It's an early Wednesday morning, and I can't believe how quiet my townhouse is. I can actually hear a clock ticking. It's an odd and a somewhat (ironically) disquieting sensation, and will take some getting used to, considering how life the past month or so hasn't exactly been life as usual.
I hardly know where to begin, let alone, do it justice. So I guess I won't even try. But in order to at least play catch-up with out completely boring you (I hope), I'll give a quick rundown of why last night is the first time in a month that I slept in my own bed. And maybe why it's been nearly two months since a legitimate update has been posted.
In mid-March, I traveled to southern Utah with Doris Hanson (A Shield and Refuge Ministry) to participate in an outreach to the Mormon Fundamentalists in Colorado city, Arizona. We were there a couple days. It was a great experience; about 20 or 30 of us handed out door hangers inviting the residents to a barbecue we were planning in the park. The distribution went off without a hitch, and we had our barbecue picnic reasonably unmolested. It wasn't well-attended (we didn't expect it to be) but it was a start, and we did have a chance to have some meaningful discussions with a few people, mostly disenfranchised youth (potential "lost boys") who did dare to show up. A worship team also came and played worship songs. It was exciting--and moving--to hear this music played for what must have been the first time amid these polygamist strongholds. We kept saying to ourselves, "We couldn't have imagined this ever happening even two years ago."
As I was returning from southern Utah, my folks were driving down from Washington, and in fact, beat me to my home. As a birthday present, they had included me in a tour they were taking, a week in the Grand Canyon area on a tour arranged by Exploritas--which was an awesome time. So the next day, I made the trip BACK to southern Utah and into Arizona, this time with my parents. We spent almost a week exploring the Grand Canyon West and the Hualapai Indian reservation; checked out the historical Route 66; took a helicopter into the Canyon and a raft out of it; learned all about the real cowboys and Indians of Arizona; all in all a great time and a fascinating look at life in this remarkable, beautiful, desolate part of the country.
Upon return to Brigham City, I had only a couple days to get ready for the next trip; my folks stayed on a couple days, and then left for Washington the same day I left for Florida, where I was for nearly two weeks. I flew to Miami and spent a few days (Easter weekend) with my friends the Stedmans, and had a great time catching up with them (this will now be the third spring in a row I've gone back to Miami to visit.)
The original impetus behind this visit, however, was more related to the media ministry that God seems to be placing in our path. After the weekend, I rented a car and headed off to Winter Garden, Florida (Orlando area) for the following week, with a new video camera and equipment to gather some 25 hours' worth of interview and "b-roll" footage of the members of "Adam's Road," a musical group of young men who until just a few years ago were Mormons, and most had been Mormon missionaries.
You may recall that I had shared about some informal interviews with them on our website, sacredgrovesonline.org, but these interviews were gathered without proper equipment, and since the end goal is a DVD that we hope to make available as a new ministry tool, we figured it was time to improve upon our earlier "quickie" interviews and hopefully do it right.
I was very warmly received by the band members and their families; they own and operate (and live in) a historic B&B-style inn called the Edgewater Hotel in downtown Winter Garden (highly recommended if you are ever in the Orlando area), and so my accommodations and meals were generously taken care of. Great time, great people, I had a blast, but was pretty wiped out when it was done. I returned to Miami at the end of the week and spent a few more days with my friends there, and it was a fine break...hanging out, catching up, playing with the kids, catching up with other friends from my days in Miami, watching movies into late at night, before flying back home yesterday, to get back to work.
There. That is the past month in a nutshell. I may "unpack" some of these things a bit more in the weeks to come, but I realized how long it has been since I posted anything, and just wanted to get something up!
As I look at the weeks and months ahead, I realize it's going to involve a lot of long days and long nights. Compiling and editing a video project like this has a way of absorbing your entire life; breaks are hard to take, not only when you're "on a roll" but also when you're absorbed in the tedium of capturing, logging, transcribing, and all the other fun stuff that comes with putting one of these things together.
I've been on a hiatus for nearly two years from any "serious" video production, and it's good to be back in the saddle...but a little intimidating, as well. I'm doing it under an entirely new reality, or so it seems. But I suppose the true Reality has never changed--God provides, God leads, and God enables. He's been faithful beyond compare! So even though I sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed by the tasks ahead, I keep returning to that truth that it's His work, from start to finish, not mine. For which I am very grateful.
I certainly hope to hold to more consistent blog-posting practices in the future. I know I've said that before, and will probably say it again. But I make no promises. I'll post when I have something to share...maybe tomorrow, maybe in a week, maybe in a month. But thanks for your patience just the same!