December 25, 2017
A personal trainer in a large commercial gym, Janine McGann set out to start her own studio. Taking a risk, she left the career she had built to start a studio specifically focused on women’s health and wellness and over the last 10 years, Janine has worked with over 400 women. It soon became clear to her that these women shared a common mentality: they were not “enough.” Although these women came to the studio to improve their outside, their mental and emotional struggle became very real in the walls of that gym.
“I would spend many nights replaying their lies, and my own, over in my head, wondering how we, as women, arrived here.”
Through 10 years of working with these women to achieve self-love, self-acceptance and self worth,Janine realized that her efforts were like working with hard cement; the world’s messages about their self worth and identity had solidified. If there was only a way she could turn back the hands of time and reach them when their identity was being formed in their teenage years. If only she had a chance to get to them when they were wet cement.
Meanwhile in Apex, North Carolina, Liz Sams began walking with young women and men through 17years of youth ministry. As a youth minister and mother, Liz has had a front row seat to the difficulties faced by teenagers in our society. Through her ministry, she has journeyed with girls who struggle with eating disorders, sexual promiscuity, unhealthy and abusive relationships and substance abuse. It was in this time when she felt ill equipped to fight the battle for the well being of girls on her own. She knew it would take a team of women to begin this ministry at her church and began to pray for those women to come into her life. In a stroke of Providence, Liz and Janine crossed paths, began a deep friendship and a powerful ministry duo.
After reading “Forming Intentional Disciples” by Sherry Weddell, Liz and Janine were inspired and convinced thatGod was calling them. They recognized that our culture does a phenomenal job at telling our young people who and what they should be, while the church often misses the mark on getting to the heart of the issues that plague young women and men. Turning to prayer, Janine and Liz asked the Lord how they could battle this voice of culture that is so loud and constant.
Liz and Janine began leading numerous retreats and small groups for young women and realized the lack of resources to act as a launching point for the conversations they wanted to have. Liz and Janine saw the need to create anew resource to answer this problem. The began thinking about creating a documentary film that was both beautifully made and relevant to the women to whom they ministered.
Liz and Janine partnered with 4PM Media, a video production company which focuses on documentary storytelling. Over the next year and a half Dan Johnson, creative director at 4PM, worked closely with Liz and Janine to make a film that is raw, honest and beautiful. For the team, creating a film like this wasn’t just about getting a message out there.
This film was about honoring and respecting the courage it took for these women to tell their stories and protecting their hearts in the process. Without these women the film doesn’t exist. The fruit of their labor has been more than they could have asked for. With Project Light’s heart for ministry and 4PM’s artistic eye and love for authentic story, a film was born that raises difficult topics that are so integral and often burdensome to young women. Speaking to Sparrows will serve as a resource for Project Light Ministries in order to walk with young people through the trials and joys of this life.