It all started as a way for Jordan Burns to simply film himself doing parkour flips.
But the love he developed for cinematography from that initial pursuit now has him heading to Africa to create a missionary documentary.
“I didn’t have anything to do. I was trying to find my sport, my thing and I picked up parkour, free running,” said the 17-year-old Valley resident.
“And then, from that, I wanted to see myself do these flips in this parkour, so I picked up cameras. And from that it just carried on, to being the camera was my thing. I liked it.”
At the end of July, Burns is packing up his camera gear, now considerably more extensive, and is heading to the Republic of Malawi, a land-locked country in southeast Africa formerly known as Nyasaland.
He will be accompanying Pentecostal missionaries Rev. Harlyn and Helene Purdy to film promotional videos. They are designed to help tell the story of their ministry work in the community where they live in Malawi and will include touring remote villages to record life in those areas.
“We also hope that the video clips will capture the imagination of some, concerning how they might build a team to come and work with us to fulfill the mandate and dream to build leaders to change a nation,” the Purdys said, in a letter promoting the initiative.
A second part of Burns’s involvement will be to work with the audio-visual team of City of Pentecostal Church (CPC) to increase the capacity for live streaming and filming services for its web site.
“His expertise in visual production will help us train our team to do video, etc., that will enhance various aspects of ministry at CPC,” the letter said. “This training will increase CPC’s audio-visual ministry significantly.”
When he was 14, Burns had the opportunity to travel to the Dominican Republic where he did some cinematography work as a personal project.
“I got to have the time of my life there, at the same time, doing what I love.”
When he got back, Burns edited his work and created a short film about his experiences.
With that initial international experience under his belt, Burns is counting on using what he has learned since and taking it to another level.
“I know my stuff but I never jumped in and did something that was completely mine,” he said. “And it’s a concept that I’ve always had in my mind that I always wanted to do, but at the same time is very scary because I hopefully am not going to mess it up…
“Not that I’m going to do a bad job on this one. But I’ll have some experience and I’ll be able to do something better. And that’s my goal, is to always be better.”
Burns is responsible for covering the $3,500 cost of his transportation – a 72-hour trip – which he has been generating by donations through his church and friends as well as from fundraising efforts of his church youth group. So far, he’s raised about two thirds of the total.
Anyone wishing to donate to the effort can contact Burns at 902-890-5656 or by checking him out at CanadaHelps.org .