Gene Ort's Blog


Created in His image…

by on Jul.13, 2010, under Gene, On my mind, Spiritual

A mountain man in India. This man has only heard the name of Jesus in his village for the first time just recently.

This word is for him and for me, for we were all created in His image…

Luke 10:27 “Love the lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.”

Heart: From the deepest place of truth expressed in the inner part of man.. resulting in care of the richest kind with the purest emotion.

Mind: The place of intellect, wisdom and understanding. The place that hungers to learn more about who God is and what He has done and what He has planned. Where we ponder His mighty deeds, the creation and wonder at His beauty, innocence and holiness.

Soul: The sum of your eternal self. The part of you thats hardest to understand because it’s not your flesh, but the image of God in you. The part of you that knows you were made for more than this world has shown you. The part that lies awake in the middle of the night and prays to the Father for all of life to be restored to what it was meant to be in the garden. The part that longs to walk with Him in the cool of the day.

Strength: The hands of action and movement. Putting love into motion.. for the things that God loves, His children. To love Him with all your strength is to let His love move you. It’s to lift the burdens.. and move the obstacles out of way for you and others.

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Took The Midnight Train from Beijing

by on Apr.16, 2010, under Gene, On my mind

After some pretty intense travel getting to Biejing.. we were greeted by four nameless men. We were whisked off pretty quickly and before we new it, we were walking down winding dark streets and long dirt roads. We arrived to find a building that you would never expect was a “gathering”.  Think abandoned industrial 1930’s NYC.

Every time I go on one of these trips I am humbled by the sacrifice these warriors of God endure.  Like a blast of reality, we are forced to walk into their world. They smile wide and share what they have. They celebrate God with abandon. They are generous with their love. They look to us for help.. I look to them for inspiration.

It’s forbidden to do what they do. Nothing can stop them!

It’s 4:15 am here where I am. We all just spent most of the night on a “night train”  out of Beijing. It was a 10 hour ride in one of those sleeper cars.  I am going to bed real soon..  but before I do..

It’s almost dinner time back in Niles where I live. Mary emailed me and she is cooking chicken..  I love what she does with a chicken..

Imagine cooking dinner on this every night..  If you have food…

IMG_4115 kitchen

I have a prayer on my lips already.. “Father God, don’t let me look away from their need.”

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Egypt… it begins in Germany ?

by on Mar.20, 2010, under Egypt, Gene

I have been back home from Egypt and Jordan for nearly a week now and as you might guess it has never completely left my thoughts. I have for the most part gotten caught up on things at my work but much of my gear is still strewn about my basement. I have been touching the pictures and video everyday. Organizing the images in preparation for how they might be used in the future.

On the way over, we had a layover in Frankfurt, Germany. It happens, I used to live there.  To weird. My adopted father, Louis Ort was a soldier stationed there in 1955 when I was born. A little known fact, my birth certificate read Eugene Michael Williams prior to my adoption. At one year of age my mother and I moved to Frankfurt to live with Louis. In 1959 we all moved back to US soil. New Jersey, then Chicago and finally back home to Niles in 1961. History lesson over.

In Frankfurt we all jumped on a train and headed to Mainz where the Guttenburg press is located. Huge historical significance for it was there that the first movable type printed bible was printed. Alas, we could not get in… but it was a grand adventure anyway. Fresh coffee and baked goods every block or so. We were freezing. But enthusiasm was high.

As I rode the train through the countryside.. I was pondering two things.. one was a curiosity about what I might had seen there previously as a small child in the 50’s. The other, the war or should I say wars that this area of the world has endured.

Best of Franfurt - 10

Some of my guys in the group are walking up ahead mixed in with other people who are on there way to work or church. It was early Sunday morning. In the 1940’s we would have been shot on site. We and several other Nations would have been dropping bombs on this very city.  We ducked into a huge church, in part to get warm along the way.

Best of Franfurt - 07

Part of this structure had to be rebuilt due to the bombings.

Best of Franfurt - 06

Guys getting warm..  Tucked in the back corner of the church, was this statue.

Best of Franfurt - 05

Jesus, on the cross.

It occurs to me that some people in Germany then, in the 40’s were crying out to God for deliverance from the bombs dropping out of the sky as simultaneously people were crying out to God in the US in the 40’s for their son’s and daughter’s deliverance, not to forget all the countless millions of people living in terror of their own demise. The only real time images I have for this kind of terror was on 9/11.  That day in NYC 2,300 plus people were lost. In Europe, it was countless millions in the first half century. To me, the perfect description of insanity.

