LA MISION, Baja, Mexico (ANS) – The mini-doc video, Faithful Through The Fire, chronicles a recent firestorm and its aftermath. Love Story Foundation produced the incredible footage featuring missionary leaders and others talking about how they found hope amid the charred valley and hills of the northern Baja community of La Mision.
The backdrop for the dramatic video is filmed primarily at Casa de Mana, which is property designated to become a discipling and training center. On October 24, 2019, a lodge and partially constructed warehouse burned to the ground. Strong Tower Ministries, who has been building the campus after years of helping others build structures in Baja, hosted a prayer and worship event on its property with re-construction already taking place on November 9.
The fire struck grave concern for people living and working in La Mision as they watched it grow. They knew that the fire was fueled by potentially miles of dry brush and fanned by a severe Santa Ana Winds condition.
As the result of what was discovered in the interviews for the video, LSF founder and director, Alexander Mora, told STM Baja Press that a common theme was found: The fire was a metaphor for the trials we inevitably face in life, and God counters our fears by giving us hope.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” — Romans 8:28
Near the end of the “celebration” event at Casa de Mana, Carey Slusser, shared his testimony for the video, which includes talking about a dark time for him after his mother’s death and the transformative moment he experienced.
“It’s hard for me because 13 years ago my mother commited suicide and at that point I ran from God. I went to war against the world,” Slusser said. “A couple of months ago, I woke up and said ‘I can’t fight anymore, I need help.’ I fell to my knees.”
After hearing from the various people who spoke at the event and who shared what the fire and the Casa de Mana property meant to them, he said their stories moved him “because of my relationship with what happened to me personally.” Slusser added, “I feel loved like a family.”
Mora said that Carey, as well as the others in the video, are reflecting on God’s love.
“The common theme is that God is in control, God is sovereign, and we don’t have to worry because even though the fire was devastating, that even though it hurt at the moment, we don’t have to worry,” Mora said. “It’s like everybody knew God’s character. By knowing God’s character they had hope because we know we have a loving God.
“What Carey was talking about was that we are all going through ‘fires’ and God just wants his people to know that he is faithful through these fires, whatever they may actually be (emotional, psychological, or physical). In the end, if we trust in the Holy Spirit then we’re okay because the Holy Spirit doesn’t usually get it wrong,” he said (while joking at the end of his remarks).
The experience that Carey had of feeling loved by “family” is one that the Strong Tower Ministries’ leaders have already witnessed from many other people at previous gatherings at Casa de Mana while the lodge still stood. It’s an experience they hope to help facilitate even now, while building continues.
“Casa de Mana is a place where we equip the saints, and that means anything and everything,” said project director Adam Stieve. The aim is for people of younger and older generations to be “built up and restored.”
“We invite people to come here and get closer to God,” he said.
“Casa quickly began to change lives,” Mora is heard saying in the video. “It became a place of hope, change, restoration, deliverance, … bringing people closer to Christ … and just like that—a firestorm (brought about the same change).”
“This story is not about a burned down building. It’s about you, us, [and] me, and how God is reminding you right now that he loves you … he is faithful through the fire.”
Love Story Foundation’s ‘Faithful Through The Fire’ is available for viewing on the Love Story Foundation’s YouTube channel.