When Death Strikes, The Students At the BYU Jerusalem Center Turn To Christ.

Whenever you leave home for school, you often leave behind family and loved ones. That is what students at the BYU Jerusalem Center face every time they choose to study abroad. Because of this, often the students bond together into a family unit. That is what happened with the students of the 2016 BYU Jerusalem Center summer program. In the middle of their summer studies, tragedy stuck back home for one of the students, Rebekah,  her sister Rachel passed away unexpectedly.

Everyone wanted to help Rebekah. It was in the middle of this, that one student, Allie Gardner, had an idea while she sat at church overlooking Jerusalem. She loved to sing and the idea was to make a music video with all the students testifying of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Eternal Families, and the promise that Rebekah would see her Rachel again. She shared her idea with some of the other students, they loved the idea. One student, Kathryn, who had a talent for photography became the videographer for the project. Allie and Kathryn spearheaded the project.

Testifying of Christ In Jerusalem.

Testifying of Christ In Jerusalem.

Jerusalem, and the Temple Mount.

The idea was simple, they were living in Jerusalem. They were already planning on visiting sites in and around Jerusalem. Sites ranging from the Holy Sepulchre to Capernaum, the Garden Tomb, the Sea of Galilee, the Pools of Bethesda, and more. As they would visit these sites they would film Allie singing.  As Allie put it “My mind’s eye was totally opened. I saw the exact shots we needed to take, exactly where we needed to go. I was filled with a sense of urgency to get started.” The song they choose was “I know that my redeemer lives.”

From the beginning, Allie was firm that she did not want to video to be about her, the focus should be Jesus Christ. Kathryn knew that to do this, she needed other footage in the video besides her singing. What they decided on doing was to record silent interviews with as many of their fellow students as possible. A silent interview is where you are asked a series of questions but you cannot say anything in response. Even without words, you can see their emotion and testimony shining through, the light in their eyes testifies “I know that my Redeemer lives!”

As they began filming they realized that they were on a very short timetable to record as they visited these holy sites. Not only was their time short, they also did not want to disturb any other visitors. Filming was hard, but they remained fixed in their purpose, in the words of Kathryn: “The purpose of our video was to share our testimony that Jesus Christ lives and that through Him we can live again.”

Capernaum and the Garden Tomb.

Ruins of Synagogue in Capernaum.

Ruins of Synagogue in Capernaum.

They struggled to capture the majesty of the holy land and of their testimonies on video. This struggle continued as they went to Capernaum. Everything changed as the pondered, prayed and wondered around Capernaum. They found the remnants of a synagogue and started to film there, that is when it finally started to flow. In the words of Kathryn “Few times have I felt so strongly that my Redeemer lives. From that moment on I knew without a doubt that Heavenly Father wanted us to create this music video and that it was going to be something special.”

 

For the rest of the story read it at My Life By Gogo Goff