A Vision for 2021 and Beyond

Today I would like to share a vision with you for 2021- you remember the proverb from the 1800’s? “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” 

I am not talking about physical fish, I am talking about training people to share the stories of God at work in their lives using their own smartphones – stories that can be shared on social media that will impact those in their friendship circle and beyond. For 37 years we have been equipping Christians around the world to write and produce films that will reach the Lost. 

For the past five years we have realized what people could do with that “production studio in their hand” and are concentrating on developing training materials for smartphone filmmaking workshops and conducted workshops in Thailand, India and China (150 students). 

We plan to return to the mission field in June and July 2021 to conduct smartphone filmmaking workshops in Pakistan, India and Ethiopia for about 120 students. Each of these students will learn how to shoot and edit on their own phones to produce the untold stories of God at work and post them to their friends on social media. On the average, a person has 150 social media friends so if each person produced just one story in class and posted it at least 18,000 people who will hear how stories of God at work and if they become viral hundreds of thousands will hear the Gospel. 

We are praying for partners like yourself to continue to help us with the travel expenses. Right now, we are finalizing the on-the-ground details for each of the five workshops.  Each of these areas have unique challenges – Pakistan is majority Muslim, India majority Hindu and Ethiopia is in the middle of a civil war in the north. 

Electronic visas are no longer possible in these countries and as a result our budget for regular visas (in embassy locations using a visa service) has more than doubled! Airfare prices are uncertain as many airlines retired old planes and will reduce frequency of flights when countries re-open. For example, airfare to Asia increased by 40% between last week and this one. Things may settle down but for sure this major budget item will be higher that 2019 when we last went on mission last.

We ask for your consideration in continuing to support this vital media training trip. We are still $2000 short of our budget out of our $8,500 expected expenses and your gift of $50, $100 or $200 will help. 



Big Tech Censorship and Message Apps

As you know Facebook, Youtube and Twitter have started a war on conservative values in the USA, first suppressing information about election issues and then cancelling accounts. Some feel it is a concerted plot – listen to Twitter Founder Jack Dorsey discuss future political censorship. There was a flood of people moving from Facebook to Gab.com and MeWe and Twitter to Parler which Big Tech closed down on the Google Play and IOS store and Amazon terminated their hosting contract without giving them the 30 day contract termination. Parler CEO John Matze and family fled their home after receiving death threats.

There have been many discussions among Christians who are using social media for evangelism with censorship and workers in India are concerned about Twitter being used to target Christians. 

Many use some of the many message applications like Signal, Telegram, WhatsApp and FB messenger. There are many choices available and many of the social media evangelists are looking at the published and actual privacy policy for them. WhatsApp is owned by Facebook who paid $18 Billion for it! Take a look at https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/whatsapp-privacy-telegram-world-leaders-b1787218.html to see why TELEGRAM increased its users 9 million by a 91% increase from the pre-announcement week – and SIGNAL 7.5 million new users – a 4,200% from the previous week. 

Kiev, Ukraine – October 17, 2012 – A logotype collection of well-known social media brand’s printed on paper. Include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Vimeo, Flickr, Myspace, Tumblr, Livejournal, Foursquare and more other logos.

Now, Facebook, Google and YouTube have long sold your personal data. FB reported 2.5 Billion users and 70 Billion in revenue. Although the average person does not mind how their age, education, income, ethnicity, religion, political party (demographics) and psychographics (our searches, comments, friends, the things we follow, etc. is used to carefully craft advertisements and “predict” behavior. I search for airfare to India and Facebook serves me an advert. But what they are following, as is Gmail, are words we use in posts and emails. So I write my friend talking about flying to India to teach mobile filmmaking for Christians. Gmail could feasibly start selling these contacts to the Hindu Extremists who are already persecuting Christians in India – see https://www.breitbart.com/asia/2021/01/15/report-indian-christians-persecuted-all-areas-life/.

