Reel to Real Ministries (1997-2000)
Once the siege of Aware Woman began to wind down, I visited Eric Holmberg in Pensacola, Florida a few times. (My mother also lived in nearby Destin at that time, which gave me a home away from home.) He invited me to work with the Reel to Real staff. It took another year to be able to make the move, but from June 1998 to June 2000, my life consisted of learning video production four to five days a week, spending lots of time at the beach or by the pool, and living rent free between Reel to Real’s studio and my mother’s house in Destin. I was miserable at times. A lot of this was loneliness and a God-given desire to seek a wife while being frustrated by the shallowness of the church scene, Christian singles groups and so on.
But God did some remarkable things in my time there. I produced two video presentations with Eric Holmberg, God’s Law and Society and The Beast of Revelation: Identified. I also produced and contributed to several video productions based out of a church ministry in Vladimir, Russia. One of the videos won an award from the Christian Broadcasters as the “Best Documentary” of 2000. There was a pastor who I had met in 1991 in Moscow, who came to Pensacola to experience the Brownsville Revival (of which I was not a big supporter). While he was there he arranged to stay with the Holmbergs. Since Eric was out of town, I became his chauffer. I immediately remembered him from 1991 at one of Bob Weiner’s Christian Youth International conferences. He amazed me because he told me that his church had been recently given an unsolicited $50,000 by an Australian missionary (a fortune in Russia at that time) and that they had prayed and decided that God wanted them to start a television and video production ministry in Russia. He came to Pensacola partly to look for someone from Reel to Real to come and train their staff. A Finnish ministry had dubbed one of Reel to Real’s videos into Russian and it was well known among churches in the former USSR. His request was that we allow them to dub more recent material into Russian and help train their staff to produce a few projects.
1999 to 2000 became the most productive 18 months that I ever experienced in ministry. The Aware Woman abortion clinic closed; I produced three videos and contributed to several more; I published Why Creeds and Confessions? a book in the Russian language; I wrote another book on eschatology, Four Keys to the Millennium, which was published in South Africa; and took two missions trips to Russia and Ukraine. The amazing thing about this whole time period is that I operated on an extremely modest budget. That included my support, operating expenses and funding for all missions projects.