Sunday, May 22, 2011

So You Wanna Be in Pictures?

Today I'm lazily relaxing in the comfy swing on my back porch. The sun is shining (for once), birds are singing (I'm too close to the Cardinal nest so it's more like screeching--I make them nervous), and a gentle breeze is blowing the wind chimes from time to time. And I'm thinking back to what was happening at our house a little over a week ago.

It was raining and gloomy, but inside, a bee hive of activity was going on. We were excited at our house because a PBS film crew from Boston was here to shoot part of a documentary with one of our former Amish young men. We had already met David Belton, one of the producers of the documentary, The Amish, in February when he came to check out the Bible study my husband hosts. I guess he thought it was okay since he came this time with another producer, Callie T. Wiser, Tim Cragg, the cameraman, and John Cameron (I hope I got that right!), the sound recordist.

As we sat around in a circle, I watched the crew get ready. First we were asked to shut off the furnace (too much noise). Then they situated the camera, put mics on Joe Keim and Levi (two of the former Amish in the documentary, and asked if they could unplug our fridge and freezer (also too much noise.)There was a lot of tinkering with this and that with both the sound and camera equipment. But I had come with my little camera ready and asked if I could take pictures of them as they filmed.

<--- Tim posed for me in my family's school room.

John, boom mic and all, posed there, too. --->

<---I caught David at the helm, looking into his camera to approve the shots.

 You know what? It's just like you see on TV. The Bible study got underway, and as we talked, John slowly inched the long boom mic into the circle. It hovered over us as we spoke and most of the time, it was pretty easy to forget it was even there. But I saw a few of the former Amish young fellows cast their eyes upward, some with trepidation, as the boom mic crept ever closer.

 It sure was an interesting and fun event! One of the documentary subjects was having his birthday that day, so the PBS crew had planned to meet us that night at the home of Johnny and Miriam Keim to film game night. We got a birthday party together and made our way to Ashland. It had warmed up quite a bit by then so my hair, never easy to manage on good days, totally flopped on top and frizzed in the back. Of course, I didn't plan on being filmed, but I have a feeling, unless God answers my prayers about that portion of tape ending up on the cutting room floor, I just might be seen on national TV next spring with the worst hair-do ever. *Sigh*.

Isn't that just how it goes? You get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, like MAYBE being in a documentary and pfffttt...the hair flops big time. Since I wasn't the star, and the film crew were all guys because Callie kept disappearing, no one from PBS cared if I looked like a dork, and there were no make-up people along to fix anything.

But I told David I promised to be nice to them in my blog so I won't complain too much. In fact, he and John agreed to pose with me for a picture. I said they were nice for doing that but David insisted he wasn't usually nice to people. He asked John to verify that fact but the sound recordist, who seems to know which side his bread is buttered on, remained mute. His sly grin, however, answered for him.

Poor Tim was outside in a muddy field, in the rain, while we had this conversation. Next time you see a fancy and ephemeral shot in a TV movie or show, think about what the cameraman had to go through to get that. I'm sure if we see that scene next spring in the documentary, it will present the outside of the house, panning inside the windows, to a warm glowing gathering. From the looks of Tim's sodden shirt and hair when he finally got to come inside, I doubt he felt a warm glow.

Funny thing though:David kept an eye on what Tim was shooting with a device he held close to him all day. Seems David could view what the camera was filming from the inside--where he stayed nice and dry. I swear, though, at one point, after David had been on the porch waving
directions to Tim for another view, he came bouncing back in the door with a wicked grin on his face and a little chuckle on his lips as Tim moved to a new location outside in the rain. Must be nice to be the head honcho.

It was one of the most interesting days I've ever had, to be sure. I would do it again. But next time, if there is one, I'm going to the powder room right away to fix my hair.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

She's Found!

Here is a blog post from Lisa Mikitarian, Katalina's mom:

Thank you for your prayers!

Katalina must have been completely covered in your prayers of protection--because it seems she is safe in the care of a "good Christian family". I say seems because we haven't actually seen her. She contacted the mother of a friend she made in the program. She said this family was helping her to find a job and become independent. She wants to make us proud of her--not come home under a cloud of embarrassment. Until today, she had no idea anyone was looking for her. She felt bad for putting people through all that worry, yet was deeply touched at the same time. She really couldn't believe it. (I'll have more on that tomorrow.)

