Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I drove to one of my favorite parks in LA with a pathway that circles a lake. Along the path, I notice a very excited dog fixed on retrieving a stick thrown in the water. It seemed like every muscle in his body was about to explode from the tension and anxiety to chase after that stick. He didn't take one step until he heard his master give him the command. Faster than you could blink that dog plunged into the water and caused a succession of ripples that must have made it harder for him to find the prize. Confused and unable to see where he was going, the puppy paddled haphazardly in every direction.

Then the master's voice called out, "Left". The dog was too flustered to hear. Perhaps the shock of the water and energy spent paddling made it harder to listen. Again the voice came a little louder, "Go left." The puppy's head looked, but the rest of the body kept swimming frantically. The third time he got the command, the dog started swimming. Then the master called, "Right." The puppy's head turned, and slowly, he got closer.

Then I saw three children rush to the edge of the lake. One by one they picked up sticks and threw them into the water for the dog to retrieve. A cacophony of squeaky commands came whirling out of their tiny mouths. The confusion settle back in. I waited for what the master would say. I'll never forget what happened next. In the chaos of it all, the master voice rang out in a clear voice, "Come back." Clearly the dog understood and found his way to the edge of the water where his master waited. Bending down to the dogs eye line, he pointed to the stick in the water and said, "Go there." I have no idea if the dog could see it or not, but he went in the direction that he was led and in no time his fetch was finished. Of course all the children wanted him to do it again, but the dog waited patiently by his master. Then the master said, "Go."

Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:12-13

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Hi ya'll,

I realize it's been a long long time since I last wrote a blog update on my travels! Trust me, a lot has happened over the past few months and I figured that it's about time to update everyone.

After four months of rest in Oregon, beautiful Oregon that I miss so much, I made the move to SoCal as a freelance editor. I believe my steps were directed here so that I can further refine my skill set and ultimately use them for kingdom purposes in God's timing. Who knows where I'll end up next, but I should let you and God know that I have a heart for India. Hint: Lord...just in case you were wondering...

So back to LA, here I am...freelance video editor...applying for jobs...praying...applying some more...praying more...you get the idea. The Lord provides opportunities for income. Yay! We all enjoy income. But it's not contract, so now I'm back to the normal applying, networking, and social media management routine. Then...my occasional A.D.D. kicks in and I started looking at some old photos from the past.

As I got closer to the present day, I realize that I have taken hardly any photos for this month! Shocked by my lack of content creation, I've decided that I must take action and create some cool content. And then...I made a plan about 30 mins ago.

My plan is to take some public transportation and integrate into the downtown community, familiarize myself with the area, and photograph my experiences. Public transportation always promises adventure and you never know who you'll meet!

Well, that's pretty much where I am now. There are lots of details, but I figure a general update for now should do. I do hope to write a blog post on the behind the scenes of the photos I get and I'll keep you all posted on what's next in life when I find out! So that's my life at the moment. I'm just taking one step at a time towards a journey called life.

-David Sekiguchi

Monday, September 16, 2013



Well...

I've made it. Where? Still trying to figure that out myself. Yes, if traveling were a sport, then I would be on top of my game. Warning though... jet lag does things to you that tea and coffee can't fix, but I guess that's what happens when you sign up to be a missionary. One week ago I was enjoying a nice rainy day driving my lovely girlfriend to the airport parting with sadness in our eyes. The next day my beloved family was driving me to my flight that would take me over several time zones. Twenty-four hours later, my plane landed in the setting sun. Humid, warm air pressed all around me. I was walking in a foreign country again, but this time things would be different.

One hundred and sixty hours later (one week) my eyes have turned red and my blood thicker because I had been staring at camera screens for days. I was drafted into the media team working a international prayer conference in Jerusalem. Sound monitors blared casting silence deep beneath the ground. My eyes strained every muscle to stay open. Okay...maybe it wasn't that bad, but when jet lag refuses to loosen its grip, it makes the fight harder. That was last week.

So where am I now? I sit in my office writing updates behind three computer screens. To my right I have a 6 Terabyte (really BIG) drive filled with video footage for me to comb through. On my left sits much money's worth of equipment belonging to the school. I am one person with one purpose and that is to serve the Lord wherever he takes me. That is why I'm here in Jerusalem, His Holy City. To work with a ministry here that He has called me to. It's like reliving a dream I had a year ago. I never foresaw this happening and the way it happened was very fast.

