Dear friend . . .

Aloha from Kona! As we have all been focusing more these days on ministering and working within the “Spheres of society,” I thought I would take the opportunity to ask you to watch for and support a movie made by someone raised in YWAM and trained by the University of the Nations who is working in the Sphere of Celebration/Arts & Entertainment – specifically filmmaking.
I’m talking about David L Cunningham’s new movie, Running for Grace, which just premiered here in Hawaii with a really good response – #7 in the nation for highest average earnings per theater on its opening weekend. But more importantly, the movie can provide an opportunity for fruitful ministry that I think you’ll be interested in…and you may discover an amazing model that could be used to highlight other specific causes and ministries on your heart.

Running for Grace (David’s comments and movie trailer: https://vimeo.com/282223744 password: grace) is not an “evangelistic” movie, but a film that touches on real-life issues and challenges like the value of the individual, adoption, fostering, identity, children at risk, and caring for the poor and needy. It can help create awareness, talking points and connections around these and many other issues that YOUR ministry is involved with. 

Here are some examples of groups who were given tickets to the movie through donor generosity the opening weekend in Honolulu:

A local bank bought $2000 in tickets, which they gave to their employees and families for a fun night out. The remainder, they gave to David’s team to distribute to groups that serve the underprivileged. 

One bunch of tickets went to 60 kids who are part of “Life 360,” a Honolulu ministry working with youth at risk, living in the toughest area of Honolulu. Afterwards, the youth leader boldly started taking to his kids in the theater lobby, many of whom had experienced broken families, death of loved ones, etc. “Don’t give up! You have an identity and a name! You gotta run for grace – God’s grace – not just a girl named Grace!” It was totally non-religious and real.

Another group given donated tickets was Hawaii International Child, an adoption agency dedicated to matching children from around the world with good families in Hawaii.

Ho’ola Health & Urgent Care (a new YWAM after-hours clinic serving the underserved in a poor section of Honolulu) gave tickets to their patients. At the showing, they also gave out flyers for the clinic, making the whole community aware of their services.

Pacific House of Mission, a youth ministry serving military families who are deployed in the Pacific, also received donor-sponsored tickets.

A quick note about the financial model and the bigger picture. David and his team of YWAMers and UofN alumni are leading the grassroots Red Carpet benefits. 95% of all money raised goes to tickets for recipients under the banner of championing adoption and related causes. They are doing this out of conviction surrounding these issues. David and his team are not making money off of these events. He believes that we are learning a model that YWAM can harness for future message movies that can be executed at a global level for missions

Running for Grace will open at selected theaters across the Continental USA on August 17th (see listing on attachment). Here are some ways that you can be involved:

1. Go see the movie and encourage others to go. David’s team has created the attached “kit” to explain some ways to do this. 

 2. Find donors/sponsors to buy tickets in bulk that will highlight your ministry, or give tickets to underprivileged groups, like the examples above (it may be possible that YWAM could give a tax receipt?). Or you could even take up an offering at your YWAM base and give away however many tickets you raise the money for. (Yes, YWAMers may qualify as a financially underprivileged group! J) David’s team also has a kit to help explain how this “donor” plan can work. See additional attachment below.

A donor could buy out a theater and send 2-300 YWAMers, or a specific underprivileged group like foster children, inner city youths, etc.

For example, Peter Warren just bought out one showing at the Firewheel Town Center 18 to promote YWAM Denver and Sean Lambert just bought out two theater showings at the Orange 30 in Orange County to do a Red Carpet Premiere as a fundraiser for Homes of Hope. (Thanks, Peter and Sean!) Maybe this will give you some ideas! J

 Or, if you are willing to “beat the bushes” and have ideas of underprivileged groups in your vicinity you could bus to the movie, David’s team might even be able to help with some ideas for donors you could tap in your area. They just need some feet-on-the-ground to help make it happen.

 We want to keep this SIMPLE. But if you’re able to presell $5,000 in tickets, you can have a Red Carpet & Backdrop opening event, which adds a lot of momentum and celebration, and therefore honors the underprivileged in a way that makes God smile. This can also bring awareness to your own ministry, such as Homes of Hope and YWAM Denver are doing.

3. Or, if it’s not possible to take a group to a local showing, go to iTunes and pre-order the movie, which will be available for purchase on August 17thAll sales on iTunes the weekend of August 17th will help to trigger more sales and create positive momentum – so please go buy it! (See “Watch & Support” attachment for link to order on iTunes and other ways you can promote the film.) 

