It’s good to be home again. Leaving my precious family (including my little dogs) for 10 days is hard to do no matter how excited I am about the filming and research.
So many wonderful things came out of this trip. First of all, I want to praise God for putting us together with John Christy of Amanola Productions. John shares our love for God and His church. He and his incredible son, Chandler, took over the filming responsibilities. They joined us for trip #2 and will accompany us on the 4 remaining trips as well. John is an incredible filmmaker. On our flight home I got to look at a few of the interview clips and I was overjoyed at the quality and beauty of the capture. 40 Churches in 40 Weeks is going to be as compelling visually as it is intellectually and spiritually.
Getting to see parts of the US that I’ve never been to before is a delightful bonus to this work. I’m not sure I’d ever have found a reason to visit Barstow, Flagstaff, Williams, Winslow, Oklahoma City, Shawnee, Tulsa, Elk City, Canyon or Amarillo if it weren’t for the fact that I40 runs right through most of them. But I’m glad it does and I’m blessed for having been to each of those cities on our route so far.
We interviewed pastors, leaders and members of 14 different churches in 9 days during our second trip (9 in our first trip)! Each and every one of them has been a blessing to us. We gained some very interesting insights, and the story God is revealing to us seems to be coming into focus. I don’t dare say too much at this point because who can say for sure that He won’t take us into an entirely unexpected direction! The things we’ve learned through all who’ve joined our conversation are going to bring a lot more understanding than I even imagined! I suppose the greatest revelation thus far is that God indeed is moving in this project and our excitement continues to increase as we wonder where He will lead us.
We are very grateful to all the pastors who invited us to get a closer look inside their ministries in our first two research trips. Each of them shared openly about their church, their concerns for our Christian communities and their vision for our future. I wish I could say it was all sunshine and roses, but there seems to be some consensus that we need to prepare ourselves for difficult times. To each of them I want to say how proud I am to have met them. They are my brothers and sisters in Christ and I pray God blesses them and strengthens them as they continue to work hard to further the message of the Gospel.
- Dr. Eddie Pate – FBC Barstow
- Pastor Chris Monroe – First United Methodist Church, Barstow
- Pastor Paul Meldrum – NorthPoint Fellowship
- Pastor Vince Garvey – Redemption Church
- Pastor Jim Dorman – Christ’s Church of Flagstaff
- Pastor Andy McDaniel – FBC Williams
- Pastor Billy Martin – Community Methodist Church
- Pastor Kevin Berg – Desert View Baptist Church
- Pastor Travis Hurst – Faith Christian Outreach
- Pastor Ryan Stafford – Victory Christian Church
- Pastor Roger Nix, Believers Church
- Pastor James Dean – First Christian Church
- Pastor Chip Herrera – Antioch Christian Church
- Rev. Rick Enns – First United Methodist
- Pastor Regi Fowler – First Christian Church
- Pastor Brad Reeves – Kingswood United Methodist
- Pastor David Ritchie – Redeemer Christian Church
- Pastor Don Speedy – Cornerstone Baptist Church
- Pastors Ty & Lou Ann Jones – Arena of Life Cowboy Church
- Dr. Lee Simpson – Faith Clinic Church
- Pastor Dale Travis – Family Life Church
We’re already reaching out to pastors for trip #3 which is scheduled for the end of May. Please be in prayer for open doors, transparent conversations and greater clarity for our mission. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover yet!!
In His love and service,
Sharon Bollum, Producer