Tom Costanza writes from Uganda, where he’s working with a film crew on an upcoming project.
It’s all about the story. My wife, Kari, and I have spent years traveling the world, hearing and telling people’s stories. The story I’m working on right now in Uganda, in fact, came from one of Kari’s trips here. She often finds them, does a print version, and then says, “This would make a great video!” For that reason, I am known in many places around the world simply as “Kari’s husband”—a title I’m proud to hold, I might add. But enough about us.
Let’s talk about stories. What’s so wonderful about stories is that they let us go where we might not go otherwise. They let us glimpse, even if it’s in our imagination, heartaches, struggles, triumphs, and transformation. They help us think differently. And they teach us. There’s a reason Jesus taught in parables.
“Jamaa,” a World Vision film currently in production, has all of that. Because it’s based on real life events, it highlights stories of lives lived in service to God and to others.
“Jamaa” is the Swahili word for “family.” Without giving too much away, it’s the story of two children who lose their parents to AIDS. Together they carry their mother’s body from the slums of Kampala to the rural countryside of Kasangombe. It’s a journey of heartbreak and desperation as they search for family, happiness, and hope.
Max Lucado is one of Kari’s and my favorite writers. Max is a fountain of love and common wisdom. Here’s what he says about life stories: “Let your life be your first draft … Love grumpy neighbors. Feed hungry people. Help a struggling church. Pay your bills, your dues, and attention to your spouse … Live with integrity.”
You see, it’s all about the story. The one you hear. The one you tell. The one you live.
Related: Why I do it (April 13, 2010)