Bridging the Gap: Bri

Apr 29, 2018

"Oh, you’re a Christian; I always wanted to go to a Christian church. Will you take me?" This Jewish college student’s request was one of the many open conversations that Bri had after she returned from Israel with Covenant Journey. She always knew she supported Israel, but she had lacked the knowledge and confidence to stand up against Apartheid Week and other anti-Semitic events on campus.

Covenant Journey changed all that.

Her time in Israel empowered Bri to reach out as an ambassador to Jewish, Palestinian, and Arab student groups on the University of Southern California's campus. She involved her Christian sorority in bridging the gap through outreach and joint projects, too. "My biggest calling [on campus] was to have conversations about what people thought about Israel. If they would let me, I would share about my trip. I had so many conversations with people. Some disagreed with me, but I am still having those conversations," Bri said.

Bri's impact went beyond campus and into Hollywood. She interned at All We Had, a movie directed by Katie Holmes, Disney Channel’s show Liv & Maddie, and a Dreamworks TV production for Netflix. Before going on the Covenant Journey trip to Israel, Bri wanted to work in Hollywood, but she found the Hollywood environment to be politically polarizing. "I didn't feel the freedom to express my political beliefs without fear of career repercussions," she admitted. In spite of this, she sought to live out authentic Christianity and suggest realistic improvements to how scripts treated Christian characters.

The film industry captured Bri with the idea that movies are a language of their own. That unique language can bridge culture gaps and connect with people in unreachable places. 

Bri had traveled to London for a two-week mission trip passing out Jesus Film Project resources in Middle Eastern neighborhoods. Bri recalls seeing "these women in all black coverings snatch a Bible and quickly cover it in the folds of material." Those memories stayed with Bri. "The lack of freedom they have to just be curious" shocked her. "The Middle East very clearly needs the Gospel, and it needs to change." This along with her trip with Covenant Journey sparked a passion for sharing the gospel with Arabs.

After graduation, Bri raised her support to begin a one-year internship with Cru. Working out of the Paris office, she used her film training to document stories of missionaries. She helped edit a film and even created promotional materials for a movie about a Christian from North Africa. The movie won an artistic award, as it premiered across several Arab countries with a clear Gospel message. More 1,500 people, including military and national leaders, ambassadors, and even the Pope, were encouraged or witnessed to by the film. Because of its effectiveness, we are not releasing the name of the project; however, God’s incredible blessing is seen. One Middle Eastern government didn’t just welcome the film into their country, they were so excited about the project they actually provided funding to help cover part of the production costs. Imagine that source supporting a film sharing Christianity!

After completing her one-year internship, Bri hopes to return to the France-based office to continue distributing and showing this film. Her next big project is to help create a new feature-length film on a book authored by Josh McDowell. In contrast to her internships, she has already had many opportunities for her voice to change the direction of a film project. "In Hollywood, I would have to wait 10 years before I had any say in the stories being told," but with Cru she is already making a huge impact and bridging the cultural gap through these films.

"Covenant Journey is a big part of why I am passionate about the Middle East," Bri shared. Her time in Israel helps her to better understand the people and navigate within a closed culture in order to minister within Arab countries. Her heart is to be able to spread the Gospel in areas where it is difficult or nearly impossible for Christians to be open about their faith.

Bri is raising full-time support to continue her outreach through film projects with Cru for the Middle East and Northern Africa. She is excited about her plans to return in August, Lord willing. In the meantime, God is teaching her full and complete dependence on Him as she looks forward to witnessing and ministering to those in the Middle East through films.

From Hollywood and London and through Covenant Journey to the Middle East, God is weaving together Bri’s personal story and her ministry.

Support Covenant Journey to help us build up other young people who are serving God like Bri.