Story Testimony, Pola’s POV
The original story, Escape the Hezbollah, published by Rev. Samuel Stone, won the Small Publisher Christian Book of the Year 2010 Award and was a best seller when it changed to Abducted to Kill for Kindle – you may still purchase it there today in two volumes or purchase the original book at: Escape the Hezbollah and on Kindle at: Escape the Hezbollah for Kindle. But the story almost stayed on the top of Pola’s don’t-want-to-do list.
“The serious intensity of what happened to Christians in other lands did not appeal to my sensitive nature. In other words, I was upset that these things were actually happening and didn’t want anything to do with it. Open Doors and The Persecuted Church’s emails kept going in the trash bin on my computer. I was not about to open what felt was a can-of-worms to me. But God forced my hand.
First, at dinner after a long day’s shoot–while producing a video series in California–my DP and dear friend, Porter Versfelt, talked about his personal ordeal in Iran. His father worked on a pipeline there when he was a young teen. I felt we should be talking about the production we were working on and not about the problems in Iran, and so I tried to change the subject. The gentleman who hired me put a hand on my arm and said, “We should listen to this.” So I listened.
Next, I had a speaking/teaching engagement in India and could not afford the ticket/shots/and visa, which would amount to over 3,000 dollars.
My son’s friend called and asked when I was going to India. I told him about the ticket problem. He asked what day I needed to go and when I needed to return and then called the airlines and arranged a flight for me. Since he arranged the flight I had no say in the layover.
While waiting in England for almost a full day layover before boarding the second flight, I met with a man I knew who had been in the Hezbollah. With almost eight hours of recorded information on the details of how the organization began, how they recruit, what tactics they use, and what happens should someone disagree with their agenda, I wanted to bury what I knew and not go any further. Although my curiosity about Christian persecution within the ranks started to peek, I still was not convinced I needed to write about it. That is, not until the roof caved in–literally.
My investment home was in shambles and my tenants stopped paying rent. There was no apparent reason for the roof caving, but God. I had become so dependent on my own resources that I neglected to keep my vow to Him to do whatever He asked. Frantically, I looked for work to fill the void and replace the roof, but to make matters worse, my production jobs including script writing jobs dried up. Having written between five to 24 production scripts a year I was now down to nothing. MEGCOMM Productions, the company I had free-lanced for the last 25 years of my life almost went out of business.
David Walden, a friend working for the federal court system at that time, suggested that I write “that story now”. “What story?” I asked. “The Hezbollah guy already published his memoirs.”
“Write your own story,” he said. “The one God has been giving you to write. I want to read it.”
So I set out to learn all I could about a country I had never lived in, nor visited, nor really cared to visit–I learned all I could about the difference between script writing and novel writing–I learned all I could about what had been going on in Iran when my colleague lived there. Since I hadn’t been there and my airport tapes were full of useless noise, I had to learn everything from scratch–the way people talked, what they wore, their expressions, the terrain, the smells in the air, the customs and levels of customs from non-believers to believing Christians and Muslims. I had to learn what they thought of each other and why and what they thought of their regime and why. In other words, what in the world was going on and why?
There were a lot of people willing to share their experiences, their knowledge of the country from a spiritual and physical point of view, photos, videos and even their own personal journeys. First I wrote the outline for the story, then I divided it up into chapters and segments of what I wanted to write, and then I wrote, rewrote and rewrote. Escape the Hezbollah was published and now it will be the film entitled, Abducted to Kill. Stay tuned for that story testimony.
God is in control.
Proverbs 19:21 There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.
Isaiah 55:8-11 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
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