Sent to one of the Wycliffe USA directors:
Dear Mr. Aeschliman,
I am an eighth grade public school science teacher in a south Atlanta suburb and a member of Community Bible Church, Stockbridge, GA. I teach third grade boys' Sunday School and am the monthly missionary teacher of our Awana Club. I acquired your e-mail address from Dennis Cochran in order to tell you of the dynamic impact of one of your latest films. "Return To Hauna" has been spiritually energizing to children and adults in my sphere of influence and I want to compliment you in its production.
My two twenty-minute Awana sessions in Oct, Nov, and Dec were to K-2nd graders and 3-5th graders. Each saession numbers about 100 children. Because of the film's length I had to present it in a continued foremat (The film lends itself to easy breaks.) Having prepared the children with a medel shark and map of the Indonesian Island chain, they were ready for the Cessna landing and canoe ride of Marily to Hauna. Her clear, animated narration presence among the people and subtle humor captivated audiences of all ages.
The video provided great VISUALIZED CONTENT for me to teach what a Bible translator does. Things like the "thorn," "banana leaf," "sixth vowel," and the cultural beliefs that "native foods help the missionary learn the language" are examples of identifying the translator's role in a different culture. How quickly the children named the miracles of our God in the second session when "the wind turned the fire away from the village" and the "four gallons of fuel + God made the trip up river." For these we loudly clapped and praised God like He told the Israelites to do after crossing the Red Sea. What a tool this has been for me to excite our children with the Great Commission! After one session one little girl slipped from the group to ask me, "How can I know what God wants me to do?" In another setting the mother of one of my third graders said her son on the way home from Awana had told the family that he was going to be a missionary. The next Sunday in our class, Bradley boldly announced in the presence of his peers that he is going to be a missionary.
Several adult leaders of the two groups have asked me how they can get a copy of this video. One lady said, "I don't want to miss one second of that video next week." Another male leader said, "That's the best missions movie I have ever seen." I would like to know how to obtain more copies.
Our older daughter is an optometrist in Birmingham, Alabama and presently has three discipleship Bible studies among optometrist women students. She showed them this video exclaiming that she and all her girls were moved to tears at the awesome work of God. The dynamic closing statement of Marilyn, "This is my story, what is yours?" grips every believer with the call of God on our lives.
I showed the video to our twelve 6-8th grade Fellowship Of Christian Athletes (FCA) student leadership at Eagles Landing Middle School. Their responses ran from "Wow!" "Do you know this lady?" to "Do you think we could get her to speak to our Club?" This club of 500 students meets during the school day during Club Time monthly with full feedom to share Christ. We are pursuing the possibilities of having Marilyn come during the early months of '99--though we know she has a very full schedule.
Just this evening my family has watched the video with our senior nursing student daughter and her boyfriend who have just reutrned from a Campus Outreach Christmas Conference (college ministry) in Orlando, FL. Jeremy exclaimed as the movie ended, "I can't leave this video without wanting to pray for those people--Could we pray?" It is as I leave that session of prayer that I am writing you of this wonderful tool you have made available to the church to illustrate how God has fleshed out the Great Commission in a willing life. Our prayer is that we will be faithful to allow Him to work out His plan in our lives.
I close thanking you for your gift to the church and the great work you are doing as you pursue the translation of PaPa God's Talk into the language of the people. As members of our church's missions committee, my husband and I would like to get copies of this video to make available to our body to purchase during our Conference, weekend of March 14, 1999.
In Christ Jesus' Love,