So now everything is going well—except one thing—my stomach is mad at me because I've left it running on empty. I have missed the assortments of breads, cheeses, spices, and pastries, but thankfully I have some waiting for me back home. And…yes, I did end up spending about $3 on pastries today, but it was so worth it! My goal is to gain a little weight, but my belt indicates that I’m loosing instead. It’s a work in progress…

I praise God for guiding and leading me in every step of my life. He is so good! Just submit everything to Him! His perfect plan for your life will unfold if you just let Him take the reigns. He may even help me gain a little weight so I don't have to buy a new belt! Most of all, I ask Him to put the love He has for people in my heart and that I can boldly proclaim the good news to them. I know that He is working on me and through me all the time!

I continue to pray for you as God reminds me and ask that you do the same for me. Prayer and financial support is greatly appreciated and I thank God for my brothers and sisters in Christ! There is a paypal link on my blog that is easy to make donations, and also you could send cash or checks to my home. Just email me for the address. Let’s keep fighting the upward battle for His kingdom!




even though the chair looks uncomfortable, it's quite nice.


Chris filling in as Direct. He has a mysteriously calm demeanor.

Chris (student), me, Estelle (student). Awesome working with you guys!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Climbing Mt. Kenya

Normally day hikes take at least a day to prepare for. Imagine how long a five day hike would take. To make things even more hectic, imagine trying to prepare everything in two weeks before the trip. If you can imagine a hyper chipmunk bouncing all over the place, then I believe you would have a pretty good idea of what the last two weeks were like.

At the beginning of the year, my coworker Josh and I threw around the idea of hiking up Mt. Kenya. A distant yet possible idea that just so happens to be Africa’s second largest peak next to Kilimanjaro. Of course the trip was pushed back months at a time until finally we decided to do it the last week of May, a decision I gladly welcomed.

After the preparations were finished, Josh and I were dropped off with our packs and gear at a coffee shop in Nairobi. Minutes later we met with our Kenyan guide who helped us pack our gear in his car and were off. Six hours later, we changed cars and threw our packs on top of a beautiful Land Rover Defender (my new favorite car!). Our chariot of adventure took us up the worst road I have ever been on in Kenya. For about 20 kilometers, we slipped, slide, and slowly made progress winding up the mountain. Eventually we were dropped off seven kilometers from our trail head were we made base camp. Josh and I quickly learned the fierce cold weather on the mountain wouldn’t retire until the sun came up.

After a cold first night (out of many), we ate a hearty breakfast featuring sausage, eggs, and pancakes. After finishing up, we licked our chops and headed off for another seven kilometers. Stunning scenery of rolling hills splashed with colors gave me a thought. I imagined hiking I was hiking in the canvas of a great artist. Later that night we camped in a cave were our guide helped make a gorgeous glowing fire (well welcomed) and cooked a kings meal. Remembering my SOTO stove, I decided it was time for a test. Making my way down to a nearby stream, I filled my cooking pot about half a liter with the water. Around seven minutes later, the water was boiled and fresh. I thought it was like drinking crystals that sparkled in the firelight.

The next day Josh and I went from 3,300 meters to 4,200 meters in elevation. By the time we made it to our high camp, we were so tired. I was feeling the effects of altitude sickness. By God’s grace I slept it off that night. There were fresh water lakes called, “Tarns” near our camp fed by freshly melted ice and spring water. Even though the sun was high and bright, I had to wrap up in my jacket and keep warm socks on. The frigid night air was brutal and forced me to bunk that night with four layers on!

The next morning at 3 AM, Josh and I set off for the summit.  We made good time, but the elevation and early morning made the hike arduous. To make matters more challenging, the slope was loaded with scree and possessed a steep incline. We hit a number of false summits followed by a brief exhaustion. The wind was whipping at us in the face and the early morning cold was bitter. There were a thousand and one reasons to turn back, but both of us were too determined. Three hours later, we reached a blessed ladder about six rungs high. That was the most beautiful rebar that I’ve ever seen drove into the side of the mountain. One foot then the other. I felt like Buzz Aldrin must have felt when he set foot on the moon. Unlike Buzz, we quickly discovered that we were not alone. There were some soldiers from the UK at the peak and freezing for pictures. I took some of my own. Then my water reservoir froze and then I froze. Everything was freezing up there and ten minutes later we can to come down. Just standing on the peak was a feeling like conquering the world. Okay...maybe almost conquering the world because our peak was third highest on Mt. Kenya. For the sake of the story, we’ll assume that the top of the world lies on the third highest peak.


