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By Nikole Hahn

What do your streaming habits look like? Many good documentaries are on streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, or Disney +. Still, do you ever think about the perspective of the missionaries that live in the areas filmed? Let us help you use your streaming habits to educate your family, friends, or church members on the realities the people groups highlighted face.

What’s On Netflix Right Now? 

Magical Andes is a series on Netflix from 2019. The filmmaker takes us on a journey from Argentina to Columbia along the Andes Mountains with breathtaking cinematography and compelling storylines. I decided to touch base with Rob and Lisa Atkins about this series since an episode takes place in Bolivia. Rob and Lisa manage a Girl’s Transition Home and mentor women who were foster kids or orphans.

“We were just at the salt flats the first of August, and it was amazing. But the town of Potosí is dying, and the salt flats are the only thing happening,” says Lisa. “Oruro has the large Carnival celebration every year, but not much else. And what they don’t tell you about the mining is that children as young as 10 can work in them and the lifespan of a miner is age 44, if they’re lucky.”

In the film, a focus on religious beliefs is highlighted. “Many of the indigenous people worship Pacha Mama or Mother Earth and feel connected to her by the mountains and rivers.” Lisa explained. “But 2/3 of the population now lives in six cities, so they are gradually losing that reverence and connection.” 

Street Food: Latin America (2020) has an episode on La Paz, Bolivia. The featured vendors are cholitas who “[…] fight to be seen while upholding traditional bites like anise-flavored buñuelos and fiery chola sandwiches.” The cholita that sells the papas rellenos is a rare sight.

“While 70% of all commerce is done informally on the streets like the food stall, most are single stands or stalls. It is a male-dominated society, but women typically are the driving force economically in many families.” Lisa continues, “Here in Cochabamba, it is interesting to see the food stalls start popping up at about six each evening. Salteñas, api and buñuelos or pasteles are morning foods: Inexpensive, filling, and delicious!”

Rogue Trip (National Geographic/Disney +) shared a father/son moment in Papua New Guinea where they met a group of indigenous people with a head-hunting history ended only by missionaries of centuries past.

Imagine if you were able to teach the complete history of how that missionary met this group of indigenous people? It is possible with some research ahead of your scheduled family time. These suggestions could even be used for your homeschooling group!

Using Your Amazon, Netflix, And Other Streaming Platforms To Educate On Missions

  1. First, start by going through your streaming apps to find exciting documentaries on people groups or countries, such as National Geographics, “Rogue Trip.”
  2. Bookmark or put on the watch list those programs you wish to watch as a family.
  3. Many missionary organizations like ours have a website with a search function. You can find missionaries serving in different parts of the world. On our website, go here to search by worker or country. Write down the Global Worker’s name and country. Add in any interesting information from their description of the people groups they serve.
  4. If they have social media links or emails on their ministry profile, use that to connect with our Global Workers about the specific show you intend to watch to get their perspective. Explain that you are teaching your family about missions. Ask them to add your email to their newsletter updates. Follow them on their social media.
  5. After gathering the information, have a television or movie night with your family. After watching the episode, share who the missionary is and where they serve. Then, share what they said about the show.
  6. Establish a short prayer time for the missionary, the people featured in the show you watched, and the people the missionary serves.

Don’t forget the popcorn and typical movie treats!


Discussion Question:

On your social media with the link to this blog, share an answer to the question below. Or you can simply leave a comment on this blog in response to this question.

  • When you read our blogs, our Global Workers newsletters, or their social media updates, what did you learn that you didn’t know before about that area of the country?

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Image by Nikole Hahn of Mexico

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