The Call to Prayer

“God is the greatest. I acknowledge that there is no god but God.”

It was the middle of the night and I had not fallen asleep yet. The fearful airport entry had gone well...we were not pulled aside or questioned as we entered the country and completed customs. But on the first night out exploring the city, our workers (missionaries) had suspicions that we had been followed by secret police, which obviously had shaken each of us a bit.  The question remained:  How to film in a country where security issues loomed large?

I lay in bed that night frustrated with sleeplessness, overwhelmed with emotion, but not sure why. At 4 am I heard a faint sound of a speaker from the nearest Mosque, a man calling out the Adhan - the call to prayer, in Arabic:

“I acknowledge that Muhammed is the messenger of God. Hasten to prayer. Hasten to prayer. Hasten to success. Hasten to success.”

 I tossed and turned. The Adhan can be heard throughout the city, with no way to escape its dark and eerie echo. I had come here to tell the story of our workers and yet I couldn’t recall the promises of our Brother (the name for Christ I was to use in any communication with loved ones back home). I wrote down memories from the day to send to friends that were back home praying for me. I would find out later that some of them had been praying together at the very hour the adhan was proclaimed over the city.

“Prayer is better than sleep. Prayer is better than sleep.”

 I just wanted to sleep. The next day would be full as we would be traveling to a refugee outreach and, for me, meeting Syrian refugees for the first time. In my exhaustion I couldn't bring myself to ask anything of our Brother. 

“God is greatest. God is greatest,” the Imam continued.

I tossed again in my bed, a mattress on the floor surrounded by my photography and filming equipment. Was this trip a mistake? My mind raced: “I have to use my camera to tell these stories, and that’s why I’m here. But we can’t even say the name of Christ much less show missionaries in any of the shots."  Many of them work under high security, as telling others of Jesus is a crime.  "What if they’re found out and it’s my fault? What if I’m found out?”

“There is no god but God. There is no god but God.”

My own call to awaken came an hour later. Since my visit to the Middle East, God has reminded me of His promises in Psalm 56:

"When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?"

He remembers our tossings. He knows how many times I tossed and turned that night as I was full of anxiety and fear. We would hear the Adhan more than twenty five times during our time in the Middle East and I never got used to it.  A chilling echo over a city gripped by restrictions which keep many from hearing the name of our true Christ. I left the Middle East more thankful and moved by a God who not only keeps count of my tossings but His same book tells me He gives to His beloved sleep, all reminders to trust Him and not fear.

Pray for our missionaries in closed countries around the world…that they would know God loves them so deeply that He keeps track of their tossings and catches their tears in a bottle. Pray they would know He is at work in dark places. And in the midst of fears, anxieties, and persecution that you and I quite frankly can't understand, pray that God would give them sleep. 

 

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Please pray for!

 

•  Trips in 2018: Pray as we are in communication with folks "in the field" to determine where and when I'll be documenting different teams in 2018. Pray for our communication with teams and for plans, schedules, and logistics to work out to go where God is leading for 2018. 
•  Church visits: Pray for opportunities to share at more churches and new outlets to speak about missions in order to encourage the American church, advocate on behalf of our missionaries, and raise support for this ministry. 
•  Support Raising: Pray for God to provide the remaining yearly support needed and for the account to stay healthy for future years as we plan trips and storytelling for next year and beyond. 
•  Editing Challenges: I am editing sensitive videos I filmed from the Middle East in 2017. These present challenges and require a different approach. Please pray for safety and encouragement for our missionaries appearing in these films and for God to call long-term workers to the Middle East. 
•  Spiritually/Physically: These trips can be challenging emotionally, spiritually & physically as I go back and forth to the field. Please pray for Christ's power to be made perfect in my weakness and for rest in the midst of seasons of long work hours and trips away from home.


This ministry is made possible by the generous support of individuals and churches each year. If you're interested in partnering with me, you can give online by clicking the blue button below or you can mail a check to the following address:   Mission to the World PO BOX 744165 Atlanta, GA 30374-4165 #96229 Claire Hutchinson

This ministry is made possible by the generous support of individuals and churches each year. If you're interested in partnering with me, you can give online by clicking the blue button below or you can mail a check to the following address:

Mission to the World
PO BOX 744165
Atlanta, GA 30374-4165
#96229 Claire Hutchinson

2017: A Year in Review!

