Creative Christian Moments
“Reviews of up and coming Christians in the arts community.”
Blog Article 13: Video Documenters Will Decker and Tim Scott and a review of their television series Travel the Road
I am a passionate movie lover. My wife and I enjoy nothing more than viewing a well written story in a movie theater, renting one from Red Box, or streaming an indie film on Netflix. What excites us even more is when the film has Christian elements or depicts a Christian story that honors the historical documentation of the Bible. As I research and write more and more reviews about Christian artists, I am excitably encouraged at how God is using film to share His Gospel message. With this discovery, God has opened my eyes to an even newer medium (for me anyway) of how documentaries and reality television can be used to spread the Gospel message.
In 1998, two missionaries named Will Decker and Tim Scott began recording their experiences and published these episodes in 2003 in a documentary/reality television series entitled Travel the Road. While surfing Netflix one weekend in the summer of 2013, my wife and I discovered this documentary series and were instantly drawn to the show. We spent many days watching episode after episode of the journey of Decker and Scott into some of the most dangerous and remote places on earth to preach the Gospel. We felt apart of their missionary journey as they opened up about who they were with the audience and shared moments of trials and tribulations that would test the very limits of their faith. We rejoiced with them as they shared the Gospel message, felt empathy at their frustrations as they faced harsh conditions, and felt compelled to intercede for missionaries as we watched them get swindled and almost killed by people who would wish them harm.
Travel the Road depicts the honest realities of the missionary calling. After watching all three seasons and the numerous amounts of episodes within each season, it would take multiple articles to discuss all the different experiences that keep you engaged as a viewer. For the sake of this blog entry, I am going to discuss three of the most prominent episodes and episode series that I favored the most.
No matter what your spiritual view of the world, Will Decker and Tim Scott depict the real spiritual warfare that occurs with Christians as they reach the lost with the Gospel message. Throughout the series, Decker and Scott face hardships that seem to arrive at inopportune times as though they were planned. One such example occurred in episode 1 Season 2 entitled “The Journey Continues: Los Angeles”. As they were finishing editing their footage for the first season, their brand new Macs got a virus “randomly” known as the “666 Virus” which depicted various satanic numbers and pictures. The ironic coincidence was that to “cure” this virus and hopefully recover their footage they had to use a program known as the “exor cyst.” I chuckled to myself as this episode reminded me of other similar coincidental experiences I have experienced personally and have heard from other Christians as we follow God. Spiritual warfare is very real. The irony of this situation, after they almost lost the footage in a plane crash during the first season reminds the Christian to be on guard against Satan when you pursue your calling because opposition is almost surely to come against you and usually in a subtle way. But the Christian does not have to cower in fear of such opposition because we have victory over Satan through the cross of Jesus Christ and His blood which was shred for the world which is stated multiple times throughout much of the New Testament.
Another episode series that produced some laughs with my wife and I was when he was joined by some friends in different episodes whom had been home producing and editing the show. When they arrived you could anticipate that Decker and Scott knew these guys were probably not ready for the environment by their comments and mannerisms but as typical guys do, they let them push along and experience the hardships for themselves. There is such comradery amongst them and even through the various bruises, cuts, and leeches as they traipsed through the the harsh tropical jungles of the Pacific islands and countries. What I favored most about this particular episode series is that it revealed the very real human sides of Decker and Scott in more of a relaxed setting that are sometimes missed or overlooked from missionaries. I was reminded of my own friendships with others and the pranks, jokes, and experiences we had as shared memories.
Most Americans and those around the world are familiar with the negative views of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but what the media has failed to cover through their deplorable approaches to promoting left and right wing agendas is the humanitarian successes as well as the inconceivable experiences by which the Gospel was presented to the most unlikely given the war torn circumstances. One of my favorite episode series in Travel the Road occurred in Season 3 in Afghanistan Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 entitled “Journey to the Line”, “Terrors of the Night”, and “Fog of War.” During this three part episode series, Decker and Scott had the opportunity to minister to the soldiers serving in Afghanistan as well as the tribal groups who had never heard the Gospel. The encounter that surprised me the most at the awe of the Holy Spirit’s work to use what the tribal groups could understand, we events of miraculous random rain occurrences in such a desert scorched land. During the episode, the tribal group elder spoke about how when the Taliban took over Afghanistan in the 1990s, rain stopped falling and they experienced years of drought as a result but when the American and Allied soldiers showed up, random floods of rain began to fall in great amounts not witnessed in decades. Many of the tribal groups expressed that God was with these soldiers because of this miracle much like what was experienced in 1st Kings 18 when Elijah prayed for rain to fall on rebellious Israel once again after 3 years of a drought. This miracle opened up opportunities to share the Gospel with the tribal groups whom were usually very much hostile and closed to the message of the Gospel. After sharing the Gospel with many of the tribal groups, Decker and Scott asked the viewers to pray for rain for Afghanistan as a sign that God remembered them through Jesus Christ. As I reflected on this event, I was compelled to join them in this prayer that God would use this miracle to spread the Gospel message of Christ and invite you to do the same.
If you would like to support Decker and Scott as they continue to preach around the world as the Holy Spirit leads them, first and foremost lift up their ministry in prayer. You can also follow their blog on WordPress for devotionals and updates of their progress, follow them on Facebook, purchase their DVDs, or donate to their next missionary journey through their official website. But most importantly if you feel called to be a missionary, pursue this passion whether it would mean traveling to some remote part of the the world like Decker and Scott do or simply sharing the Gospel locally with a neighbor. We are all missionaries in one capacity or another as Christians and what matters most is we obey Christ’s command to share His message with the lost.