I realize many of you have no idea why John and I just went to Cambodia. Here is the story that lead up to the adventure...
July 7th, 2008 I was driving back to my office after a meeting. I was trying my best to talk and listen to God. I had been craving a closer relationship with Him and I felt very stagnate for quite a while. I just wanted Him to talk to me. I was craving the closeness I knew existed, yet I wasn't experiencing. Suddenly I had a very strong feeling come over me, and I felt as though I had to contact Ben Anderson, the Director of Things to Come Mission in Indiana. This was a very strong feeling that for some reason brought me to tears! Ben was my wife's uncle whom I had met only a couple of times. We've made donations to TCM but I hadn't spoken to Ben in years. I immediately found his number and called. Ben told me that the TCM board was just talking about me and my company StoneKap Productions. Ben explained that for them to keep up with changing times, they were discussing more contemporary methods of building support for their missionaries in the field. Specifically, TCM is gearing up to launch a new model of “Mini-Missions” for summer of 2009. Without hesitation, I offered whatever support I could. Looking back, I appreciate Ben's understanding of what I was going through. He didn't quickly accept, and ask for donations. He recommended that we both take it to prayer and try to better understand what should be done.
The next few months, aside from prayer, I had discussions with Ben, friends and relatives to try and define what ways to give. It was determined that the best approach would be to make a documentary showcasing the cause. Ben trusted me to make the decisions on how to best develop the video marketing materials. I spoke to John Pope (StoneKap's Cinematographer) about the possibility of going on a Mini-Mission with me to create the documentary. Although he didn't commit before praying and sleeping on it, he was pretty stoked about working on a project to serve God. Around September, we started to notice a decline in business volume and by January 2009 it was very noticeable. Being business minded, I tried to design ways of helping TCM while helping StoneKap. I went down many idea paths. What seemed to make the most logical sense was to create a documentary that promotes TCM, yet was marketable enough to get underwritten or sold for profit. This money would then be divided between TCM and StoneKap. The way I saw it was, TCM would have a documentary that promotes their cause, while creating additional cash flow that could be used to support their missionaries while StoneKap could make back the money invested to create the documentary. It's a win-win plan!
WRONG! It became very clear that God was giving us the opportunity to give back. And we needed to do it without reservation or contingency. As work got slower, and the finances got tighter, it made no logical sense to take away two key people in the company for two weeks, plus the financial contribution, plus the post production time, plus accept no profits or donations to compensate. Wow! That's hard to swallow. Nevertheless, I know it's what John and I have been asked to do. I'm sure it's an exercise of faith. After much prayer and discussions with loved ones, the parameters have been defined as such....
Chad Kapper, and John Pope are going on a two week mission trip with TCM to Cambodia from May 27th – June 9th, 2009. The goal is to expand our world and spiritual perspectives, while using our talents and skills to create a video documentary of the trip. This documentary will be used to educate, viewers and potential gift givers of TCM and their missionaries. Ultimately we're all doing this to spread the word of God and to serve Him.
John and I had an amazing time on the trip and we are very eager to share our experiences with others! We want our faith to be known. It's a huge part of who we are. Following God's word is always challenging no matter how much faith one has. Even though this letter is probably most therapeutic to me, I hope that it is inspirational to any who may be struggling with their faith.