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Jesus Freaks

Circle of Belief Productions,

2010, DVD RRP $29.95

Reviewed by Fa Ngalaufe.

JESUS Freaks traces a journey of spiritual transformation in the wake of tragedy.

On 9 December 2007, the Colorado dorm of US organisation Youth With A Mission (YWAM) woke to a gunman opening fire, killing two and injuring two others.

Although Jesus Freaks doesn't detail this event, it opens and ends with one of the deceased speaking about why she chose to come to

YWAM discipleship training.

Under the guidance of visionary youth leader John Murphy, the YWAM "boot camp" attracts young people interested in developing their faith and taking it outside their comfort zone to do mission worldwide.

They come with little in common but God and snowboarding.

The training confronts them with their own lives (past and present) as they wrestle with authority, substance abuse, religion, dysfunctional relationships, death and more.

I believe this documentary does two things.

First, it lets the world know that despite this tragedy during their discipleship training, John Murphy and his team continue to do God's work to train and equip the young people who come to them.

Second, Jesus Freaks demonstrates the intensity of this training.

And it doesn't just showcase the mountaintop moments, but gets in close enough for us to understand the struggles and challenges, financial, emotional and spiritual, of these young people in the course of this very confronting discipleship training.

This documentary is raw, very real, and even if a little repetitive is still a very good resource for youth groups seeking to begin a conversation about theodicy, as well as faith-sharing.