WATCH – REDEMPTION SONG –
May 5, 2021 – “I’d always struggled with the desire to drink—every single day—but had been able to put long stretches of sobriety together. This time was different. I was on the brink of losing my family and—if something didn’t change—my life.”
Clark never served a mission, but had his own encounters with missionaries and mission stories. A friend of Clark’s invited him to the rebaptism of the missionary responsible for his conversion. In flipped roles, the friend had reached out to the former missionary who had faithfully served but then spent subsequent decades separated from those beliefs.
Clark was invited to this re-baptism as he was responsible for sharing the gospel with the friend many years early. Clark discovered the former missionary had his own harrowing tale that involved addiction and recovery. The story was key in Clark finally seeking treatment.
Soon after Van Wagenen reached out to Clark for help in developing “Mission Stories”—not just a film, but a series to be distributed on a new streaming platform from Deseret Book. As an alcoholic who didn’t serve a mission, Clark said he was stunned. “But I needed the work, so I began developing the project,” he said.
“Later my life fell apart and I ended up entering a three-month addiction recovery treatment facility. I thought my involvement in that project had to be over. But Art stayed in touch and encouraged me to continue with the project. I realized that I was a part of a mission story—the story of my friend and the rebaptized missionary and how that experience helped me seek treatment. I began writing the script for what would become the first chapter in ‘Mission Stories.’”