A Tailor-Made Film For Syrians

Visit my Indiegogo campaign to support the film

There are a number of well-made and powerful documentaries that hi-lite the Syrian crisis; films whose primary audience is the world. But what if someone made an encouraging drama film for Syrian people to watch? That’s why we decided to make a film about God’s love for this beautiful nation of people; to shine some light their way in a time of darkness.

“May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Hello! My name is Rob. I’m part of a team of experienced, international film-makers. Together, we are planning to produce a cross-cultural drama film that shares a message of hope with the Syrian people.

We will be partnering together with Syrian refugees to help us tell a powerful story of God’s redemption in the midst of resettlement. It will be a culturally relevant film, tailored just for them. The language will be their own, and the actors themselves will be Syrian!

The Challenge

As a cinematographer, my passion is to produce a high-quality, visually pleasing film. In order to do that, I need to upgrade my camera gear. But as a full-time volunteer, the ability to upgrade my tools is often dependant upon the donations of generous backers like yourself.

By backing this campaign, you will play an important role in helping us create a one-of-a-kind film for Syrians worldwide. Together we can do it!

Details about the film

The film is inspired by the true stories of Syrian refugee families who have escaped the horrors of war, by fleeing to Sweden to begin a new life. It is a film about two Syrian refugee women and their journey toward redemption. The story is based on the Book of Ruth from the Hebrew Scriptures, yet modernised and set in present day Sweden, home to many of the Syrian refugees. It is a story of faith, miracles and redemption. It is about starting life again, in a new land, full of hope! Production will take place near Gothenburg, Sweden beginning May 28th and finishing July 8th, 2017.

All our films are shared freely and have been well-received by the people for whom we make them. In fact, one film we produced in Indonesia was so popular it was pirated, and copies of the film could be found in many of the video shops throughout the island of Java!

Our film team is made up of people from many different cultures: Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Sweden, Zimbabwe, Canada and USA. We’ve been doing these kinds of cross-cultural films for over 25 years.

The tools below will enable me to make a high-quality film at relatively low cost. Click on each item’s name for details and prices.

When the film is completed I will continue using these tools to make similar, high-quality films and documentaries for other people groups. So you can be confident knowing that your investment will continue to yield results!

*Costs reflect the approximate price of the items in the list. The remaining balance will cover camera accessories and shipping. Items will be shipped to our team address in USA and delivered to me in time for filming. 

Don’t Forget the Perks!

Make sure to check out the perks. They are my personal way of saying ‘Thank You’ for backing this campaign. And don’t fret! If I don’t reach my campaign goal, your Perks will still be delivered 🙂

Film Crew T-shirts – choice of black or white.

Below is an example of the Producer perk. A signed landscape print from an image I took while living in Sweden. I chose to give these as perks to share my love for landscape photography and the great outdoors.

Click here to view the image gallery

Risks and challenges

There is always a risk that the film production will be delayed due to illness, work or family obligations, etc.  But fickle schedules and sudden turns of event are nothing new to our experienced crew. And we are confident that the movie will be released by summer 2018. Our team in Sweden are already securing locations, accommodations and actors in preparation for the film.

Unable to donate right now?

No problem! How about helping us get the word out by making some noise about the campaign instead? The share tools are at the top of the page.

Summing it up

It’s not every day that someone wants to make a movie for an entire nation… for free!

Perhaps you have wanted to bring some kind of relief to the Syrian people. Or maybe you simply like the idea of sharing God’s love with them. You can do both by backing this campaign.

Thank you for considering!

2015 Year In Review

Hey You!!

Did you ever blank on someone’s name, and resort to calling them “you”? Well, If you’re receiving this email, it means that you are not just a “you” to us, but a special part of our lives, even if I (Rob) still can’t figure out how to merge a [NAME] field to make you feel even a little bit more special. Comfort Ye! We have not forgotten any of your names! Note to self: Learn how to merge fields in my email so people feel more special.

So, please do grab a cup of your favourite beverage and celebrate the end of 2015 together with us.

#1 This One Thing.. Family

One of the biggest parts of our lives is family. We have thoroughly enjoyed spending time with family, friends, and supporters here in Chiang Mai, as well as during our trips to Sweden and the USA. It doesn’t matter how tired we are at the end of those visits; we are soon ready for more!

 

#2 Our Boys Our Joys

When Veronica and I see the way Rasmus and Lucas allow God to work in their lives, it is an inspiration to us. We mostly appreciate the way they enjoy each other’s company. And we also love taking them on Mommy and Daddy dates! See some more pictures of the boys here.

