In January 2016 we both sat down and made a decision to follow God in whatever direction He desired of us. The task that lay before us seemed overwhelming to say the least for what we were being called to do was out of our comfort zone, our region, educational experience in this particular field and all in the fact we are just a normal middle aged couple.
We continued to serve our community as best as we could until one weekend when God revealed unto us what we must do. Through a series of 3 events over a 1 week period we saw a need so great that it had to be addressed. On a Sunday night I looked at my wife and said “ This is the moment that we have been waiting for, God wants us to share a story of hope in a film format to encourage and help others through these events that we have just witnessed.”
Sparrows Cottage Films was created to help fulfill a vision that God placed upon our hearts. After many years working in other ministries such as with youth, local, state , federal prisons, summer camps, mission trips, non-profits, and holding servant roles in traditional church environments God laid out another opportunity for us to serve.
Sparrows Cottage is a real place, it is our home. When God began to burden us for something greater we made a decision that it must start in our backyard before we took it to the world. That saying took on a whole new meaning, for it indeed, did end up starting in our backyard. We began to have worship nights, then an online show called Sparrows Cottage LIVE where we would highlight our local non-profits and the good that they were doing. Most media outlets only were given 30 seconds to 3 minutes to share their needs. With our vision we allowed them more time to share and connect with others.
Many moments of patience would follow this call, a pandemic would hit, delaying our work. But through all of the delays, obstacles and uncertain times God was faithful in building our foundation to Sparrows Cottage Films future. We had learned early on that this endeavor must be a debt free venture. If God did not provide we would not move forward until the funding was there. We did not want to be bound by a lender or owe many favors that could strain us in repaying. We wanted to move in whatever direction that God desired, when it did not make sense on paper through numbers.
God did indeed bless us, and provided every need through a series of what we call miracles in our Christian faith. Over a period of one year God took our small efforts and the limited amount of inventory of filming equipment that we had and elevated it. Upon returning from a conference and hearing a testimony of faith from another saint I found myself taking a notepad out and writing the bible verse John 16:23-24 on it along with a list of needs that we had. From that day forward for a solid year later, week after week God provided the needs on that list.
Our story is a story of restoration, hope and salvation. What God has done for us, He can do greater for others. After 2 complete screenplay rewrites, Everlasting Hope is once again being filmed. But with a deeper story, better equipment, better set designs, wonderful volunteers with talents far greater than ours and we are moving forward right on God’s time. I hope you can join us in our adventures and you too will see that there is indeed an Everlasting Hope through Jesus Christ.
John 16:23-24 23 “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
We will have to say that Devin is one of the most humble people that we have ever met. Devin is the first to put others in the spotlight before himself. He is a gentle giant that does not even know his own strength at times. Devin’s talents are way too many to number. He is minister, singer, songwriter, musician and over the past few years is becoming an up and coming filmmaker.
Devin started this journey with us in 2016 not knowing where we would be today and or the magnitude of what God was doing in our lives as a grass roots mission. We have walked with Devin and he with us as we have seen our faith grow through many miracles leading us to the moment. Some of these transitions were through community efforts, outreaches, events and endless opportunities of out of the box thinking to minister to others. As of current, he is one of our directors of photography, part of our tech team, musician on our soundtrack and making a cameo as a first time actor in Everlasting Hope.
Today he deserves the recognition from all of us as we see God’s favor pouring all around him. And with that favor we see a very bright future ahead for Devin, his wife and three beautiful children.
Tonya has been working with us since 2016. In 2017 she took on a more permanent role in our mission to help us achieve our goals. We have to say one thing about Tonya, she is very passionate and has a God given drive to create, build, design and carry out anything that she puts her mind to.
Early on we saw this potential and what she could do when it came to our goals in film making. And like with Mary and so many others we had to wait upon God’s timing for it all to come to fruition. Some of her goals are helping us to produce, build and design sets, assist with set and scene management as well as other opportunities. She too, is a very talented singer and will be making a cameo acting role in Everlasting Hope.
Tonya is married to a wonderful guy and the mother one. Family, faith and her love of Jesus shines through in her adventures of life and we are excited to see what God has in store for her through this process.
It takes a lot of dedicated people to make and produce a film. One person or maybe two, simply could not cover all of the intense jobs that filmmaking requires. Over the years many have viewed Sparrows Cottage as a mission opportunity mainly coming from one couple. As God allowed us to grow, so have been the needs for more talented people.
Mary is one of those people. Her talents, her drive and walk with God make her a force to be reckoned with. Mary had a wonderful job in North Carolina as a professional in her field until God called her into a unique ministry. A friend of ours felt God calling them to create a faith-based live performance theater for our local region and they did just that. Both Mary and her husband Larry ( who you will meet as an actor later in Everlasting Hope ) left the stable life of the 9 to 5 to chase God’s calling in this new adventure.
After many years and thousands of hours later Mary stepped away from her full time role in live theater production back to a volunteer position. About that time we found ourselves in the beginning stages of creating Sparrows Cottage Films. As in God’s timing always! Mary began to help us with what I am sure as she saw it as small needs, but to us they were very big needs.
What many may not know is that Mary is a top notch costume designer, set designer and make up artist all of which Sparrows Cottage Films desperately needed. Mary was on set with us for our very first attempt at filmmaking and has been since. What you will find out about all of our wonder family of filmmakers is that all have a unique story. And through each story you will find that one experience with Jesus Christ changed everything! And we want to continue that trend through the series of Everlasting Hope.
Aaron has been working behind the scenes with us since 2017. He has been part of our tech and sound design. Having worked many years in the industry you have probably heard his talent either in a live show or television for major networks. Many times we had very little time and or resources and Aaron would find a way to make our events sound as good as possible.
Aaron is married to one of our team and father of four. He is very calm, precise and passionate when it comes to his approach to life and serving Jesus. His goal for our current project will be helping us in sound design for Everlasting Hope in different formats. Audio is equally important when putting together projects such as what we are working on and we know that God has chosen the right one for the job.
Many will see Phyliss as a married mother of three, grandmother and great grandmother. An extremely successful business owner, intelligent in her field. So you may wonder where Phyliss fits into this puzzle that we call Sparrows CottageFilms.
Phyliss is a very powerful woman of faith, and an encourager. She is devoted to seeing that others find hope and an eternal destiny in Jesus Christ by all means necessary. Her story is of a lifetime of opportunities in getting the chance of sharing her testimony of what God has done in her life. Some of us may call those stories, trials by fire.
And every organization such as ours needs a spiritual mother. Phyllis is known in our circle as “ Momma Phyliss “. She has been with us since day one of this journey. She has quietly been behind the scenes praying, encouraging and lifting our whole team over these past several years. She is not afraid to share the truth and to speak into us when she sees a potential for failure or an attack from the enemy arising.
We have a prayer team that prays over us all the time and shares in that responsibility with Phyliss, but I can speak for them on her behalf. Phyliss is a woman that God favors. For the past year and half plus, she has fought cancer. Many trips back and forth as God opened up doors for her to get the best treatment possible.
However during that time of uncertainty in her own life she has continued to hold us up with those spiritual arms of faith. And we find ourselves feeling so unworthy to have someone such as her fighting for us. But God knows we need her. He also promises that we will not walk alone in those journeys and He blesses us with “ Mamma Phylisses “.
She is one of the most valuable assets that we have. We honor her and her walk of faith and for her role with us here at Sparrows Cottage Films. She prefers to remain behind the scenes, but we see her and her efforts and so does God!