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Back years ago when I worked for Los Angeles Dream Center producing their weekly television show, I was asked to produce my own story.
Although this is my story, in many ways it’s my story spun for a hidden agenda. This ‘testimony package’ was produced to raise money to purchase more buses. Please note, I am not saying that’s a bad thing. Nonprofits have to raise money to fuel impact of their mission. My point is simply that more often than not, nonprofits use media to raise money or some other agenda, and the story itself may not actually be authentic.
Please also note I was the producer. I pride myself on how well it was produced to tell a compelling story for the hidden agenda of buying buses. At the time, the broadcasting network had these insane rules about length of time a show could make an ‘appeal’. All of the TV ministries played games attempting to trick the network’s “bean counters” in the hopes of getting more donations. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn’t. I actually became very good spinning stories around a hidden agenda. My story as an example. If I didn’t tell you it was produced to raise money for buses you would have never known, but now that I have told you, you’ll see the bus story line a few times and images of buses throughout.
Again, story manipulation is not bad if done with integrity, and most every business and nonprofit spins stories to fit their needs. This video, however, is at the foundation of why I work very hard so that every story on Invisible People is real and authentic.
I do love seeing my father in this video, and seeing the Dream Center and Pastor Matthew as they were back in the day. In the upcoming feature film about my work I share how the Dream Center saved my life. Over the last 15 years, and after working in full time ministry for much of that time, my views on church have greatly changed, but I still believe the Dream Center model is still a huge step in the right direction
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Invisible People is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the way we think about people experiencing homelessness.