All of this is more than we could have hoped for. Sometimes a child is ready to become independent but can't do it under the watchful eyes of parents. And yet they aren't ready to be tossed to the wind. We couldn't ask for a better situation--if everything we've heard is true. We say that because if Katalina wanted to allay our worries, there's nothing better that she could tell us. Fortunately the Richmond Police Department won't close the case until they do a "welfare check" and get eyes on her. She didn't leave her number or location with her friend's mother--but she said she'd try to call again tonight--maybe even call home. We'll let her know then that she needs to reveal her location so this can be put to rest.

So, if you could pray a little longer. I feel 80% sure of what I've heard, but won't completely have peace until someone sees her and where she's living. I was overzealous when I called Jan--because in that moment it felt like she had been "found," and I felt the euphoria reflected in your comments. But technically we have just a little further to go.

You all have made this bearable. When the news hit the web, it exploded in a way that touched not just the heart, but the soul. Friends of friends of friends--no strangers as the Holy Spirit moved. Biblical concepts came to life. And when we were at our lowest, someone always came with the right words or video or verse. When my faith flagged, you took over and I experienced exactly what "standing in the gap" is.

As always, in good times and in bad, we give all the glory to a gracious and loving Father.

With Much Love,
All the Mikitarians

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Please Help!

My friend, Lisa Mikitarian, has posted a page on Facebook to help find her 21 year old daughter, Katalina. Please take a minute to read her post here, and then follow the link to Facebook and LIKE her page so we can help spread the word about Katalina. I can't imagine, were this my son, how I would handle such a terrible mystery. Thank you for anything you can do to help Katalina come home. The following is Lisa's post:

Our daughter, Katalina, has been missing since Monday, May 9, 2011. She was in a program in Richmond, Virginia. She broke their rules, and when it was discovered was dropped off at the Richmond Greyhound Station with $1.58 in her pocket and a voucher for a bus ticket to Charlottesville, VA--the station closest to home. She had no cell phone. It was 7:30 at night.

The program counselor left a message on our phone at about 7 to call her. We didn't get home from work/meetings until after 8:30 PM. By the time we were able to send someone to the station for us (we live 3+ hours away), Katalina was gone. We were unsure for several days whether she had even boarded the bus to C'ville or not, as she was emotional and unsure she even wanted to come home.

On Thursday surveillance tapes showed she had boarded the bus--which meant she intended to come home--but because the program hadn't made contact with us, there was no one there to meet her.

Did she meet someone on the bus? What did she think when she got off and didn't see her parents waiting for her? Where is she? Is she safe? How could they drop our daughter off at a bus station at night with no money and send her to a place where she knows no one?

These are the questions that plague us.

The Charlottesville Police Department is doing everything it can to find her.

Any help you can provide through prayer or the sharing of this page would be truly appreciated.

If you see her, please tell her that her family loves her, is worried and just wants to know she is all right. Please tell her to call home.

Thank you very much,
Sam and Lisa Mikitarian
540 335-5765

Katalina has short brown hair and brown eyes. She's 5'5" tall and weighs 135 lbs. She wears glasses. She was last seen wearing jeans, a brown blouse and flats.

Link to Facebook page FINDING KATALINA

Sunday, May 1, 2011

To My Daughter Rachel

Rachel came into my life in a very unusual way. She was already a wonderful young lady and I knew her through other former Amish young ladies I met at Joe and Esther Keim's prayer meetings. I tutored Rachel for a little time, and through that, we became good friends.

One evening, just as I was leaving her apartment, she asked if she could chat with me. She asked if my husband and I would become her adoptive parents. Since she is not allowed to have much contact with her Amish family, she had no one to support her in her adult life. We were honored and thrilled! My husband and I became Mom and Dad to her and then in-laws to her new hubby, Eli.

In the short amount of time we have been family, she has grown in my heart like my own daughter. Her sweet temperament, shy smile, (and sometimes ornery grin) have blessed me in many ways. I love her laugh and her sense of humor. She is a smart gal and has fantastic skills as a young wife.

She sends the most wonderful cards, shares the most wonderful smiles, and each time we are together, a great contentment grows in my heart in her presence. She is the "little" girl I never had. How beautiful that God brought us together!

Rachel is proof that love knows no boundaries and family has more than one definition. So Rachel, thank you for asking us to be in your life. We love you (and Eli) very much!

I didn’t give you the gift of life,
But in my heart I know.
The love I feel is deep and real,
As if it had been so.
For us to have each other
Is like a dream come true.
No, I didn’t give you The gift of life,
Life gave me the gift of you.

– Unknown