Becoming Fools in Grand Rapids
Becoming Fools inspired and convicted diverse audiences in Grand Rapids, Michigan to respond to the issue of at-risk and homeless youth.
We spent a week in Grand Rapids to kick off the Becoming Fools Screening Tour with our Global Response Partner AMG International, as well as document the local effort to help the homeless through Guiding Light Mission.
On Monday, we spent time at Guiding Light Mission to capture a story about how they respond to issues of addiction and homelessness in Grand Rapids. After about 45 minutes capturing footage in the streets we were forced to go back to the warmth of our car. Despite two layers of gloves, our hands hurt from the cold, our faces burned and our lips were so frozen we could barely talk. We all had the same response: How in the world do people living with homelessness survive in these conditions? It certainly reinforced the importance of Guiding Light’s Mission in the city.
We drove to Spring Arbor University early Tuesday morning to share Becoming Fools with several classes. After the film, we answered questions and dialoged with a very engaged audience for over 30 minutes. We were finally “kicked out” of the auditorium by the next event, but we continued the discussion with a few faculty members over lunch.
On Tuesday afternoon, we drove back to Grand Rapids and held our FIRST EVER non-virtual Athentikos Board Meeting. Our board lives in Nashville, Guatemala, and Grand Rapids and has met via video conferencing for years, but this was the first time we were all in a room together to focus on further defining our mission and initiatives. I sat in awe and savored the moment as these men locked arms with us to help grow our mission into something stronger and more sustainable. We examined our hurdles, more clearly defined our audience, and focused several hours on developing a scalable and integrated models for Athentikos initiatives – including Art Camp, The Connect Crowd-funding Web Site, and our next video project.
Wednesday was THE day of our first big premiere in the theater .. and everything that could go wrong did go wrong. We hoped to get a power nap in, but were dealing with technical difficulties right up to the time the event started … and then experienced even more difficulties during the event. I tried not to have any expectations, but have to admit that I was a bit deflated after the Wednesday premiere. The film still received great reviews, but I knew in my heart that the “experience” wasn’t the best it could be. I was discouraged.
The next morning I woke up with a clear reminder of why we are continuing to invest our lives in this film. It was as if God was saying,
“How else should the first event of the screening tour go? Italo (the film’s protagonist) died during pre-production. The film failed to reach its funding goal and was faced with numerous hurdles along the way. The film’s release was delayed almost a year because not enough people could be found to champion the events in each city. If the first screening tour event was a grand slam, you wouldn’t have to walk forward in faith … like I’ve called you to do over and over again.”
I was humbled and reminded that this has never been and will never be about us. It’s about the legacy of a fool inspiring others to join in the walk of faith to make difference TOGETHER. Thankfully, we had the blessing and honor of sharing the film to a sold-out event on Thursday night, with perfect image and sound on screen. As the theatre resonated with the Becoming Fools intro music, the last three years of my life flashed before my eyes. I thought back to the memory of Italo’s smile when he spent time with these precious youth living in the streets of Guatemala City … and my heart danced with joy that we can share his legacy.
Special thanks to the following organizations for their help with the Grand Rapids Events:
Becoming Fools Grand Rapids Highlight Video
Becoming Fools Screenings
Becoming Fools will be presented in the following cities and tickets are available for purchase on our website. Please share the information with your family and friends.
March 23, 2014 7:00 PM
Covenant Life Church 8490 McIntosh Rd Sarasota, FL 34238
April 10, 2014 7:00 PM
Franklin Theater, 419 Main St, Franklin, TN 37064
April 12, 2014 7:00 PM
April 29, 2014 7:00 PM
Tivoli Theater, 709 Broad St, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37402