2017
 A year in Review!! 


This year was one of major transitions for me in a lot of ways! From finishing up videos from 2016 to presenting at churches, to serving on our pastor search committee, to my first project in a closed country, to going full time with Mission to the World, God has brought me through many doors and taken me to unexpected places. You have been a huge part of this year especially in these specific transitions. Your prayers, support, and encouragement have made another year possible. I'm thankful for the ways God uses you each year to remind me that we were not meant to do things alone, big or small. Celebrate with me another wonderful year of God's faithfulness in this ministry. 

6 months at home   Much of the beginning of the year was spent finishing up films from a very busy 2016! I got to spend almost 6 months in the US in early 2017 and I spent much of that time playing catch up not just on films but on rest as well! God used that time to allow me to finish films before starting new projects, establish new friendships, serve in a sustained way on our pastor search committee for South Baton Rouge Pres. in our first few months of getting the committee going, and go on restful trips with friends! It was time that I didn't know I needed and I learned a lot from it. 

6 months at home

Much of the beginning of the year was spent finishing up films from a very busy 2016! I got to spend almost 6 months in the US in early 2017 and I spent much of that time playing catch up not just on films but on rest as well! God used that time to allow me to finish films before starting new projects, establish new friendships, serve in a sustained way on our pastor search committee for South Baton Rouge Pres. in our first few months of getting the committee going, and go on restful trips with friends! It was time that I didn't know I needed and I learned a lot from it. 

    byFaith Magazine   In the spring of this year ByFaith Magazine did an article on MTW and the PCA's response to the global refugee crisis. They used photos from my time on the docks of Greece in Athens in March 2016 as refugees from Syria and neighboring countries arrived on the shores of Greece fleeing war and persecution. This was another way that God used the photographs and videos of the refugees we've worked with in the last 2 years to bring more understanding and awareness of the ways God is making His name known amongst the nations. 

 

byFaith Magazine

In the spring of this year ByFaith Magazine did an article on MTW and the PCA's response to the global refugee crisis. They used photos from my time on the docks of Greece in Athens in March 2016 as refugees from Syria and neighboring countries arrived on the shores of Greece fleeing war and persecution. This was another way that God used the photographs and videos of the refugees we've worked with in the last 2 years to bring more understanding and awareness of the ways God is making His name known amongst the nations. 

Refugee Film at General Assembly

The film on the refugee crisis that I made from time in Greece and Germany in order to educate and call the church to support our missionaries involved in planting churches amongst refugees was shown at this year's General Assembly for the Presbyterian Church in America. We received a lot of encouraging feedback from those who saw the film and continue to pray that God uses them to encourage others to pray, give, and go to serve amongst refugees around the world.

Sharing at Churches and other Changes    We expanded this ministry to also entail my sharing at more churches throughout the year about what God is doing in other places. We saw multiple missionaries gain financial support, prayer partners, and encouragement from stories shared at churches in the last two years. Now my job with MTW is also to be a kind of advocate for our missionaries abroad and to seek new ways and places to get these stories in front of the American church.  Please pray for more opportunities and places to speak in the coming months and years. 

Sharing at Churches and other Changes


We expanded this ministry to also entail my sharing at more churches throughout the year about what God is doing in other places. We saw multiple missionaries gain financial support, prayer partners, and encouragement from stories shared at churches in the last two years. Now my job with MTW is also to be a kind of advocate for our missionaries abroad and to seek new ways and places to get these stories in front of the American church. Please pray for more opportunities and places to speak in the coming months and years. 

Full Time with MTW!   I went full time with MTW! We increased my responsibilities with MTW and the amount of videos we'll produce each year as well as added some responsibilities with our marketing department and increased the Communications Arts Initiative budget for future years.Thanks to the support of many individuals and churches God provided a way to go full time with MTW which is a dream come true. I am still raising support and have about 10% left to raise to be fully funded for 2018.  Please pray that God would provide the final funds needed to do this work full time! 

Full Time with MTW!

I went full time with MTW! We increased my responsibilities with MTW and the amount of videos we'll produce each year as well as added some responsibilities with our marketing department and increased the Communications Arts Initiative budget for future years.Thanks to the support of many individuals and churches God provided a way to go full time with MTW which is a dream come true. I am still raising support and have about 10% left to raise to be fully funded for 2018. Please pray that God would provide the final funds needed to do this work full time! 

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Trip to Middle East and closed country.
 

In August, I got to work with some of our workers in the Middle East for the first time in a closed country. Since I started documenting stories of Syrian refugees hearing of Christ and getting involved in church plants in Greece & Germany after fleeing their home countries, I have longed to be able to get even closer to the crisis and learn even more about the suffering, culture, traditions, and beliefs of those God is bringing out of the Middle East and into countries where they can hear the gospel for the first time. I got to do that in an unexpected way this year and the trip changed me in many ways. I learned about missionaries all over the world living under threat of deportation or worse all for the sake of the gospel. I also learned more about the war in Syria, why people had to flee, and their beliefs which have helped me understand those we've served and will serve for years to come. Stay tuned for more stories from the Middle East and videos from my time there and please pray for the production of these videos over the next few weeks.

