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JUNE REFLECTION

On the first day of every week, each of you should set aside a portion
of his income, saving it up, so that when I come
no collections will be needed.

1 Corinthians 16:2

Cris leading prayer on the set of Undaunted, 2011

When I gave my life to Christ in Sweden in 1981, I gained infinitely more than I lost—but I did lose something, too. I lost my filmmaking career; I lost my “chance” at the so-called big-time… my opportunity to make it in Hollywood. Not that I was in great demand, or on the verge of being “discovered,” but my new faith caused me to abruptly walk away from everything that had been leading in that direction.
 
Over the next several years, I became a missionary living in Miami, Florida and traveling throughout Latin America. During that time, I particularly enjoyed personal evangelism. It didn’t matter to me who you were. Given half a chance, I’d find a way to talk with you about your relationship with the Lord. I did some crazy things back then and I have no regrets. If anything, I should have pushed my efforts at “soul-winning” further than I did.
 
I remember friends at the time suggesting I’d make a good pastor. I gave it some thought but didn’t pursue it. By then, I was re-evaluating my direction in life… I was hearing another voice prompting me to write and create; to tell stories and paint pictures; a voice telling me to make art as a way of worshipping God. And, not surprisingly, I found myself thinking again of being a filmmaker.
 
And I was alarmed.

Also on the set of Undaunted, 2011.

Simply put, I didn’t trust myself. I remembered how I had been before as a “young Turk”—reckless, imperious, self-absorbed, dismissive of others’ feelings and opinions. The argument can be made, of course, that these are some of the qualities that make for success in life. But I wanted no part of it. Like Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha, I had found what was needful and was unwilling to part with it (Luke 10:42).
 
But the voice persisted. As 1983 drew to a close, I laid it all before the Lord. I confessed in prayer that I did want to make films. I wanted to make films for God’s glory. But could he use me? I was a nobody; a poor missionary. And then, if I heard him right, he said, “Do it. And I will be with you.” I set forth that day with fear and trembling, returning to filmmaking from a place of surrender for I had no confidence in the “flesh” (Philippians 3:3).
 
Over these past thirty plus years, I guess I’ve earned the title, but can I tell you something? Calling myself “a filmmaker” doesn’t quite do it for me. There’s a word missing in the appellation, and that word is “missionary.” My calling, you see, is to make films for people outside the church—people not exposed to the gospel. Don’t look for me preaching to the choir.

On location in Sarajevo for Sabina K.

Like any other missionary, I need support. Let me be more forthright. I have not received a salary at Messenger Films in decades. For many years I was bi-vocational, working another job in the media while working for Messenger Films. Over the years, I have also received periodic income from freelance work as a screenwriter and director. And finally, I have spent money received as an inheritance.
 
But now I’m at a crossroads… I cannot carry on much longer without a salary covering basic needs. I am officially, openly, asking you to consider donating to Messenger Films for the purpose of providing financial support to its founder, Cristóbal Krusen, who works full-time as a missionary filmmaker. I have no idea if God will speak to you about helping meet this need, but I am making the need known so that you can pray about it and make up your own mind.
 
If you decide to give to my personal support as a missionary, well, that part is easy 
 
The larger question, of course, is whether you are called to meet the need and whether you are willing to give. I politely stand on the outside of that decision-making process.
 
Thanks for bearing with me and thanks for hearing my plea. I have a little three-minute devotional to share with you, which includes some clips from our film-in-the-making, The Puzzle Factory.
 
Let me know how you like it.

Yours for Christ,

P.S. Work on our other projects continues, especially The Puzzle Factory. Your contributions make all the difference.

FILM OF THE MONTH: Messenger Films thanks Josh McDowell Ministry for the opportunity to bring Undaunted to you free of charge this month. In addition to shooting the film, Cris also co-authored the book (shown at left). Undaunted has been distributed worldwide, dubbed or subtitled in 28 languages.

 
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Cristóbal Krusen is a filmmaker and author. He founded Messenger Films in 1988.
www.messengerfilms.com

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