There is no question Big Tech is searching for key words on their platforms. This is a fact. Facebook has sophisticated facial recognition software – much like the Chinese have – to track what we post and what we say. On Feb 8th WhatsApp will start sharing data with owner Facebook who will sell it to….? This uncertainty has caused the digital migration away from WhatsApp to non-profit SIGNAL and TELEGRAM, owned by Russian billionaire Pavel Durov. 


Health Passport? It it needed to re-open travel?

“Since you have already had COVID-19 will you be taking the vaccine?”

This is a valid question and one needs to consider for the future. It is still early to know if getting the two shots from with Pfizer or Moderna will stop you from being contagious – according to the CDC people with the 2 shots 95% chance of getting COVID and we would assume to contract it again.

The question is should there be a Digital version of The Who Yellow Immunization card many of us grew up with. I remember having a painful Yellow Fever shot  and gamma globulin (to boost immune response (a huge shot in your butt that lasted several days when I went to Nigeria in 1981. In 1983 Chris and our two children got typhoid, tetanus, Hepatitis A gamma globulin (to boost immune response (a huge shot in your butt that lasted several days – in 1981 I had it at the last minute and spent hours with a painful lump to sit on. In each case we would have to show the Yellow Card to get into these countries. 

Perhaps a digital health passport is similar? Some airlines are already changing terms for international passengers and are asking passengers to have the COVID vaccine before boarding the aircraft. QANTUS, KOREAN AIR, JETBLUE, LUFTHANSA, UNITED, SWISS, VIRGIN and CATHY PACIFIC have trialed The Common Pass on selected flights which “lets individuals demonstrate their COVID status. Korea may use such a health passport to allow travelers immediate entry without quarantine. 

All of these efforts revolve around having a secure and verifiable way to document a travelers health status as we travel and cross borders. 

There are several health passports underdevelopment that would link to data of test status and or Vaccine certificate which is shown both before getting on the flight and when arriving in another country. The International Chamber of Commerce has the AOKpass, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has their IATA Travel Pass under development. It is clear that the documents given by say the National Health Service in the UK will not be in the form acceptable for travel. 

2021 is Just Around the Corner- Be strong and courageous.

Joshua 1:9 says “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord Your God will be with you wherever you go.”

We have just recovered from COVID -19 infection and although we had only a moderate case we still had symptoms. Right now, our governor announced that 65 and up would be prioritized for the vaccine and we have been trying to get an appointment. 

As you know, we are planning to return to in-person Smartphone Filmmaking Training in just six months from today. Our plan is Covid comparisonto conduct the workshops that were cancelled because of COVID – Ajmer City, Rajasthan India (Pastor Jacob), Goa, India (Pastor Felix)and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (Tenkir Teni). In addition we have been asked by Yaksan Azam in Lahore, Pakistan to conduct two week-long workshops. I have attached a chart of the new COVID cases in four countries and stats show new case incidences are going down as are deaths. 

We feel confident that the Lord will provide us a safe way to travel and conduct these important workshops. A friend of mine reminded that the Bible does not say “stay Safe and stay home”,

Joshua 1:9 says “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord Your God will be with you wherever you go.”

A lot has to be completed in the next two months including raising the balance of the budget for travel, Visas and insurance. Our hosts provide the on the ground expenses for the most part but airfare is our largest budget item at $6600 for us both. The balance is cost of visas, overseas health insurance and non-covered expenses. Although we have raised a fair amount of money we still need about $5,000 for the 10 weeks of training.  

Here is a link to donate by PAYPAL 



Summer 2021 Training Plans

As we are making a rather fast transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas and the end of 2020 Chris and I thank the Lord for keeping us safe from COVID-19. As with all of you it has not been easy with quarantine to “flatten the curve” and mask-wearing and hand washing all the time. Several of our friends and students contracted COVID, most had slight flu-like symptoms, a couple with “co-morbidities” were hospitalized but all recovered. 

