“The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.”
The seed of Tekmerion was the story of a martyr.
In 2004, I was asked to travel to Central Asia on a volunteer construction trip. A hands-on trip where I could lay the camera aside and be a part of the action. Telling the story is very important, but sometimes I want to be more than just the chronicler. I was very excited.
Then the question came. “Would you be willing to shoot a few interviews and document the experience for the team?” I was a full-time employee of the sending agency for this trip and they wanted to make the most of this opportunity. The team's story could inspire others to use their time and skills for future trips.
I still wanted to be a part of the action, so I agreed to raise half of the money for the travel expenses, and resolved in myself to keep the camera close but stay involved in the construction.
Then my boss came in and shared the story of a man who was martyred for his faith near our destination.
“We have a unique opportunity. I would like you to capture this story.”
So this ten-day trip went from a volunteer construction trip to a one-man production. Of the ten days in Central Asia, I spent three in Isfara, Tajikistan shooting B-roll and interviews with Sergej’s family and friends. The rest of the time, I was documenting the work trip. I’ve written another blog regarding my personal experience with God on this trip, here I’ll just say, it was packed full of spiritual lessons, intimate moments with the Spirit, and opportunities to share the Gospel.
I wanted this to be a construction trip, a respite from my typical obligations. Instead, God gave me a defining moment in my life and career. The sending agency created a film division to launch this documentary, and I was tasked with naming it. I came across a hapax legomenon from the Bible in Acts 1:3.
"…to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God."
The transliterated Greek word for Infallible proof, convincing evidence, a sure sign is Tekmerion. Jesus showed himself to be alive through many a tekmerion. This obscure legal term was accepted as the name of our film division.
Through Tekmerion, we produced and released Bloodstain on the Silk Road. The story of Sergej Bessarab is one that will forever challenge my life. It became the foundation for all we do at Tekmerion. His commitment to Christ will forever challenge my own walk with God.
When I left the agency in 2009 to start my own company, they allowed me to keep the name, and my prayer is to honor the spirit of this story with all that we do.
We are in this world, but we are not of this world. Our message is good news and it is God’s will that we share it with everyone. It’s a beautiful message worthy of all it has cost over the centuries. God became a man to save man from his own destructive nature. Jesus died so that we would have the opportunity to live. His love is so great that he died to give us the chance to live. Not everyone will accept this gift and he says, “Still worth it.” He rose again conquering death and proving our salvation is an eternal existence with Him. Wow. That’s why Sergej spread this message in Isfara. The people of the city were worth the risk and worth the cost. God’s message is worth the risk and worth the cost. May we never forget.