Updated: Aug 19
Hi friends! I’m so excited to share that on March 18, we’ll officially roll cameras on the documentary portion of the “Your Love Is Strong” project. This first set of interviews will feature people who have amazing stories of breakthrough and healing in the area of relationships and sexuality: people who overcame porn addiction, overcame shame, had their marriage restored, decided to wait for marriage, escaped a life of sexual slavery, etc.
Today was Tech Scout day, so Elizabeth and I met up with cinematographers Aaron & Winston Tao at the location to plan shots and lighting. Whenever we get close to shooting day, I start to get a little bit giddy. I’m only barely restraining myself from using insane quantities of exclamation points and ALLCAPS in this email. :p You’re welcome.
We’re filming at the beautiful Ambassador Auditorium at HRock Church in Pasadena, and will be capturing several powerful stories, including:
Jake Ekelman, who was living a promiscuous lifestyle while touring nationally as a bass player with various rock and metal bands. Jake started showing symptoms of HIV and tested positive in an initial screening, causing him to spiral into a place of such anxiety and depression that he almost took his own life. That same weekend, a friend invited him to church and he gave his life to Christ and was baptized. He also made a commitment that whatever came, he would honor God in his sexual choices. When he went back in for another screening, he tested negative, and every subsequent test revealed that he was HIV free. Jake is now in Bible school studying to be a Pastor. He’s head over heels in love with the God who restored his entire being, and is 100% committed to waiting for his wife.
Margarita was forced into a life of prostitution at age 15 and remained a sexual slave for 13 years. Finally, at age 28, she fought her way out of a car and ran for her life. She says God saved her life in multiple situations and helped her escape. Margarita’s dream is now to help rehabilitate women who were trafficked, and she’s also committed to saving sex for its safest possible context: a committed, covenant relationship.
Chris Ackerman was a successful model/ actor by his early twenties, booking campaigns with Versace and Levi, and starring in the movie Elektra next to Jennifer Garner. He was living with a girlfriend in LA when he first developed a curiosity about Christ and prayed for the first time in his life. Shortly thereafter, in the middle of sleeping with his girlfriend, something in his spirit screamed “Stop!” Having never picked up a Bible or heard a word about traditional purity values, he said to his girlfriend, “I know this is gonna sound crazy but I don’t think we can do this until we’re married.” From that day he took sex off the table in his dating relationships, and is now happily married with 4 beautiful kids.
That’s just a sampling! We’ll be editing these stories into a series of short testimonies called the “Dunamis Stories” which will be made freely available online for churches and ministries. The interviews will also be used in a full-length documentary down the road. The goal is to bring clarity and truth to topics that have been swept under the rug for decades; topics that have brought great controversy, confusion and pain within church communities for far too long. We’ll bypass the political and religious rhetoric typical of these conversations, debunk narratives that skew toward shame (on the conservative side) or permissiveness (on the progressive side), and instead present clear wisdom that comes from the heart of a loving Father; wisdom that leads to abundant life and healthy relationships. We’re committed to creating resources that will forever revolutionize the way the church teaches about sex, dating, and marriage.
A huge shout out to the ministries that have sponsored this first set of interviews: NAD Women’s Ministries, Frank Wilson Ministries, Good to Go Media, New Dawn Christian Village, and H Rock Church. Please pray for us on the 18th!