Last week our church asked Dan to serve as a deacon. As Chris and I discussed the opportunity and the requirements we remembered that media and media training has been our “plumbline” given to us by God about 38 years ago. This has led us to media ministry in Africa, Asia, the Middle-East, Europe, and yes, North America.  

We had expected to teach in India (3 workshops), Kenya, and Ethiopia(1 workshop each) in the summer of 2020. COVID stopped all that and we created an online portal for training called MobileTrain.Co. 

We plan to return to onsite Christian media training in the summer of 2021!

We have been talking to Christian leaders in several places with positive responses. Everyone is hoping for Covid vaccine availability and the raising of travel restrictions. For example, one can travel to Kenya and Ethiopia with a negative test but India and Indonesia do not allow travelers – Pakistan (allows travel with a 2-week quarantine and negative test). Several things need to happen including the raising of travel restrictions and the vaccine.

However, we are planning in faith to conduct two workshops in India, one or two in Pakistan, one in another Muslim nation, and one in East Africa during our May-July summer break from the college. We will train between 120 and 150 in mobile film production. 

Please pray as we start to raise support for airfare, food, insurance, and visas for each of these countries. People may say that there are special deals and airfare is cheap but that is not true. The fact is there are fewer planes available and therefore fewer flights, driving up costs. We can only plan on what is published for our projected travel dates. 

God Bless You

Dan & Chris Henrich

Projected Expenses (10 weeks)

Airfare $3000 x2 $6000

Pakistan Visa $160×2 $320

India Visa $100×2 $200

Indo Visa $35×2 $ 70

Kenya Visa $60×2 $120

R&B 70 days @$50 $3500

Travel Insurance $  520 $10,730

Step into the Water…

Each of us has a story about our start in media ministry. We had a unique “sending” by our Pentecostal church in December 1983. We had been struggling with leading a house church and finally our pastor said that God needed our media skills to train and produce evangelistic media radio and TV programs to reach those Lost without Jesus. A light went off in our minds and that became our plum line. Is what we are doing following the plum line – teaching and producing culturally relevant messages? Since early 1984 we have done just that, starting in India, too many countries in Asia and Africa.

Back to that key day in December 1983 when we were ordained as missionaries, the quartet sang that wonderful song,

Step into the water, Wade out a little bit deeper. Wet your feet in the water of his love.

Who would have thought that deep water would include COVID, quarantines, illness, and death to some of our friends and co-workers? The song goes on,

Step out a little deeper and Stand up for what is right. It’s time we squared our shoulders back And raised our swords to fight. For the Bible is our weapon, And the spirit is my shield. The church needs more of its members to be workers in the field.”

For all of us us are called to media ministry we need to raise our sword (Bible) and get back to the field! Let’s keep praying for each other as we consider our opportunities! We are planning to be in South Asia and Africa in the Summer of 2021. Pray with us regarding expenses. If you would like to support our projects by a donation to Handclasp.International click on this link: A WAY TO DONATE.

What is the New “Regular?

I have been curating videos for a YouTube series. I am calling it “God at Work COVID-19 Chronicles”. I asked people everywhere to answer the following questions using their smartphone:

  1. What is your name, profession and where you live (City/country)
  2. How has COVID-19 changed your life and those around you?
  3. Do you see God at Work around you in spite of COVID-19?
  4. Do you have a personal testimony/impact story you want to share?

It has been very interesting to see the responses from England, Pakistan, India/Canada, Haiti and the USA. (If you want to participate please send me a message on the Contact Dan Henrich here).

I was particularly interested in what Liz Peters of Galilean International had to say about a New Regular after the pandemic is finished so I asked her to elaborate:

Mentally : We have gone through an unprecedented situation we’ve heard about but never thought we would experience. In a fast and faster paced world it has brought us to a grinding halt. We actually notice the seasons now. Our ‘new regular’ to slow down, pause and smell the spring flowers before the seasons race by. 