The sense of accomplishment was overwhelming and the beauty of the land was breath taking. In that brief moment, I thanked God for giving me the strength to carry on and press through in life. Minutes later we began the 20.5 kilometer long descent to base camp. That night we slept in lodges that were warmed by a fire place. Pensively, I gazed into the coals the last night of the trip which made me appreciate everything I had. I spent some time writing with pen and paper instead of with keys on a computer. Tucked away in a cozy cabin far from Nairobi, I was sad to know that our trip was coming to an end. Tomorrow we would start the six hour journey back to our cramped little city: Nairobi...maybe it’s the vehicle exhaust is what keeps the weather a little warmer there...



At the foot of a 100ft waterfall

Josh taking some photos of the water fall
Taking one last look. Soak it all in...litterally

Josh really enjoys taking photos


SOTO OD-1R did a great job on the mountain





Josh looking for cell phone coverage. Should have gotten Safaricom

Josh really enjoys hiking

At the start of gorgeous gorge and the arduous accent.

The top! We made it and it was FREEING!

Josh with his trusty T2i made it to the top!

Here we all are: Guide, Josh, and Myself

This is how Josh looks when he's extremely tired

Good backpacks and good friends

This is how you take photos after finishing a long hike

Sunday, May 19, 2013


I’ve discovered after a decade of creating media and declaring your work for  God, things begin to change. A new chapter starts and suddenly your work begins to mature and blossom. I’ve been stretched, pressed down, and shaken. I’ve been left in depression and discouragement. Some nights harder than others. Suddenly, the struggle is over and you rise from the ashes with an unprecedented confidence that comes from the Lord. In a nutshell, it’s worth enduring the painful hours of hard work to see that something you do is declaring the glory of God. Maybe I am not directly on the front lines saving souls; however, the work that is being done has the power to save souls. I’ve come to learn both missionaries on the field and supporting services have a beautiful part in spreading the gospel to the lost and unreached.

A number of mobilizing churches joined together two weeks ago to discuss the progress of our film. The excitement stirred creating anticipation to see it finished. A step forward happened yesterday; our first private screening of the rough draft. It was powerful in it’s clumsy form and moved some to tears. That’s when you catch a glimpse of why we are here. A thorough Q&A session followed producing tons of helpful feed back that will help us shape this giant project into something more effective. We’ll need lots of prayer and support to finish this project. No thing is impossible with God on our side.

So with a weekend of rest, I’ve been attacked multiple times with depression and frustrations. It’s quite common to have these attacks when you give yourself completely over to a project that demands so much from you. I struggled all weekend until today (Sunday). After attending church and throwing my hands in worship of the Lord, my cup has been filled again with His love. After the service I took two of my Kenyan friends to a pricey restaurant that they have never been to. They had such a good time conquering the mountain of food set before them. I laughed and smiled feeling the love of Jesus smiling down on us.

Sharing conversations over lunch, I asked my friend from Kibera what he was most grateful for. He gazed at the ground for a moment in silence. After a moment, he lifted his head and praised God for his life. His eyes were to the point of tears as he told me all sorts of miracles that God poured down on him (including the lunch we were having). Then a huge smile and bellowing laugh came from him as we rejoiced together in fellowship. I was touched to see how much he relies on Jesus. He told me that he wouldn’t make it without Him and I know he wasn’t joking.

So as I sit here and reflect on the journey God has set me on, something tells me I’m nowhere near the end of it. Sure I’ll be leaving Kenya soon, but my work for God has just begun. There are millions out there crying needing to be heard. In obedience to God, I will go. Yes, it is a fight between flesh and spirit every day on the mission field, but when the fruit comes it makes up for all the pain and suffering. The day I dropped to my knees and accepted Christ is the same day I accepted living as a missionary. I just didn’t see it back then. In the near future, I’m looking forward to working in torn countries for His glory expressing his love in media. It’s my calling.
Jared slowly conquering the mountain of food!

Bonfce is truly enjoying the Ethiopian food




Creative moments at the office

Andy embraces the pure art of determining which is his dominate eye

Josh is trying it too, but i'm not sure if he's doing it right?

