Stories of God’s Faithfulness On and Off Set
David Cook, Christopher Zydowicz, Paul Munger, and Andrew Bolzman led an uplifting time of discussion and testimony Friday evening for the 4th UNDERGROUND session of the Christian Worldview Film Festival.
Moving their chairs from behind the panel table, and bringing all the attendees to the front rows, the panel members inspired a very inclusive atmosphere. Paul Munger, director of Princess Cut, opened with prayer focused on God’s glory.
Christopher Zydowicz began by sharing a story from one of his first projects, of taking shelter from a storm in the basement of the church where they were filming. “200 people in Russian costume, and then the power went out,” he recalled. “But then someone began to pray aloud, and then we started singing. It brought such calm.” When they exited after the storm, they discovered that a tornado had swept a path right up to the building, and away from it, but had skipped over the church. The other panel members added their accounts of God’s intervention in weather related situations when they gathered in prayer.
Trust was another main focus of discussion, with David Cook relating several stories of times where he encountered situations where there were no visible solutions. “If God worked like we expected Him to work, we’d never have to trust Him.”
“God is always at work. We can trust that even when we don’t see the answer,” Paul Munger encouraged. “And when we do experience the miracles, record those times, and look back on them in times of darkness.”
Audience members also shared testimonies of God’s intervention in their lives throughout the session, both film related and personal.
“It doesn’t usually look like what you think it will,” David Cook commented. “But there is comfort in realizing you can trust God. Our part is the loaves and fish, not the miracle.”
“Did you know life is not about film?” he continued. “The things that happen outside of the film can be more important than the project.” As an example, he told of a project where in retrospect he believes God’s primary purpose for him was related to his host family. One morning he and the director, housed at the same location, ended up going late to set, but, as the director said, “Ministry is happening right now, the film will have to wait.”
In reply to a question, Andrew Bolzman said, “I’m a big fan of planning. I don’t think planning is inherently a lack of trust.” He then mentioned an experience from being on the set of The Reliant. “We were starting the hardest week of filming for the whole shoot, and I got a really severe case of poison ivy. My logical brain said to quit, that I couldn’t do it. Then I realized that meant God had to. That put me in a position of trust. I had to be reliant on God. And He came through.”
Christopher Zydowicz brought up the story of Jeremiah and the potter, pointing out that the potter was just following God’s calling, unaware of his work’s impact on the prophet. “We may never know how God is affecting others through our work… even our broken pots.”
David Cook closed the meeting with one last thought. “When we read about Jesus and the disciples, the Bible is continually saying ‘as He went’ or ‘as they’ went, all these things happened. As you go, anywhere you are, be aware of the opportunities that God is putting in your path.
“All these things we’ve talked about: humility, trust, glorifying God… it’s simple, not always easy.”