Past projects reunited at GMC    I got to experience an unexpected reunion at the PCA's Global Missions Conference this year! I ran into friends I served with in Greece, Washington State, Canada, the Middle East, and Germany among other places. It was a little taste of heaven to reunite with brothers and sisters serving around the world and to hear from them how God has used the videos we made from our time with them and their ministries over the years. This photo is of me with Tim and Alex who have planted a church in an anarchist neighborhood in Athens, Greece. They are also doing refugee outreach and made a point to tell me at the conference how God has used the videos we made of their ministry in Greece to increase their work and support. It was a special time of remembering all God has done and an encouragement to press on!

Past projects reunited at GMC

I got to experience an unexpected reunion at the PCA's Global Missions Conference this year! I ran into friends I served with in Greece, Washington State, Canada, the Middle East, and Germany among other places. It was a little taste of heaven to reunite with brothers and sisters serving around the world and to hear from them how God has used the videos we made from our time with them and their ministries over the years. This photo is of me with Tim and Alex who have planted a church in an anarchist neighborhood in Athens, Greece. They are also doing refugee outreach and made a point to tell me at the conference how God has used the videos we made of their ministry in Greece to increase their work and support. It was a special time of remembering all God has done and an encouragement to press on!

PCA Global Missions Conference

In September, I traveled to Ukraine in order to document stories of community transformation amongst Ukrainians after the Soviet Union collapsed. The story of Masha and her mother, Olena, coming to Christ through English classes led by MTW missionaries was shown at the GMC conference in Dallas in November this year. Thousands of people got to hear of God's work through workers in Ukraine and other places and hear the call to support and pray for missionaries around the world through this conference. It was an honor and encouragement to see God use these films in that way.

3 years with MTW!    This season marks 3 years working with MTW as photographer and videographer for the Communications Arts Initiative and marketing department. There are many days where I have to pinch myself from unbelief at what God has done in providing this ministry and calling me to be a part of it. In the fall of 2014, the marketing department created this position in order to provide these stories of what God is doing all over the world and I am continually encouraged by the places He's taken us since then. This photo is from my first project and trip with MTW to Cambodia in January 2015. This ministry is made possible by you and the work, prayers, support, gifts, time, questions, letters, phone calls, texts, coffee dates, and friendship He's provided in this team. I am so grateful. Here's to a wonderful 2017 and exciting days ahead in 2018.   Thank you! 

3 years with MTW! 

This season marks 3 years working with MTW as photographer and videographer for the Communications Arts Initiative and marketing department. There are many days where I have to pinch myself from unbelief at what God has done in providing this ministry and calling me to be a part of it. In the fall of 2014, the marketing department created this position in order to provide these stories of what God is doing all over the world and I am continually encouraged by the places He's taken us since then. This photo is from my first project and trip with MTW to Cambodia in January 2015. This ministry is made possible by you and the work, prayers, support, gifts, time, questions, letters, phone calls, texts, coffee dates, and friendship He's provided in this team. I am so grateful.
Here's to a wonderful 2017 and exciting days ahead in 2018.

Thank you! 

 Please consider this ministry for your year end giving and please join me in praying for opportunities to tell these stories wherever God would have us go in the years to come! If you're interested in partnering with me, you can give online by clicking the blue button below or you can mail a check to the following address:  Mission to the World PO BOX 744165 Atlanta, GA 30374-4165 #96229 Claire Hutchinson

 Please consider this ministry for your year end giving and please join me in praying for opportunities to tell these stories wherever God would have us go in the years to come! If you're interested in partnering with me, you can give online by clicking the blue button below or you can mail a check to the following address:
Mission to the World
PO BOX 744165
Atlanta, GA 30374-4165
#96229 Claire Hutchinson

Photos Featured in ByFaith Magazine

Over a year later and I’ve only been able to talk about certain aspects of this day. This was one of the most challenging days and things I’ve ever experienced as a photographer. Never have I been so burdened by the suffering I saw and at the same time convinced there is a God who meets us in our suffering. Many thanks to ByFaith Magazine for showcasing these photos of people who were hurting, who are likely still living in a camp somewhere, and the stories of those who have answered the call to walk alongside the hurting. I’m continually thankful for the work of the missionaries of Mission to the World and those who are teaching us to "love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners”Deut.10:19