 

#3 Today’s Reader

Rasmus loves reading books. At age 1 1/2 he helped us win a year’s supply of diapers in a Pampers video contest when I once filmed him in his diaper, reading a book. It might be noteworthy that the book he was reading was upside down. Who knew he would be such an avid reader today? I am pretty sure he has already surpassed me in the number of pages he has read. For those of you who know me, I guess that doesn’t say much. But I’m still really impressed!

 

#4 Artist and Mathematician

Lucas’ favourite past-time is drawing and counting. He is rarely seen without a pencil or pen in his hand. We framed and hung one of his pictures on our wall to remind us of the creativity God has put into him. And he is also fond of making mathematical observations everywhere he turns. The other day he was explaining to Veronica how simple 10 + 6 is the same as 9 +7. Duh Mom!

#5 Grounding Our Connections

We believe that to stay grounded and know who you are, and where you come, from means making time to reconnect with good friends. Last summer, in Sweden, we carved out some calendar time to spend with our good friends, the Thiessen family, who work in Nepal. It’s so cool to see them all change and grow every time we meet. You can see a few more pictures here.


My Food Ebook FOR SALE!

Do you like eating food? Do you like supporting mission? Then how about buying my ebook called Food Portfolio? It’s full of foods and drinks I have enjoyed living overseas. You can feel good knowing your money is going to something bigger than food and drink! Note! It is only available on iPad. Sorry Android users 🙁
Buy it here.. Now


#6 The Age Of Travel

I think our boys have collected nearly 100 flights together since they were born. We are a family of travellers, and the boys have their own system down pretty well. They pack their own little carry-on bags with all the necessities. I imagine if they ever owned an airline together, Rasmus would prefer that all seats be First Class, and Lucas would make sure their flights were the fastest on earth!

#7 New Home

No, these guys are not our new roommates. They are the movers who helped us put our furniture into our new rental, in a really great neighbourhood close to work, school and friends. Thank you God for finding the perfect home for us! I love how relaxed Thais are, when they can plop themselves down into someone else’s furniture, as if it was their own, and light up a cigarette.

#8 Party Time For Al

Date nights are something we have missed since moving to Thailand. But now that we have developed some deeper friendships, the boys get to enjoy sleepovers, and Veronica and I get to spend some quality date nights together.

#9 Classical

One of Veronica’s passions is her violin. This autumn she got to perform in a beautiful theatre in Chiang Mai alongside some well known Asian pianists. What a classy event that was! I recorded the entire concert. You can listen to it here.

#10 Photography

One of my passions is photography. I get to do cool photo shoots like this one – a graduation photo of a missionary  ‘kid’ from Chiang Mai. And the cool thing is I get to do what I love and sometimes make a little extra money on the side. You can see more of my grad and family photos here.

#11 A Rare Treat

Usually, Veronica’s and my work schedules keep us separated. The romantic in me often laments how nice it would be if we could work together more often. Well, last spring we got to work together on part of a film I was involved in. I was directing a live animation scene in a green screen studio, and Veronica got to be my script advisor. The thing that made me most happy was when she said she actually really enjoyed the entire day! You can watch the film here & photos here.

#12 Clovis

A family newsletter just isn’t complete without the family dog. Clovis, our beautiful Thai dog has proven to be a real gem. She has gained control over her addiction to chewing up welcome mats and plant leaves, and instead has turned her hobbies towards killing snakes, cockroaches and rats around our graden. She still is clueless as to what the words “Clovis! Come!” means, but other than that, she’s doing pretty darned well!

You can see Clovis kill a snake here!

God’s richest blessings & Merry Christmas to you!
Rob, Veronica, Rasmus and Lucas

Drive by shooting near Chiang Mai

Sometimes I see a scene that I would love to shoot, and it may take a few drives past it before I decide to take my camera along. These scenes are a couple of such places.

Jungle shack 003

This first picture below was taken just beside the neighborhood where we live. I’m guessing field workers live in those lean-to’s under that huge tree. I’ll probably find out more when I learn enough Thai to ask the gate guards who work at the entrance to this road.field workers' neighbourhood
The other images were taken on my way to one of my favorite cafe’s where I sit and study my thai notes – and practice the language with the local cafe owners, all of whom are very helpful. The little shack is nestled in against the jungle growth and invites my eye back to it and beyond. Makes you wonder what’s in the jungle past there.

Jungle shack 002

This is what I see when I turn around 180 degrees from the jungle shack.

Palm tress in a field

Thai Noodles – November 2012

How do you prepare a move to Asia?

