Thanksgiving comes to us this year in a season of unusual unrest, uncertainty, and unexpected hardships. As we near the end of this tumultuous year, it may seem difficult to focus on thoughts of thanksgiving, especially as we spend the holidays away from loved ones. It is with that in mind that some at The Girl Who Wore Freedom would like to share with you a few thoughts of gratitude from over the weekend and, we hope, to spread some holiday cheer.
Before COVID-19 came on the scene and sent many people home to work remotely, our team met virtually from all parts of the United States. Thanks to this long-standing virtual collaboration, many of our team members are especially thankful for the friendships and support that they’ve gained through this documentary project.
Above all, I’m thankful for the friendships and encouragement being on this team has produced. It’s amazing to witness what can be accomplished as a group with diverse talents and backgrounds.
-Bethany Villero, Instagram Account Manager
This has been a harder year than most. Through it all, I’ve been thankful for my friends who have shown unending love and support for me and my family. I’m thankful for my comrades on The Girl Who Wore Freedom team: the many conversations, words of support, and regular prayers; they’ve all been a tremendous help!
-David Needham, Webmaster
I’m grateful for the profound friendships that have developed in this team–there’s a comradery in mission that grounds our work and reinforces our intent to listen to and gather stories from people. Because at the end of the day, it all comes down to people.
-Rebekah Ueland, Social Media Account Manager
I am thankful this chaotic year of uncertainty and change brought me to this team. Just goes to show you that God can use anything to bring his glory. We are a team that fights with and for one another, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
-Emily Mixter, Graphic Design Consultant
An Amazing Team
2020 has been a rough year for everyone, but I am thankful to have more family time with all of us being home. I’m thankful that the film, The Girl Who Wore Freedom, has been so well-received at film festivals. Even with all the COVID adjustments to festivals, the film is still making an impact. I’m especially thankful that the film’s score won Best Original Score in a Documentary at the International Film & Sound Music Festival. And I’m thankful that this crew, scattered throughout the world, continues to pull together on this film and continues to get out a beautiful message of love and peace
-Jeff Kurtenacker, Film Score Composer
I am beyond blessed to be happy and in good health as well as have a job that provides, and to be a part of this project, a project that is impacting the lives of so many and is much bigger than myself.
-Savannah Woods, Facebook Account Manager
I’m so thankful to have been a part of this project on any level – and I’m so grateful for the message of this film and for the incredible people God has brought together to work on it!
-Jeff Walters, Team Chaplain
Our donors and volunteers, as well as anyone who has contributed to this project, have also been on our minds this Thanksgiving season at The Girl Who Wore Freedom.
Having come aboard team Freedom this year, I am very grateful for how well (and hard) everyone has worked together on this film, overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds on the festival circuit to win award after award. Very grateful for the dedication by all, and I see many more victories in 2021.
-David Paterson, Producer
I am thankful that when we went to the Red Rock Film Festival that, even though during the festival there were few audience members for any screenings, one of the audience members (Cindy) loved our film so much that she took it upon herself to network on our behalf to get the Fiddler’s Fun Center to show our film again. Cindy then went and marketed our film and we had over 30 viewers at our next screening! Cindy definitely made a huge difference in our experience in Utah.
-Hunter Taylor, Chief Business Officer
I am thankful for the 135 people that continued to give to the project after Covid shut everything down for most people, and things became challenging for many households. I am thankful for new volunteers who have taken on new roles so that I can focus on other tasks.
-Melissa Perkins, Accounting and Special Projects
Everyone on our team would like to extend their deepest thanks to essential workers that are caring for our communities at this time.
I’m thankful for every hospital employee who goes in to work every day, knowingly facing the risk of contracting a potentially deadly virus, in order to care for their patients. Patient care is always the priority. God bless every single one.
-Marcia Snyder, E-commerce Manager
Leading the Team
And no team would be complete without a leader. Many of us at The Girl Who Wore Freedom have looked back on this last year with nothing but gratitude to filmmaker Christian Taylor, who has made this whole project possible.
I am thankful for Christian. She has become a dear friend and has helped me think through really tough decisions I had to make this year. She is always encouraging and very gracious. She always listens and gives me new things to think about.
-Kyler Redding, Digital Content Creation Team
It still blows my mind to pieces that I actually know Christian Taylor now, and have been able to work on her film, even being present at its world premiere in Ohio. The Phil Vischer/Holy Post Podcast was so deeply formative for me in my late teens/early 20s. Now, I have a small part in that podcast’s community, despite not living anywhere near it. Like.. what?? I’m grateful for many things, but especially that. I’m not sure I’ve experienced a clearer indication of God’s grace on my life than this internship.
-Sam King, Digital Content Creation Team
Christian Taylor shared with us her thankful thoughts after looking back over the past year.
I am deeply humbled and forever thankful for God’s immeasurable grace, forgiveness and goodness to me over my entire life, but in particular, over the past five years. The unexpected gift of meeting the Boucherie family in Normandy, France in 2015 and witnessing the deep gratitude for their freedom and love for their liberators ignited a fire in my soul and put a song in my heart that has spread all over the world. In counting my blessings this year, I’m thankful for my very patient and loving family, my dear French friends, the hardworking, passionate TGWWF team, the film festival success we’ve experienced this year and most of all, our generous donors, without whom none of this would be possible. In particular, I’d like to thank Bob and Janie Miller and Nora Whalen – three donors who have faithfully given of their time and financial resources time and time again over the last 2 years when days looked the darkest. Their efforts have been crucial to our continued success. Thank you one and all for traveling with us on this amazing journey. I am praying you will be blessed in a special way this holiday season.
-Christian Taylor, Director
Although this Thanksgiving may have looked a little different from the past, our team at The Girl Who Wore Freedom wishes our supporters and audiences a very happy holiday season this year. We are thankful for you!