Just finished watching The Diaspora Journal by Nathan Araya and wow, I'm speechless. My heart is so full of joy and gratitude for such beautiful story tellers our culture has, when I write about the vitality of accurate story telling in the missions world, I mean this type of accuracy.
Nathan's heart is simply to know and learn about his people thus goes with such an open heart, wanting to discover and learn.
He wants to experience life just like his fellow Ethiopians and does every job that is considered undesirable, but his joy shines through the whole movie as he tries everything and at times ridicules himself.
He dignifies each person he highlights as he tells their story by talking about their strength and what he learned from them. These people are not "other" to him thus he sees their dignity past their physical circumstances. You don't see him feeling sorry for any one of them, he respects their reality, he doesn't insert himself in their story and center himself and try to rescue them...he knows their story has value, meaning and a rich history.
He starts the documentary talking about the faith and perseverance of his grandfather that was passed on to his mom and now to him...he closes by talking about the importance of serving where God has placed you and reminding us how we're a part of each others story.
Friends, it's important to know the stories of those we go to serve, this documentary was so accurate that I cried, laughed and forgot where I was for the 45 minutes I was watching it. It took me back home, brought back all the memories and feelings of being in Ethiopia. That's why I write about accurate story telling so strongly.
Our monetary status doesn't give us the authority to speak into people's lives. We are all made in God's image thus need to respect each others stories and tell it with dignity.
Thank you Nathan for honoring our culture, stories, joy and strength. May the Lord continue to bless your efforts!
To watch the documentary go https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oufx-25uqo