Hi friends! We’re now in the pre-launch phase of our move to Thailand. In just a little less than three weeks we will be pulling a trailer out the gates of beautiful Restenäs where Veronica and I have served the Lord for 13 good years of our lives. We’ll spend the Christmas holiday with Veronica’s parents in the north and then fly out to Thailand in the beginning of January. There are a lot of emotions swimming in our hearts these days. After 13 years, a place can do that to you! We’ll miss Restenäs, its people, and the memories that we’ve created together.

moving boxes
Moving boxes wait in our guest room, ready to be shipped to the north

Heading into the great unknown

This is the first time our family has ‘really’ moved. And so far it’s been a bit like herding cats, with many things to consider. Here are just a few: applying for school for the boys, getting vaccinations, finding a house to rent, choosing a language school, raising more support, deciding what is and isn’t available in another land, like cheese slicers? But, so far, it’s gone pretty well. My last day of work in the media office went so smoothly, I had to pinch myself to see if I was only dreaming. And I wonder how many lessons we’ll take with us into this new culture. I moved to Sweden 13 years ago, and I feel I’m only still a baby when it comes to understanding the culture that has become my home! And what about the spiritual stuff? What sorts of challenges will we confront in the coming years? At least after reading this entry, you’ll have a small idea of how to pray for us!

Three weeks & 3,000 miles

Private ranch road on J59 road to Merced
J59 is one of my all-time favorite roads in California. And this is one of my favorite views facing the Sierra Neveda foothills.
View pictures from my trip!

I just returned from the USA after three weeks of non-stop meetings in preparation for our move to Thailand. As usual, my parents graciously loaned me one of their cars so I could travel up and down the Golden State and touch bases with family, friends and supporters. The car was not the only one in overdrive! I set up appointments, meals and coffee meetings with as many people as possible. One of the reasons was to raise money for our upcoming move. And of course the other reason was simply to spend some time, if only a few hours, with friends. Looking back, I can say that I had an excellent time! I only wish I had more of it. So a big ‘Thank you!’ to everybody for freeing up your busy schedules to meet with me. Mostly, thank you Mom and Dad for allowing me to use most of my visit to do what a volunteer worker needs to do to keep doing what he does. Your sacrifice of not having your son around as much as you would have liked did not go unseen. I love and appreciate you both!
More pictures from my trip!

A really awesome Christmas gift!

Waiting for Spring book coverHave you checked out my photo book called Waiting for Spring? I made it this summer and it’s for sale now at blurb.com. I hope you’ll order a few copies and pass them out to your family and friends for Christmas 🙂 FYI I’m not making a bundle of profit on this book, it being my first and all. I just want to see it get into peoples’ hands who might need an encouragement, or who might enjoy some pretty landscape pictures.
Blurb thumbnailAnd don’t forget, if you don’t want to spend the money on the paper version, there’s always the eBook for $4.99!
Waiting For Spring would make a nice stocking or iPad stuffer, just in time for Christmas!
Note! Only currently available for iPad, iPhone or iTouch

Pray with us

Darby Family

Preparing for our move to Thailand – We have lots of details to sort out before our departure. We found a house and health insurance! Thank you God! But we still need to: buy a car and a motorcycle, choose a language school, pack our things and move to the north, and raise more funds for our move.

Family health – Please pray for good health during this super-busy time. Especially for the boys during cold and flu season.

Heart surgery news – Just think; It’s already been a year since my surgery! My back is doing much better, but it still has a way to go. I continue to have tight muscles in my back and shoulders and between my shoulder blades. The good news, I no longer need to take Metoprolol! The medicine I was told I have to take for the rest of my life.

CAUTION! DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU ARE EASILY SWAYED!

Now, if you chose the dangerous path to keep on reading, we invite you to consider helping us in our move to Thailand by either joining our support team (by donating regularly to our ministry), or by giving a one-time donation towards our move. The cost of our move is approximately $20,000US. That sounds like a lot and it is. But before you gulp too loudly, let me explain that some of that raw cost is already covered by things like potentially selling our car before we leave Sweden, and some gifts that have already come in.

Here’s how you can help support our ministry:

We love what we do, serving God with our gifts and talents as volunteers in YWAM. But we can’t do it alone.

PayPal donate button

Would you consider making a donation to our ministry?
$10, $50, $100 or another amount

Here are some things we need to raise money for:
car
A car and motorcycle
for getting around town, going to work and transporting the boys to a from school
plane
Flight tickets
We’ll be doing travel for work and furlough trips on regular intervals.
plane
PAID!! Boys’ school fees

Do you have questions?
We’ll be happy to share with you if you’re interested. Just drop us an email.
email

Connect with us

Waiting For Spring.. has arrived!

A year-and-a-half ago I set out to create my very first photo book. And now it finally arrived! I thought I would never finish the book, except that I kept being reminded that I should finish what I start.

