Evangelist Greg Laurie's award-winning biographical film just keeps getting better and better, in a not so expected way.
With the tragic loss of his son, Christopher, two years ago through a fatal car crash, the well-known preacher felt the need to change the end of his original film, "Lost Boy: The Documentary," which launched early 2008.
"To me, this is not just a movie; it is my life, which has taken this tragic turn," Laurie revealed on his blog. "Yet, the message is still the same, that God can bring good out of bad. It's not that bad becomes good, but that good can come despite the bad."
"We are calling this new version 'Lost Boy: The Next Chapter.'"
"Now, it's [Christopher's] story too. For when it's all said and done, it's the story of redemption in my life, as well as the life of my son … It is a story that offers hope, regardless of your circumstances."
Prior to his death, Christopher had been heavily involved in the project, managing all the graphics, design and type treatments for the movie. He spoke to many about his personal excitement in seeing God use the film to touch others.
Little did anyone know that he would become such a major part of the film. Less than six months after the original documentary was made, Christopher Laurie died in an automobile accident while headed to Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside. He was 33.
"I want people to know about my son, and the fact that he is in heaven and that every one of us needs to be ready to meet the Lord, because we do not know how long our lives will last," the older Laurie shared.
"Lost Boy," since its introduction, has received numerous awards and honors, including the Best Documentary Award at the 2010 Transforming Stories International Christian Film Festival in South Africa and Audience Favorite Best Documentary Award at the 2009 Riverside International Film Festival.
The San Diego Christian Film Festival also announced "Lost Boy" as the Best U.S. Feature Documentary at the inaugural 2010 festival.
To top off its far-reaching accolades, the film may soon be available on Netflix as well, with the help of viewers that is.
After two failed attempts of releasing "Lost Boy" to the company, a grassroots campaign started encouraging Netflix users to save the film to their film queues in hopes that distribution would take place in the near future. Currently, more adds are needed before Netflix places an order.
But beyond all the honors and the awards, Laurie noted that the heart of the film's success lies in its evangelistic effect – it was an important ministry tool. He and his team intended the film to have artistic integrity and be a tool for the gospel.
"I have personally seen this story resonate with thousands of people around the country at screenings where I have given a message afterward," Laurie expressed on his blog.
"We have seen hundreds and hundreds of people coming to Christ through it. So we give God the glory for it."
Laurie envisions further spreading the message of hope, which people everywhere, from all walks of life, need to hear so desperately today, just as he needed.
Called "a labor of love," "Lost Boy: The Next Chapter" is, contrary to its title, a story about being found.
The 75-minute documentary offers audiences an in-depth look into the life of the famous evangelist, with all its ups and downs throughout, starting from his unorthodox birth, his drug and abuse infused teen years, and the beginnings of his wide-reaching ministry.
The film chronicles the struggles, disappointments, healing, and growth of the now pastor to over four million people and author of over 35 books.
Originally created as the companion piece to his autobiographical book, "Lost Boy" is essentially Laurie's own personal way of sharing his faith. He urged believers to be open and verbal about the gospel message and its redeeming power.
"The primary way we are to share this message is verbally. That is not to say that you should not live it first, for indeed you should. Some would say, 'People will know that I am a Christian by the way I live. I don't need to talk about it to others.'"
"Actually you do," penned Laurie. "Yes, by all means live it, but also engage people with the gospel message. We need to both initiate and verbalize our faith. You may not be called to be a 'preacher,' per se, but every believer is called to preach the gospel."
"It is our hope that the light of Jesus Christ will shine in this setting through our story," expressed Laurie.
The updated version of the film features new photos of his "Marilyn Monroe" mother, footage from past Harvest Crusades in Philadelphia and Anaheim, a 90-second trailer, and a re-cut ending focusing on the story of Christopher's sudden departure.
"Lost Boy: The Next Chapter" is created by New Revolution Entertainment and Harvest Films. The film is not yet rated. The DVD is available at the top four family Christian stores and also available to purchase online at harvestresources.org.