Physically : We have developed new disciplines through social distancing. They say it takes about six weeks to form and firm a habit. Wearing masks is not something you will see only in Asia. Hygiene and wellness more a priority from the rich societal layers to the poorer quarters of our world

Virtually : The word ‘zooming’ is the ‘new regular’ and will find its way into the dictionary. The world wants know more and be part of the virtual. From 5yrs to 105 we cannot help but be connected – virtually

Spiritually: The best outcome versus the good, is the new regular in time and space available to know the One who is the Only stable, in a world of unstable internet, economy and polity.

Ministrywise: In addition to continuing to partner with you and Christine for mobile media training,  Galilean in partnership with Lifeway Resources recently got started to offer online training to Church Leaders covering almost every area of church ministry – Pre School Ministry to Small Group Ministry. We have already started implementing this in India.


New Free Online Courses under “construction”

With the successful roll-out of our learning site, MobileTrain.co and two Level One courses we are starting to work on the Level Two sections. As you know, we created this online training in response to the COVID-19 quarantine situation – realizing that even in a normal situation there was more demand for Christian mobile training than there were trainers to go around. Thus we decided to multiply our efforts by offering free courses. 

In review, we implemented two Level One courses, Mobile Filmmaking and Mobile Journalism. These two courses cover the foundational aspects of the two topic areas through a series of self paced lessons and assignments. A student is meant to work their way through the five levels successfully prior to being awarded the Practitioner Certificate in either Mobile Journalism or Mobile Filmmaking. 

As we design the structure of the Level Two courses we cover some topics in more depth and others as new topics. For example, in Mobile Journalism Level Two we build on understanding your audience and b-roll shooting and editing. We introduce  best practices of audio recording, lighting for Mobile Journalism projects, reporting in video with your smartphone and how to conduct professional video interviews both using lighting and reflectors.

In Mobile Filmmaking we are building on personas, strategy, scriptwriting, and basic short film topics. We introduce audio, lighting and narrative.

If you haven’t visited the site, go to Http://MobileTrain.co and look around. Courses are free, all you have to do is register as a user and then log back in and enroll yourself in one of the courses. 

MobileTrain.co FREE online training COVID-19

MobileTrain.co FREE online training launched in response to COVID-19 crisis

After looking at the future of Christian media training in the next three to five months we have developed MobileTrain.co in partnership with Global News Alliance.  MobileTrain.co is a website that manages no-charge self-paced courses with content very much like what was taught in our in our Face to Face(F2F) workshops.

We are offering two streams of courses to interested people; Mobile Journalism and Mobile Filmmaking. Each stream has five unique courses of eight modules. Each course is self-paced in that the student reads and watches visual resources and does both written and production assignments without day to day involvement of a Learning Facilitator.

Each course is offered without charging a registration fee but students and others are free to donate.

Here is the description of the first two courses:

Mobile Filmmaking Level One

  • What are the stories you want to tell and who is your target audience?
  • Personas and Conversion
  • Making Films with your Phone, applications
  • Suggestions for a minimal film kit
  • Shots and framing,
  • Storyboarding and planning
  • Organize visual elements into a video story using the BBC 5 shot formula
  • Basics of editing on your smartphone

Mobile Journalism Level One

  • Mobile Journalism and its advantages
  • Suggestions for a minimal MoJo Kit
  • Ethics of Journalism and Newsworthiness
  • How to Write for Broadcast
  • A understanding on writing news stories from a Christian Perspective
  • Shots and Framing of good stills and video
  • Use the best apps for video production
  • Organize visual elements into a video story using the BBC 5 shot formula
  • Basics of editing on your smartphone

For more information visit MobileTrain.co and create an account. After that you may register to take a course.

There is no registration fee for our courses. But if you would like to support our efforts here is a way. There is no set amount!