by Isaac Masiga, Regional Director, GNPI-Kenya
The journey of making this movie, called The Distant Boat, began in 2012. On Field Media (an arm of the African Inland Mission) approached GNPI-Kenya to partner with them in telling a story that would invite the African Church to embrace their unique opportunity to reach Africa’s unreached people. Both ministries saw a huge need and responded with the making of The Distant Boat.
We asked Isaac (pictured below) to tell us about the journey…
“In the past we have been blessed by the ministry of missionaries who have come from far and wide, left their families and comfort, to come to Africa and serve in the mission field. Despite their priceless efforts, we still have about 900 people groups in Africa who still don’t know about Jesus.
For this reason, we needed to be very strategic. We went beyond what we knew about Africa in our local African setting to engage others around Africa. We took time to research how the African Church thinks inside their belief systems and traditions. We needed extensive research because we wanted to reach not just Kenya where the movie was shot, but the entire African continent. Our story had to be very culturally rich because it had to be a true representation of a typical African setting.
As we thought about the best places to do the movie, we decided on two locations: Malindi (along the northern coast of Kenya) and Nairobi (Kenya’s capital city). This, we thought, was an ideal representation of an African setting where one is very rural and undeveloped, and the other is bustling with a lot of activities, kind of like the NYC of Kenya. We felt these were the best locations to depict a typical “mission field” scenario. Nairobi, the comfort zone that one would have to leave, and Malindi, far from home, remote, and undeveloped. Not many are willing to make the sacrifice to leave home to take the Good News of the Gospel to people who need it.
A commissioning service was held in September 2012 and God provided the right people to fill the right spots all along the way. Finding the right cast and crew was not hard and soon the cameras began to roll! We continued shooting for close to four months and took another 10 months editing the work.
All our hard work was put to the test when we premiered the movie last year, October 2013. The movie was well received in the theaters and is continuing to get a lot of attention. It is very popular in churches especially, based on its quality and content. Here’s a look at the trailer.
For now we are planning to translate the movie into other languages starting with Swahili and French. It is our prayer that this movie will continue to impact the African Church and challenge them to become a major force in the future by sending people to the mission field; for the harvest is plenty and the laborers are few.”