It has indeed been a long and continuous winding road for the John Paul II International Film Festival. We are only one month away from the spectacular event and I feel compelled to share every day with you all henceforth.
Where are we? Well to be honest we are still pending many necessities, such as, our final guest list, website updates, ticket sales (which are on sale right now), costs to cover venues, printing materials, advertising space and time, and much more. I would not want to burden you with the stresses of a festival. But I do want you to understand how far we are and I want to share with you all just how these things may come to be in time for the event. It is in the most dire and crucial times of need do we truly show our faith. As many times as our faith has been provoked during the course of this event, I stand before you all to write that we are not moved. When I say provoked I mean provoked emotional with anger, frustration, doubt, carelessness, hostility, mistrust, pride, arrogance, etc. All these emotions were stirred from within us and also directed at us from those within our group. Physical provocation was also a factor through one of our volunteers being placed in the hospital for a random account of appendicitis and a removal of a cyst. Weight gain has been a huge factor as large amounts of stress and long working nights have effected our diet. Lack of time, in my case, has been a huge provocation to deter from this festival because of working and attending school full-time as is the case for Laura and Ralph as well. Cars have broken down before big meetings, sponsors have come forth and then rescinded their offers, celebrities have signed on to attend but last minute obligations got in the way, volunteers have committed but left when the work load was too heavy, religious leaders neglected our calls, and hope thinned to a wisp of dry air.
These are the negatives, the instances that the “evil one” would have us dwell on. These are the temptations. We live in reality and yes we must face the facts that we are short on funds, but we must never lose sight of who is in charge. All reason can be placed aside and we can rise with glory in knowing that we do not control the ultimate outcome of this festival. We can only do our part as the equipment putting it together. We must continue to work for God and he will grant is the ability to realize that he is working for us. As many downfalls that may have attached themselves to the festival, there have been many more blessings. Inevitably, it has all been a blessing, but what we choose to see as blessings in the form of gifts, services, and human interaction is what I am referring to. We have met people who are enthralled and filled with passion to see this event come to life. Hope has been placed in people from all over the world and inspiration has been distributed. I have seen more smiles than frowns, more laughs than cries, more blessings than negations. People are thirsty. This is the thesis of the John Paul II International Film Festival. Where will the media thirsty people get their drink? So many times we see it from films and art forms encouraging licentiousness, adultery, murder, slander, gossip, betrayal, revenge, ans so on. Indeed these are pieces of life that must not be ignored, but they do not have to be encouraged. “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again…”John:4:13. Could Jesus be referring to something similar to these mortal desires of the flesh and this era of instant gratification? “…but whoever drinks the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” John:4:14.
Let this positive expression of art be used to deeper understand ourselves and our role as participants on this world. John Paul II truly believed that the act of creating would make visible that which is invisible in human beings and abroad, God.
Today we take our first journey together and enter into the final month of the festival. Please pray for us as we will pray for you. If there is a prayer request please place it in a comment box and we will offer it up during our prayer meetings. May the peace of Christ and the love of Mary be with you all.