By Allan Thompson
Missouri Chapter Founding Father
I was on a bus riding through the rough, Zambian countryside when it happened. The clouds cleared and I felt a calling from God like I had never felt before, or even since. You see, it was 2007 and I was a sophomore at the University of Missouri. My dream at that point was to be on ESPN someday as a famous sports broadcaster. But working with orphaned children in Zambia changed everything. I knew I wanted to tell stories and now it was clear that God was calling me to leave the ESPN dream behind to tell stories of his people doing Kingdom work around the world.
In this same season, eight friends and I had a crazy dream of bringing BYX to Mizzou. We had worked tirelessly the year before to found the Sigma Chapter and it was beginning to grow slowly but surely.
For me, BYX and this new calling to tell Kingdom stories have always been intimately connected. God used my opportunity to lead in BYX to form lasting friendships with men who deeply care for and believe in me, and to build the entrepreneurial spirit I would need when finally, in 2011, my wife and I founded One:Eight Productions.
Our goal is simple: to tell the stories of God’s people around the world making important strides for the Kingdom. We want to connect inspiring people with people in need of inspiration. This journey has taken us around the country and around the world, and we’ve been humbled by the things we’ve seen at each step.
This past January, we began work on a film with Dr. Faiz Rahman of Good News India. The purpose of the film is to shed light on the issue of bonded slavery, a toxic system that impacts millions of the poorest children in India. What happens is tragic: an already underprivileged family finds themselves in debt, or a child loses a parent and he or she cannot afford the meager expenses necessary just to live. These children are then conscripted into hard labor jobs to pay their debts. They miss out on the opportunity to get an education and are unable to provide a better life for themselves and their children.
Good News India works to intercept the most susceptible kids before they wind up in slavery. Under GNI’s care, kids are provided with stable housing, healthcare, education, and an understanding of their intrinsic worth and capabilities as God’s beloved children. Acres of Diamonds is a film we want to finish so the voiceless children of India are heard.
This is not a story of desperation but one of hope. The first time I heard Dr. Rahman use the term ‘acres of diamonds’ about these children I asked him what he meant. His answer was simple but profound enough to work its way into my heart.
“Diamonds are made under pressure; so are the kids of GNI. Diamonds are hidden away deep and need someone willing to dig deep to set them free. Diamonds needs work before they are presented. Diamonds sparkle in the sunlight; so do the GNI kids. Diamonds are multi-faceted. So are the GNI kids. And diamonds are treasures. So are these kids. At GNI we have the opportunity to collect acres of diamonds and set them free.”
We have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds to complete this film and we need the help of the BYX community. Your generosity will allow us to share the story of millions of children trapped in a life of slavery and give them the opportunity to be set free. All gifts to this project are 100% tax deductible. Thank you for your support.