I had some free time one evening this week to do anything I wanted. So I told my wife I wanted to finish “that book I started when we were living up in the north of Sweden.” So I grabbed something to drink, sat my butt down on our living room sofa and worked out the kinks that were left in the book I had already started, and within a couple of hours, it was uploaded to Blurb’s bookstore.

Preview the book here:

 

The book was written in response to a Facebook message I received after God prompted me to post a photo to encourage anybody who might be struggling through a difficult situation. I decided that if only one person was encouraged, then I would be happy. Sure enough, only one person responded! But the whole thing seemed so orchestrated by God, because this person needed a timely encouragement.

The following Sunday, I had a  chance to weave the person’s story into my sermon that I was preaching at a local church service. And then, again, at Veronica’s home church later that week. Both events brought the most profound reaction by the congregations, and they were noticeably inspired by my little story.

That’s just part of the story about my first book titled “Waiting For Spring“.

I encourage you to buy my book, because I’m selling it at a very low mark-up from Blurb’s base price. I’m doing it this way because 1. I want the book to be available to encourage as many people as possible, and 2. Since it’s my first book, I don’t think I’m in the position to charge an outrageous price.. at least not yet anyway! heehee!

I plan to make many more books in the future, and I hope you’ll buy every single one of them 🙂

The connection between grilled salmon and BP

grilled salmon and riceI overdosed on my blood pressure medicine this morning. I put my pills in this little pill box, all in place so I will take the right amount time. But this morning I accidentally opened it too far and took the evening’s dose as well as the morning’s.

As I was swallowing the pills my mind flashed back 2.5 seconds where I envisioned two pink pill lying in my hand instead of one. Yikes! So I rang the medical assistance number that you can ring here in Sweden if you have a medical concern, and they told me to take it easy for the rest of the day; no driving, drink lots of water, and have someone around me at all times in case I get dizzy and pass out, in which case I should ring 112 – Emergency.

So for lunch we ate this amazing grilled salmon. I grill as often as I can, because I simply love to grill! I added a little oak wood – or was it ash.. or birch? Hmmm! Not sure. – Anyhow, I salt my salmon an hour before grilling and put it straight on the grill for 10 minutes. I’m sure that the extra salt helped counteract the effects from the excessive BP medicine.

I served the salmon with white jasmine rice and ricolla salad – included tomatoes, red onion, feta cheese, sunflower seeds, lemon juice and olive oil.

You might be wondering what all this food stuff has to do with overdosing on blood pressure medicine? Absolutely nothing!

I have to have some excuse to write about food.

How to tell which battery is good

Tale of two batteriesI have this dilemma. As a photographer, I use a lot of batteries. And after a while, I have to start keeping track of which batteries can hold a good charge and which ones can’t. It’s kind of like cat herding; I spend lots of mental energy trying to design systems to keep the good and bad batteries separated. You might say to yourself, “Piece’a cake. Just put them in two separately marked pockets!” But, for me, it doesn’t work. I still mix them up.

I’m all for saving a few bucks when possible, but at some point, I need to decide if it’s worth the hassle. You see, I was asked to shoot a friend’s wedding this summer. So, for me, the condition of my batteries might determine whether or not I get that shot of the bridal couple, at the altar, putting on the rings. I want to give them the satisfaction of knowing that, years from now, they can flip open that wedding album and see that ‘ring’ shot, and talk about how lovely and smooth their hands looked back then.

That settles it! I’m putting an end to my dilemma. I’m asking my wife to pick up a few new rechargeable batteries for me the next time she goes shopping.

Answer to the Title question:  Both are good! I just needed a couple models for my blog post. Moohaahaa!

Swedish harbor

boathouse in Sweden
I shot this at 7am on my morning walk

Every time I drive into town to buy groceries, or benzine, or paint supplies, I pass this amazing little boathouse in Ulvesund. And just about every time I pass it, I glance over and think to mayself, what a cool boathouse! That’s all. I just think that simple thought. And sometimes, if I happen to have my camera, I stop and take a photo of it. But this time, a couple days ago, I hapened to be out for an early morning walk, with my camera, so shot it again.

I just love living in a place where I can get shots like this. A photographer once said an a podcast I was listening to  – I isten to a lot of photography podcasts – he said something like this, “Stop and take that photo you keep saying to yourself you’re going to take. Because one day, that barn you want to shoot just might fall down before you get to it.” Alas, that barn I wanted to shoot did fall down. It is on Highway 4 between Angels Camp (my home town) and Murphys. For years I kept telling myself I would shoot it, but I never did. And when my wife and I visited California a few weeks ago – we visit about every two years – that barn had collapsed. Sigh! Guess I learned my lesson. Well, at least I got the boathouse!