I find this a fascinating verse and one which I see as at the heart of the inspiration for Friends and Heroes!
The Friends and Heroes team were in the USA recently, at ICRS, manning a stand (they call them “booths”) and telling folk about the Friends and Heroes project. Our opening line when talking to Christian booksellers was “What is your passion?” It could just as easily have been “What is your vision?”
Several folk had to think for a while but most replied with something along the lines “To reach out to people with the gospel through the medium of Christian books”. We discussed their answers a little before saying, “Can we share our passion/vision with you?” That’s what I’d like to do in this column and it’s quite a vision!
I recall vividly as a child that the Bible permeated my young life: Bible stories; Bible pictures; Bible quizzes; Bible exams; Bible readings and even TV Bible stories. They came at me from all angles: home (my mother was a Methodist minister); school; church; Sunday School Union and even the BBC. How times have changed!
Many schools now teach Comparative Religion. The radio and TV are almost devoid of clear Biblical content and even some churches place less emphasis on the Bible than I experienced as a child. I took my last NSSU Bible Examination in my mid twenties (the 1970’s if you must know)!
It is this dearth of Bible material in our culture which inspired David and Alison Dorricott to become involved in Friends and Heroes – a TV series which has Bible stories in every episode – with the aim of introducing a new generation of children to the truth of the Bible in an understandable form which they love – TV!
Friends and Heroes tells a historically-accurate adventure story set in the First Century AD when the stories of Jesus were circulating in the oral record. Our teenage heroes, Macky, a Jewish boy and a Roman girl, Portia, hear the stories in a real-world context – when they need help or inspiration – and so the stories, from both Old and New Testaments, are presented in such a way that their meaning is clear and their application obvious!
I think this is what inspires our young viewers so much – they not only see the Bible stories in superb 3D computer-generated animation – they also understand why they should respond and what they can mean to them as they face everyday life in the 21st Century AD. You can see the story of Daniel in the Lions’ Den here:
I said earlier that this project doesn’t lack vision. By the time the production is completed there will be 39 half-hour episodes in three series – over 16 hours of video, that’s nearly 10 feature-films worth – at a cost of over £10 million!
The action moves around the world from Alexandria in Egypt, to Jerusalem and eventually Rome. But we have an even greater world vision for our programme and will soon have dubs in 10 languages other than English including Mandarin, Russian, Portuguese, Spanish (South American), German, French, Korean, Arabic, Hindu/Urdu and Manx!
Friends and Heroes will soon be broadcast in Taiwan, the Middle East including Iran and broadcasters in many other countries are interested in seeing it broadcast in their language too.
Where there is no vision, the people perish and without hearing who Jesus is they can’t accept Him as their Saviour! Friends and Heroes is trying to play its part in the Great Commission – by letting children see and hear Bible stories!