Alumni project impacts children in India

A great movement starts with a vision and a big heart. After graduating from APU, many students have gone off and started their careers or began projects and ministries worldwide. In some cases, these alumni start this on their own and in other cases they work with a team. As far as Yorba Linda Friends Church pastors Matthew Cork, ’91, and Brent Martz, ’91, are concerned, their decision to partner up and start a project has truly been an inspiration to current students.
“APU was really where I learned to be a leader,” Cork said. “I learned what it meant to not just defend my faith, but tell the story of Jesus through my life. It was at APU where my faith became my own, and God moved in me and prepared me for ministry. I am where I am, doing what I am doing because of the foundation APU gave me as a believer and a leader.”
Cork, who has been with Friends Church for the past 20 years, and Martz, for the past six and a half, both went on to lead in the church. In 2007, Cork and Martz took a trip to India for the first time where they felt called to build 200 schools for the Dalit children, pledging approximately $20 million. At this time, Friends Church was already building 10 schools. While in India, they served in a place called Pipe Village where about 250 people lived and the kids ranged between four and 10 years old.
Cork specifically remembers one of the leaders saying to him: “These are your kids and because of the school your church has built. The next generation will never have to live in a pipe again.”
“My heart melted and I knew that this was going to be the call on my life, and the call on the life of our church,” Cork said.
The experience over in India was heartbreaking and both pastors wanted a way for the congregation at Friends Church to experience what they had seen and done. That is how Not Today came to be.
Not Today is a movie that was created purposefully to raise awareness about the Dalits and to help fight human trafficking around the world. A short synopsis taken from the Not Today website is as follows:
“Living as large as any 20-year-old could dream, Caden Welles’ expectations of a never-ending party in India crashes hard — but not as hard as his conscience when he refuses to help a starving man and his little girl. Attempting to right his wrong, Caden’s eyes are forced open to a world few Americans know exists: the thriving human-trafficking trade. Spurred by a true purpose, an unlikely friendship and the prayers of his mother and girlfriend, Caden leads an unlikely search for the girl. Not Today is a powerful reminder that change is possible if we are willing to open our eyes … today.”
This movie will be released in theaters April 2013 and all profits from the movie will go toward Friends Church’s goal of building 200 schools.
So far, this film has won “Best Picture” at the 2012 Dixie Film Festival, “Best Narrative Feature” at the 2012 Pan Pacific Film Festival, “Redemptive Storyteller” at the 2012 Redemptive Film Festival and the “Best Breakout Performance by an Actress” given to Persis Karen at the 2012 Monaco Charity Film Festival.
“God has come through time and time again with this project and this movement,” Cork said. “We are now in a place that we never would have dreamed of four years ago. He is faithful. My favorite verse and the one I live by is Ephesians 3:20-21. God has done exceedingly more than I could have imagined.”
Both Cork and Martz ask for support of the APU community by becoming a fan of Not Today on Facebook (www.facebook.com/nottodaythemovie) as well as supporting the movie in theaters. Theater listings and times can be found on the Not Today website.
For any students wanting a firsthand look at the work happening in India, Friends Church takes three to four trips to India each year and would love for students consider going along with them. Students can contact Skip Lanfried at skipl@friendschurchyl.com for more information on how to serve. For additional information about Not Today, students can contact Martz at brent@nottodaythemovie.com.
“One thing that life has taught me is that if God calls you to do something He will equip you with the skills to accomplish it,” Martz said. “It isn’t our job to know the future. It is our job to be willing and open to what God has for each one of us. So stay close to God and listen for His voice and be willing to risk everything — because that’s what He did for us.”

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