Uganda Update

It just so happens that I was able to get to an internet connection, to be able to post an update. I'm in downtown Jinja, Uganda. I'm not supposed to be here yet. I abandoned Jimmy and Beverly way out in the bush. Jimmy was speaking when I left, so he didn't even know about it! I'm sure he's figured it out by now.

So why did I abandon them? This morning we filmed Pastor Jimmy preaching a message to the church. Our church… Journey Church… for this Sunday! That's right, while we're still here in Uganda, Pastor Jimmy will still preach to our church via video at both campuses (Lord willing). The plan was for me to shoot the video, edit it down and export it while still out in the bush, travel back to the city tonight and upload it over night. I planned for everything… or so I thought. We brought two batteries: one for the editing time, then a fresh one for the exporting time. I even had Arise Africa provide a generator and a power converter on site just in case the batteries didn't last. 

Well, once I started the exporting process it became evident very quickly that there was not going to be enough battery power to get the export done. So I went to our generator/power converter setup to plug the computer in. But it didn't work! By that time I was about an hour into the export process and didn't want to lose all that work. I checked the battery life, and it had 1 hour and 35 minutes remaining. The trip back to the city is about an hour and 30 minutes! In emergency "fix it" mode, I grabbed "Dr. Sam," a Ugandan friend of mine (he's not really a licensed doctor, but I trust him with my life). I quickly informed him of the situation, told him how much battery life I had left, and he said "get in the car." So we jumped in his Suzuki 4-wheel drive and we made the trip back to the city in 45 minutes! 

I thought Sam might kill somebody trying to get me here before the battery died! But we made it safe and sound. Now the video looks like it has another 3 – 4 hours of export time left. Then I will begin the upload. There is no telling how long that will take. Internet connections are not exactly reliable around here. Heck, electricity is not even reliable around here! So if you're reading this around the 10am hour your time there in the states, pray that God will bless these efforts and the video will upload without a hitch. Also pray for Pastor Jimmy. He's pretty sick and I abandoned him in a village way out in the bush to teach all by himself for the rest of the day. I'm sure he'll forgive me if I can make this video work.

The World’s First R-rated Christian Horror Film?

Is that a contradiciton in terms? I don't think so. Actually, I don't think I could be more excited about this film. The movie in question is "House" based on the novel by Ted Dekker and Frank Perretti. The book completely freaked me out. It wasn't scary in the typical sense of the word, it was just good old fashioned freaky. Check out the preview for the movie below.

It's a horror story for sure, but it's also part psychological thriller. Of course, it's written from a Christian perspective, so the overwhelming theme of the story is that light overcomes the darkness. But even that simplifies the story too much. The novel (and hopefully the movie) has an allegorical element to it that is as solid as the allegorical elements in "The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe." And this is what makes it such a great story on so many levels. It's a great story. It's a great scare. It has a Christian worldview with an ending that doesn't leave you feeling dirty or depressed. And it's the first horror story that I've ever read or heard of that has a deeper level of meaning to it.

There is just one problem for many Christians. The R rating. Fox Faith was supposed to release it last year but shied away from it when the MPAA slapped it with an R rating. Now it is being released by Lionsgate which is no stranger to the horror genre. Why is it rated R?  For violence and some terror. The producers appealed the R rating multiple times, but ulitmately the MPAA said that there was nothing they could do to change the rating. It wasn't about cutting out some content, it was the story line itself. There is no blood, gore, sex, or bad language. It's just a really freaky story. 

So where does that leave most Christians? Too many will shy away from it. I would urge all believers of High School age and up to go see it this weekend. It's a great story of redemption, and paints a proper allegorical picture of where we are as sinners without Christ. How do you deal with the R rating? I think we as believers need to be re-educated on ratings. Why in the world do we let a lost and ungodly world decide for us what movies we will see? Too many Christian parents decide on what movies they will let their children go see based on the MPAA rating alone. Let me say this clearly, there are MANY R rated movies that parents have NO BUSINESS alowing their teenagers to go see. But let me say this even more clearly, there are MANY PG and PG-13 rated movies that parents have NO BUSINESS letting their teenagers go see. It's about worldview and the viewer's ability discern between a Christian worldview and a worldly secular worldview. This movie is the perfect example. It's downright scary and younger viewers should be very cautious. But it's worldview is strictly Christ centered, and has a very redeeming story line. Parents, do some research about what movies your kids are watching. Make educated decisions based on your own kids, the content of the movie, and the worldview it is preaching and not based on an arbitrary MPAA rating.