For updates and more information on how to support this film, go to www.facebook.com/runningforgracemovie

The movie is filmed entirely on the Big Island of Hawaii, with beautiful panoramic scenes from all across the island - so you’ll definitely want to see it on the Big Screen. (Be sure to keep your eyes open for King’s Mansion – it has never looked better!) It is the story, set in the ethnically segregated Hawaii of the early 20th century, of a Japanese bi-racial orphan who is rejected by the community, but taken in by a new “ha’ole” white doctor who comes to town to provide healthcare for coffee pickers dying from the plague. And it includes a very innocent and captivating “forbidden love” story. It will make you laugh, maybe cry…and hopefully become angry with injustices that anger God. More than half of the people involved with this film are YWAMers, and many are UofN alumni! 
If you’re ready to jump onboard with David and his team, please contact them by email - click here 
An unabashed fan of the UofN, “Running for Grace,” and yes….Director David L. Cunningham!
Darlene
P.S. See the attached digital kit. Make sure you watch the video embedded at the top of the RFG Movie Champion document, with David’s comments and the movie trailer: https://vimeo.com/282223744 password: grace. I’m also attaching a copy of Loren’s letter for pastors and Christian leaders, which you can feel free to circulate.

August 2, 2018

Aloha!

I’m watching what is happening as a result of my son’s latest film, Running for Grace. (Yes, I have a conflict of interest, as he’s my son – but I’ve heard it said, “Nepotism is okay if you keep it in the family!”) ?

Running for Grace is not an “evangelistic” movie, but a film that touches on real-life issues and challenges from a Biblical Christian perspective - like the value of the individual, identity, fostering children at risk, and caring for the poor and needy. It can help create awareness, talking points and connections around these and many other issues that you and your ministry may be involved with as expressions of the heart of God to a needy world.

See for yourself how God has already been using the film: https://vimeo.com/282223744  (password: grace)

Here’s the greatest impact for me personally:

Besides the love story, the bigger story is about adoption of a bi-racial orphan who “has no name.”

Jesus writes our name in His Book of Life. In the book and film Heaven Is For Real, the little boy died and went to heaven met his older sister there. He later found out from his parents that this sister, whom he had never met on earth, was miscarried as an unborn child. When his mother asked him “What was her name?” the little boy replied, “She said you haven’t named her yet, Mommy.”

Through adoption, we give the nameless a name. There are presently 100,000 nameless children in the USA that are waiting to be adopted. Could this movie be a catalyst to start a movement to end unadopted children across America? Could this be an influence on pregnant teens not to abort but to give birth to the unborn and give them up for adoption?

Jesus was adopted by Joseph. He gave Him not only his family name and a profession of carpentry, he gave Him his genealogy (Matthew chapter 1) tracing Jesus’ adoptive genealogy back to Abram and, in Luke chapter 3, all the way back to Adam.

Then Jesus, by His sacrifice on the Cross, got us adopted into an eternal family with Abba as our Father for all eternity (Romans chapter 8). Next in that chapter, it says that we are to adopt the environment, which is “longing to be adopted.” Could this become a chain reaction, helping the environmental crisis we are facing? In Genesis 1:28, we were given the “dominion mandate” to be stewards of the earth. We lost that through sin, but Jesus won it back via Calvary. Matthew 28:18-20: Is taking up this stewardship responsibility also a part of discipling all nations?

Let’s get everyone possible to see this film, Running for Grace, made by a person of faith to create momentum - first for adoption of very precious children, made in the image of God. And second, let’s use it to put forward answers to other areas of crisis that will grab the attention of “Millennials,” showing that Jesus’ Kingdom has answers for every problem on earth.

Let’s get behind a LITTLE film as a catalyst to do BIG things for the Kingdom of God.

Please see the attached for info from the movie’s team on how you can champion this film.

Your brother,

Loren Cunningham
Founder, Youth With A Mission (YWAM)

P.S. A quick note about the financial model and the bigger picture. David and his team of YWAMers and University of the Nations alumni are leading the grassroots Red Carpet benefits detailed in the attachments. 95% of all money raised goes to tickets for recipients under the banner of championing adoption and related causes. They are doing this out of conviction surrounding these issues. David and his team are not making money off of these events. He believes that we are learning a model for future message movies that can be executed at a global level for missions.

Watch and Support Movie online Running For Grace Champion information