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Intro:

Ahhh, the day has finally arrived when I can tell Francis, the gate guard, how excited I am that I just bought sweet corn for 100 shillings. He just smiled, nodded his head, and commented that it looked very sweet. In his head he probably thought, “Crazy Mzungu...”

Things are going very well in Kenya minus the excessive rains that have become a plague to parts of Kenya sweeping away houses, livestock, and even claiming a few lives. We spent some time praying for those counties in church. In other news, peace prevailed over the elections; violence hasn’t occurred, from what I’ve heard. Of course the loosing party did make some noise and was calling for the re-election process, but Uhuru Kenyatta was, none-the-less, elected and appointed as president. This is our first week with the new leadership.

Media updates: 

It has been a very productive week, not only in post production, but on the production side as well. Our team tackled a Northern Region promo shoot with our very talented actor Bryce (he has never acted before). The purpose of this video is to inspire many young people to put down their video games and live the reality that the Apostle Paul was living! It was an awesome shoot--minus a few audio issues--but what can you expect when you go with a cheap recorder? It wasn’t long until my setup turned to a very minimal “microphone on boom balancing act”. In the post production world, I just finished my 13th cut of the behind the scenes video for The Distant Boat movie. I feel like a parent watching my child grow and mature into adulthood. Okay, a little strange, but I suppose even editors personify their work. It feels good to be nearing the end.

Conclusion:

Speaking of the end, my mission term is nearly over. It’s crazy to think that I have only three months left before being immersed into a first world country again. I’m pretty sure fast internet speeds and smooth asphalt roads will trump my reverse culture shock. It’s funny to think how fearful I used to be when I first stepped foot onto African soil. It seemed that every bug and insect around me carried the black death! I was pretty miserable my first night karate chopping mosquitos. Every once and awhile you see that “former” self when you greet new foreigners and chuckle inside. Of course it’s natural to be cautious of the unknown, but if you have a heart for the Lord, people, and strange new places and cultures, you shouldn’t be sitting on the couch playing video games. Rather, get out there and live the life God has called you to!

Thank You:

Of course I want to say "thank you" to all my supporters for making this trip possible. I feel that because of you I have been enabled to contribute my skills and knowledge to the advancement of His Kingdom. As stated earlier, I will be leaving in approximately three months, so in the month of July I would be very happy to get together with you and share some of my experiences. There is still a TON of work to do between now and then, so please continue your support in prayer! It’s awesome to know that the work done here will influence so many lives as it already has over and over again. God bless you!

-David Hikari Sekiguchi

Climbing Mt. Longonot near lake Naivasha. About an hour out of Nairobi

Boda Boda taxi (motor bike) from Mt. Longonot to Mai Maihu. A very scary ride with three dudes on a bike

 Ryan, Bess, Ethan, and I are stoked on a boat ride to Cresent Island to observe nature

I am clearly excited as we are waiting for the captain to get our boat ready

I believe these are called, "Twiga" in Kiswahili. I shot this at 40mm on a full frame
CMOS sensor. This means I had to be extremely close...about 15 ft away.

Crazy birds going for fish. Our captain was feeding them



This is Joseph--our fearless guide--at Hell's Gate National Park. Don't worry...he didn't eat the bug.
Getting ready to leave homebase for a crazy all day tour of Hell's Gate.


Josh (coworker) is totally sporting Camelbak. Gotta love the equipment!

Oh! you gotta love the missionary girls, haha!

Canon T2i with a Nikon 35mm F/1.8 prime manual lens. Beautiful combination!!!

Ahhh...my coworker is enjoying a beefy sausage morning on our two night three day
camping trip at Hell's Gate.

Taylor (coworker) being an awesome Director of Photography and
Bryce being a trooper as our talent. Can't wait to see the finished project!

So we shot this probably around 3pm, but in the video it's still morning...
so go easy on the guy for having morning hair...haha

Gotta have the slate on set! Especially when you run audio separate
from the video. Of course, there was no dialog and most of this didn't
even need to be synced, yet it was good to be thorough

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

It's here! Finally after three months of production and almost two months later, the trailer for the film we are making has arrived. The vision of this film is to motivate and mobilize the African church towards missions. Just watching it gives me the chills as I remember being at nearly all the locations seen in the trailer. I thank God so much that He has allowed for my involvement in this film.

(Just to clarify, a trailer is the preview to a movie in post production)


-David

Distant Boat Trailer