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 – 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

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.

Press Release – Omaha Film Festival

February 14, 2011

Contact: Scott Moore
Producer/Director
Athentikos
615.852.8326
smoore@athentikos.com
www.reparandomovie.com
www.athentikos.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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 www.reparandomovie.com.

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I thought I knew, but I only thought …

By Scott Moore
Nashville, TN

We recently learned that ‘Reparando’ is an official selection of the 2011 Omaha Film Festival. This is good news for a few reasons. First, it is another opportunity to share the story to a new and diverse audience. Secondly, it adds more credibility to our project. And thirdly, I get to re-connect with some of my college friends.

The Omaha Film Festival has stirred up some memories. Its been 20 years since I first walked on to the campus of Hastings College. Hastings is a small town in the middle of the continent. For a Navy Brat, is was about as far away from the ocean I could have gone – at least on the continent of North America. It’s a long story to explain how I actually got there in the first place, and even longer to explain how all my siblings ended up there as well. We are all Hastings grads. Hastings is a part of our story. I’m looking forward to catching up with old classmates, enjoying some good food and conversation. I’ll probably even do some dancing … but probably not the “running man”.

A lot has changed in 20 years, but a couple things have stayed the same. I am still passionate about creative storytelling, and I am drawn to stories involving culture. High school in Okinawa, Japan certainly impacted my worldview. But so did college in small town America. Both extremes helped me realize the fact that people are people, no matter where you go. There are fears and flaws in every culture. But there are also beauty and richness. To enjoy the beauty, we must embrace the flaws.

I have also realized over the years that I am full of flaws … pride and envy … lack of patience … pride (I include it twice on purpose) … just to get the list started. On their own, these would be considered tragic flaws. I am Hamlet, Macbeth, and Anakin Skywalker rolled into one. Thankfully my flaws are countered with a belief of something bigger than myself. I believe in a story bigger than mine. I am not the leading role, but a mere extra at best. I am the captain of my destiny, AND I willingly give up the ship to a navigator who knows all. I thought I knew, but I only thought …

Back in the day, I wanted to be a film director. Today, I direct films … there is a distinct difference …

Press Release – Three Sold-Out Theaters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Reparando premieres to three sold-out theaters and excellent reviews.

GRAND RAPIDS, MI—Reparando, a documentary on Guatemala’s struggle to repair itself and its people following a 36-year civil war, held its West Michigan premiere October 13 and 14 at Celebration Cinema Rivertown and Celebration Cinema North, respectively, to three sold-out audiences.

One show was scheduled at each venue, but the demand required a second theater be added for the Rivertown show. Together, the three screenings were seen by nearly 1,100 people. Other showings during the week at schools, colleges and universities were viewed by another 500 people.

The response to the film was overwhelming.

“I sat in grade schools, high schools, colleges and sold-out movie theaters this week watching an amazing tapestry of grace unfold, both on screen and off,” says Scott Moore, producer and director.

Moore notes the effect the film had on just a few people he had a chance to talk to: an elementary teacher moved to begin micro-finance projects to support Guatemala with the kids from her school; a high-school Spanish teacher who based her lesson around the Reparando doll narrative and said it was her best day of teaching in her entire career; a high-school student who is now mobilizing her friends to use their collective discretionary money for missions advancement; a 17-year-old native Honduran who is now considering returning to Central America to work with children and teens; several teens now contemplating a full- time career in ministry.

Due to tremendous demand, another screening of Reparando in the area will take place the week of November 7. The exact time and location are to be determined.

Reactions from Viewers

“I wiped away tears often last night as I watched Reparando. First, tears for the pain of brokenness, then tears for the beauty of love for the broken, and finally tears for the hope and joy the Gospel brings as brokenness is repaired.” – Joel Hogan, Director of International Ministries, Christian Reformed World Missions

“The story is told so well and engagingly, at the same time delivering a film of extremely high aesthetic quality. I’ve seldom seen such story telling with such high artistic sensitivities.” – Leonard J. Vander Zee, Editor in Chief, Faith Alive Christian Resources

Reparando Synopsis
Guatemala was ravaged by Civil War for 36 years. But hope is rising. In the midst of incredible odds, victims have been transformed into champions who willfully embrace the pain of their past to help repair the next generation. Reparando depicts the restoration of Guatemala as told through the lives of Shorty – a former gang member who is now a pastor, and Tita – a woman who started a school in La Limonada, the largest slum in Central America.

For more information on Reparando, visit www.reparandomovie.com.

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Reparando Premiere In Nashville Oct. 19

Contact:  Scott Moore

Producer/Director
Athentikos
615.852.8326
smoore@athentikos.com
www.athentikos.com
www.reparandomovie.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Reparando, a documentary on Guatemala’s attempt to rise above a 36-year civil war, to premiere in Nashville October 19.

Nashville, TN—Athentikos presents Reparando, a documentary on Guatemala’s struggle to repair itself and its people following a 36-year civil war, and will hold its Nashville premiere on Tuesday, October 19 at The Belcourt Theater.

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. “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.

“God is repairing Guatemala one story at a time through those who have already been repaired,” says Moore. “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.”

By documenting the amazing stories of people giving their lives away to change these statistics for the better, Athentikos hopes to raise capital for micro-enterprise in Guatemala.

Tickets cost $10 + $2.50 Belcourt Historical Preservation & Processing Fee and are available online at belcourt.org.

Reparando Synopsis

On the morning of June 18, 1954, the United States C.I.A. dropped leaflets in Guatemala City demanding the resignation of the president. Guatemala was ravaged by Civil War for the next 36 years. But hope is rising. In the midst of incredible odds, victims have been transformed into champions who willfully embrace the pain of their pasts to help repair the next generation. This is their story. Shorty, a former gang member who is now a pastor and Tita, a woman who started a school in Guatemala’s most notorious slum joined forces to repair La Limonada.

For more information on Reparando, visit www.reparandomovie.com.

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