Finding Faith

Is Finding Faith Possible?

Billie Jo YoumansBy Billie Jo Youmans7 Minutes

Finding FaithJust the Facts

Finding Faith joins other JC productions such as Break Every Chain, Chosen, and Glass Walls. Tackling common, current struggles, each JC film gives voice to the concerns Christians around the world face. With over 50 films to their credit, JC Film Studios is leading the way to cultural change through entertainment.

Erik Estrada, known as Ponch in the 70s show, CHiPS, stars in Finding Faith as Sheriff Brown, whose actual criminal case investigations provide the content of the movie. The sheriff’s passion to educate parents and children about the dangers of online predators led to the creation of the movie, Finding Faith and the founding of the Safe Surfin’ Foundation.

A Little Entertainment

This is a movie with a mission. 14-year-old Faith Garrett (Stephanie Bettcher) is a “good girl” who loves social media and connecting with friends. One small mistake opens a doorway for an online predator to wreak havoc in her world. JC Productions did a phenomenal job of handling a very sensitive topic with compassion, transparency, and even wholesomeness. Exposing the loathsome sex trafficking industry without any lasciviousness is no small feat.

Unfortunately, many of the characters were rather shallow and unrelatable. Jonathan Phillips who played the role of the low-life internet predator, Edwin Doss, and his girlfriend, Niki Perry (Jacqueline Glick) did give a somewhat realistic portrayal of the chaos that ensues when a life of crime is chosen. Faith’s parents didn’t come close to the emotional depth parents of an abducted teen might experience.

Spoiler alert:  The conclusion of the case pulled in humor, hope, and victory – the kind of ending we wish for in all cases.

A Little Deeper Digging

The issue of human trafficking warrants deeper understanding – and our combined efforts to stop it! Did you know it is a world-wide industry that exceeds $150 billion dollars? Precious people – made in the image of God – are bought and sold for modern-day slavery and even organ harvesting. It is a horror that ought not to be.

As with all crimes, the marginalized and emotionally vulnerable are the primary targets. The internet is a very dangerous place for those who are not savvy. Psychological manipulation is much more common than violent abduction.

Several organizations exist to help parents gain wisdom to share with their children about the dangers of the internet. Erik Estrada’s Safe Surfin’ Foundation and Sheriff Brown’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program are great resources to check out.

Also, learn and respond to the warning signs of human trafficking:

  • Excessive gifts in a new, outside-the-norm relationship (e.g. age/economic differences).
  • Too good to be true job offers or limited details about the work situation
  • Travel/identity documents confiscated.
  • Individuals who are continually dominated by another.

Wisdom and Discernment

The Word of God offers protection when we seek to live within its confines. Of course, no one can perfectly obey God’s instructions, but even if we did, the truth remains that this is a fallen world. Evil exists. We desperately need wisdom and discernment in this life, and the Bible is the best place to obtain it. Why not plan a family time to read and talk about some of the following verses?

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever (Psalm 111:10 ESV).

But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil (Hebrews 5:14 NIV).

But wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere (James 3:17 ESV).

In Finding Faith, the abducted teen found peace and hope by singing of Gospel truth to the frightened baby growing up in the criminals’ home. It was a beautiful picture of the power of faith to overcome evil and bring good.

But a crisis is not the time to sow seeds. Faith must be planted and nurtured in the everyday rhythm of life. Faith is a gift available only from God, but when received, it’s like a muscle that needs to be exercised. Spend some time talking with the Lord about these truths of faith and how you can strengthen your own faith (and that of others!).

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17).

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8).

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).

And when you’ve watched Finding Faith and spent some time learning and meditating on the realities of evil and GOD, ask Him what He would have you do to bring His presence into this dark world.