Tuesday, March 31, 2015

torchlighters animated heroes of the faith: the jim elliot story & the corrie ten boom story

The Torchlighters Heroes of the Faith series tells the stories of people who spent their lives serving the Lord—some of whom even lost their lives for the sake of the gospel. I was given the opportunity to view two of these stories: "The Jim Elliot Story" and "The Corrie ten Boom Story."

In 1956, news from the steamy jungles of Ecuador spread rapidly around the world. Five young American men had been mercilessly killed by members of the Auca (Waodani) tribe - the very same people those young men had gone to serve and befriend. That seemingly senseless tragedy has become an inspirational marvel as family members of those young men have now befriended that very same tribe.

This is the story of one of the brave torchlighters who lost his life that fateful day. Jim Elliot spent his youth preparing to share the Gospel with those who'd never heard it. But nothing could have prepared him for the dangers and challenges he would face in the jungles of Ecuador. The remote Auca tribe was suspicious and antagonistic toward even the friendliest gestures from outsiders.

Corrie ten Boom and her family repair broken clocks and watches. But as the evil of World War II sweeps through their city, a new kind of "watch" comes to their care: an innocent Jewish baby, desperately needing protection from the cruelty of the Nazi invaders. How will the ten Booms keep this baby and many others out of harm's way, and what will be the cost of serving God amidst unthinkable evils? When faith is tested, hope is tried, and love is strained, will Corrie's God prevail? This gripping episode of the Torchlighters is an amazing story of courage, sacrifice, and forgiveness.

I watched "The Jim Elliot Story" first, and honestly, as I began, I thought I might not enjoy it. Some of the dialog seemed a bit stilted—not quite like people would actually talk. But after about five minutes, I was completely absorbed in the story, even though I already knew it! This episode is a great way to introduce kids who aren't yet old enough to watch End of the Spear to the story of Jim Elliot and the others who were killed by the Waodani.

"The Corrie ten Boom Story" completely captivated my attention. I've read The Hiding Place multiple times, and I've seen the movie at least twice, and "The Corrie ten Boom Story" is just as affecting as those other versions of the story. It does a very good job of condensing Corrie's story into 30 minutes without losing anything important.

The animation in this series reminds me of some of the Christian cartoons I watched as a little girl in the late 80's and early 90's—there's nothing wrong with it, but it won't blow your socks off. Still, I don't think it needs to, because the stories speak for themselves. They are very well written, and the voice work is excellent. I would love to watch more of this series, and I think it would be perfect for Sunday School classes, Christian schools, and home libraries. (See the full list of episodes below.) I would say these are appropriate for ages 8 and up due to the subject matter and some non-bloody violence. 5 stars.

Purchase the series here. (Use promo code tl12cct to get $10 off. This code only works on the 12-pack.) If you'd rather call in your order, you can call 800-523-0226, just be sure to mention the promo code for your discount.

Watch the series trailer:

The Torchlighters series began when creator Bill Curtis was reading biographies of great Christian heroes to his 10 year old daughter. After finishing a chapter about missionary Gladys Aylward, she looked up at her dad and said, "I want to be a missionary when I grow up."

Realizing how clearly the power of this story moved his own child's heart, the Torchlighters Heroes of the Faith animated series for children was conceived. 

"Young people are often drawn to heroes in the sports and entertainment industry," says Curtis. "Many of these figures convey values contrary to our faith. We wanted to offer parents an alternative. We wanted to offer parents the opportunity to share with their children the stories of real heroes whose lives have had a lasting impact for the Kingdom of God."

The first 12 episodes have been bundled into a 12-pack. Each of the 12 discs includes a 30-minute animated story, four-lesson curriculum in PDF, feature-length documentary on the hero, and English and Spanish languages and subtitles. The episodes included in the 12-pack are Jim Elliot, Gladys Aylward, William Tyndale, Richard Wurmbrand, John Bunyan, Perpetua, Eric Liddell, Amy Carmichael, William Booth, Samuel Morris, Augustine, and Corrie ten Boom.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was able to view these episodes free through BelieversTrust. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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