“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
The first few days were spent constructing our equipment, writing new script drafts, location scouting and meeting with our cultural advisor. However we struggled to finalise the script. Every time we thought it was done more questions rather than answers came up. After one of these times of struggling through the details, our cultural advisor said, ‘Hey this story is similar to Thyvaans’!’ So we asked if we could hear it. Thyvaan,a friend of the cultural advisor, arrived a few hours later.
As we listened to his testimony, you could hear a pin drop in the room. As he progressed in his soft Khmer voice, detail after detail he described the story we had been writing, except his testimony was so much better! An hour and a half later as he finished telling us his life story, which he told us he had told very few people, we were all silenced. I can only describe it as a holy moment. I felt such a powerful sense of the Holy Spirit in the room that I asked to pray and I burst out crying. Then Thyvaan began to cry, God was at work. His testimony was one filled with redemption and miraculous restoration. I was so thankful for God showing us that he had been speaking to Jason in advance. Later I found out that the other team at the guest house had been counselling him, and that he was unable to share some of the experiences he told us before they had ministered to him! It was amazing. We decided to base our movie on his life, as it fit so many of the themes we had been working into the story.
Jason had written in the script that the main character was an artist and that he was working on a painting that had a crucifixion scene set in a Cambodian landscape. Thyvaan is an artist and when we told him this, he told us that he was currently working on a painting that displayed the crucifixion with Khmer people in it, and it’s set in one of the places of the Khmer Rouge genocide sites. We were amazed! We had to see that painting. When we saw it, it was exactly what we were needing. In fact it was nearly finished, and Thyvaan had not completed it in time when the man from the USA who commissioned it came through Phnom Penh, but the man had graciously said he could send it later when he had completed it. That was why it was still in his studio, ‘waiting’ for us to use it in the film! Again, such evidence that God’s provision was prepared in advance for our coming, without both parties knowing.
We worked long hours once we started our shooting schedule, spending a number of days in Phnom Penh city and then we took a 3 hour bus ride to Camphong Cham. This is a town on the Mekong river. We had found a village that was willing to work with us. Daily we saw God’s provision, from people walking into the gate of the pastor’s yard, when we were looking for an ‘extra’ in the movie, to the weather! We could not have filmed a number of scenes scheduled if it had rained. One night we were leaving for the location that was down a dark pathway. The rain was pouring! I reminded the Lord that he could choose when the rain came, but he knew our schedule, halfway down the pathway the rain stopped!
On so many occasions there was such evidence of miraculous provision that seemed to be prepared in advance for us by the Lord. What a privilege to journey with God in this way!
-Penny (Create Thailand)