Every day we read about more violence in the Mideast. Everyone seems to hate everyone else. In spite of decades of negotiations, cease-fires, and truces, the battle continues. Palestinians, Jews, Arabs, Christians. Can they live in peace? It seems that no matter what we do, the problem is unsolvable. We pray for the peace of Jerusalem, but do we really expect an answer?
Pete and I enjoyed a real treat this week—getting to sit down with some long-time friends to hear what God has them doing now. Bob and Kathryn Carlton are the kind of people that you can’t resist. Meet them for the first time and an hour later you’re best friends. Perhaps that’s because no matter where they go, they fall in love with people. Put them in Tibet, and they love the Tibetans. Put them in Burkina Faso, and they love the people there. That kind of love is irresistible!
One-time school teachers, God had much more in store for this couple. First He sent them to teach children in Israel. Then He totally disrupted their lives by turning them into filmmakers—God’s media department for the global Church. Their faith-based documentaries have been translated into dozens of languages, challenging the believers around the world to bring the gospel to those peoples who would otherwise never hear God’s good news.
Now God has led the Carltons back to Jerusalem, back to a project that has been on their hearts since they lived there in the 1980s. While the news is full of violence and hatred, Bob and Kathryn seek to document the amazing miracle of Christians on all sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict who have responded to God’s call for reconciliation and forgiveness. They’re sitting down with followers of Jesus on all sides of the divide who realize that their relationship with each other is more important than the enormous cultural, political and theological issues that divide them.
Peacemakers—Crossing the Divide will be a one-hour documentary film telling stories of reconciliation across the Israeli-Palestinian Divide. It will feature Arab Christians and Messianic Jews who are counting the cost to pursue peace and walk in unity with their Brothers and Sisters in Christ. These stories are God’s peace plan for the Middle East.
Peacemakers is a story of hope. It’s about followers of Jesus, whose faith has led them to love their neighbors in ways that lead to forgiveness, healing, peace, and unity. Ultimately the film is about Jesus’ prayer for his followers: “… that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me ….” (John 17:23)
The Carltons further explain:
We believe the message of peace, reconciliation and unity this documentary communicates is desperately needed in a world that is increasingly hostile and divided. We want these inspirational stories of courage and hope in the midst of conflict to challenge the audience to become “peacemakers” themselves, especially within their own families and communities. The curriculum that accompanies the film will help people engage personally and more deeply with the issues presented.
Of course, projects like this require prayer and resources. I urge you to give both. You can be sure that the spiritual warfare surrounding this project is intense. Prayer is essential. A simple way to stay up to date is to visit the film’s Facebook page. I’m praying for abundance—both of resources and of stories of believers reconciling with one another in ways that point to God’s forgiveness and love.
The Carltons currently have a goal of raising $80,000 by the middle of September to cover the costs of filming, editing, and other post-production expenses. “Many believe in this project and film. If you believe in it, support us with a tax exempt donation.” (Click here.) Or, become a Peacemaker and support the fund raising campaign on INDIEGOGO. (Click here.)
Much more information, plus a link to details about their financial accountability, are available on their Indiegogo page.
My blatant plagiarism from the Peacemakers website is with the Carlton’s permission. 😎