Earlier this year the Create International Mobile Production and Training team www.createmobile.org was on location in Southern Sweden to make a film for Syrian refugees. The Syrians’ plight in their homeland has long been on the hearts of many of us in the Create International ministry. When we were approached in 2016 by a couple from Hong Kong at the YWAM Together conference about doing a film project for the Syrians, we thanked God for enthusiastic project partners and an opportunity to be able to share a powerful message about Jesus with these oppressed people.
Written by Sharon from Create Thailand, our story centers around Zainah, a young Syrian woman who has escaped Syria to start a new life in Sweden. Prior to her escape, her husband drowned trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea. She is not alone, however, she has to care for a young sister and an older mother-in-law. More than anything she just wants to go home, but Syria is no longer a safe place for her or her family. So instead she must try to make a new home in a new land. Sweden turned out to be an optimal place for her to resettle, but any new place is not without its challenges. Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder brought on from living in a bombed out city, Zainah strives to make a way for herself and her family as a stranger in a strange land. How will she succeed? Not without supernatural intervention as it turns out!
A modernized take on the Book of Ruth from the Hebrew Scriptures, Zainah’s inspirational journey toward peace is set in present day Sweden, home to many of the Syrian refugees in exile from their homeland. Inspired by true stories of Syrian refugee families who have escaped the horrors of war by fleeing to Europe to start a new life, this movie is their difficult journey: a story of faith, perseverance, redemption and new life in Jesus.
With Rob from Create Thailand as our principal cinematographer and co-producer, we completed principal photography in early July 2017 as part of our 7th Frontier Filmmaking Seminar www.create2020.com/training. Our seminar staff and film crew were comprised of Create International staff from The Global Communication and Resource Centre (GCRC), Create Thailand, Create India and, of course, Create Mobile. We also had the most international group of students ever serving as crew mates, including people from Canada, France, Hong Kong, India, Netherlands, Sweden and the USA. One of those students was recent Gordon College graduate Rachel Baldwin, who said: “I had the pleasure of organizing and planning all the costumes for the film. I got to work really closely with our Syrian actresses and so learned a lot about their culture. The experience stretched me in new ways and gave me a very detailed and nuanced understanding of filmmaking!”
This project is now in post production. Our hope is to be able to return to Sweden in May of 2018 to share a proposed final cut with test audiences of Syrians and Swedes to get their feedback before finalizing the film. Please pray that our ongoing work will bear fruit and we will manage to make an effective message for sharing the Good News of our Lord Jesus with many Syrians worldwide.