast between beauty of the land and the unbelievable hardships of the people.”

75% of Guatemala’s population lives below the poverty line. An estimated 20,000 children live in orphanages and at least 6,000 more in the streets of Guatemala City alone. Hindering their rise from these conditions are gang culture, chronic malnutrition, poor education and a lack of resources.

Moore and his wife, Amelia, began to investigate the cause of these issues and traced it to what was essentially a loss of an entire generation due to the civil war. But they see hope rising.

“I’m thrilled to finally be able to share the incredible story of ‘Reparando’ with the public in the hopes of inspiring people to live generously with their time, talents and treasure”, says Moore.

For more information on ‘Reparando’, visit

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Reparando Guatemala – Episode 5

Behind the scenes with Athentikos as they travel to Guatemala for the premiere of ‘Reparando’. Episode 5 highlights the final day of Art Camp in Ciudad Vieja, diplomas and the search for the Ortiz family … including walking into a strangers house by mistake.

Stay tuned for next episode when Athentikos premieres ‘Reparando’ at Casa Santo Domingo in Antigua!

Looking. Listening. Exploring life’s story.

If life is a stage, we are all characters in the same story. It’s not my story or your story, but our story. Sometimes we get in the way of the best plot because we want to play the leading role. I’m guilty of this for certain. The story isn’t about us, but we have a role to play. We’ve each been given something valuable. We can either horde it, or we can share it with others and watch it grow. Let’s engage the larger story and explore the stage together.

Looking. Listening. Exploring life’s story.