The grief is beyond description. The hope that Jesus brings to this broken world is priceless. No matter where you live or when you lived.

I Timothy 1:1 ” Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our saviour and of Christ Jesus our hope.”

Best of Franfurt - 02It was a beautiful building. Very old. They were holding an early morning service at the time. A few faithful were there. I would have enjoyed seeing the place full of worshippers later that morning. The light poured in through these high windows. The guys found a grate where the heat was rushing upwards toward the incredibly high ceilings. We huddled there together. I wished I would have gotten the picture.

Outside the church was this wonderful open town square. It did not take much imagination to see it full of people in an open air market buying and selling goods.. kids running around.. and of course the smells of good German food and beer.  I would have liked that very much 🙂

Best of Franfurt - 09

It would not have been the same without Ron Vandergriend.

Best of Franfurt - 01

I am making up a word:  Theoguidehistoraleadateachamastastorytella.

Ron is not only an incredible man of God, he is a walking, living fountain of knowledge. What a pure honor it was to live for a few days in his world. All of the guys would flock to where ever he was to here him explain in detail exactly what had taken place there and it’s significance to our world.  He is also a hoot. He made the trip a fun adventure. He lead effortlessly. There were 13 men on this trip and most of them are pretty type A driver types, excepting me of course. It looked like herding cats. Leader types sometimes don’t make great followers, but not these guys. Ron kept things moving along nicely and with very few glitches. It was a privilege to be in his company.

Germany behind… Egypt ahead…. Freezing to Frying…

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Behind The Scenes – Cambodian Documentary

by on Feb.15, 2010, under Cambodia, On my mind

Video by Dustin Holliday. Dustin is the Director of Outreach at Christian Fellowship Church in the Washington DC area and close friend of Jack. He also leads a missional outreach to Nicaragua.  He joined Jack and I in Cambodia to get a first hand look at the One Prayer Church planting efforts. While we were traveling and shooting video, Dustin was using his mad video skills and a flip camera to capture these behind the scenes shots. It’s a rare look for me because I am always behind the camera.

We had a great time.. lots of fun in the midst of some pretty intense work in very high heat and humidity. Dustin was incredibly helpful. Several times I took him up on his offer to carry the gear. A 50 plus lb. back pack full of lens, mics, batteries etc.

Dustin is a warrior. He and Jack are cut from the same fabric. Leather I think. Camo black leather with kevlar coating and built in GPS tracking and radiation detection and spider venom antidote. Yes… they eat spiders. No, I did not. You can insert whatever sissy descriptive term you like right here.. but I did not eat the giant jungle spider.. and I have no plans too.

Warrior: ” A warrior is a person experienced in or capable of engaging in combat or warfare”.

I spent 5 days with Jack and Dustin together. Wow… I would tell you what they talked about but I want to live a little longer  ( if you get my meaning). What I did witness and can share is these guys are intense.  Both these guys are highly trained in self defense. They can hurt you so fast and in so many different ways that you would need a slow motion camera and instant replay to figure out which way to fall down.

But these warriors have chosen to use their tougher than nails skills for the Kingdom of God. I have witnessed them using their “get it done” mentality to impact a village for Christ and bring lasting change that will save lives now and for eternity. They may have hands of steel with attitudes to match but inside of them both beat hearts of gold.

It was an honor to serve God along side these warriors and a surprise when Dustin called me “the warrior videographer”.  I kinda like that..   Shootin pictures.. takin names.. For God’s Kingdom… now and forever..

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What kind of currency does God use ?

by on Feb.11, 2010, under Gene, Spiritual

I am not a historian and certainly no expert on the evolution of trade, but I do understand commerce. Here and abroad. From time to time I travel in other countries and there is always a ritual upon entering another nation, I exchange my American currency for the currency of the country I am visiting. It’s fun. I try to make sense of the system and look carefully at the artwork and usually I try and keep a little of it in my wallet to take home for a souvenir. In India, it’s all about Rupees. In England, it’s mostly about Pounds or Euros. Recently I was in Cambodia, there it’s Riel, but they were very happy to accept American currency.

It was not that long ago in American history when it was common to pay for goods and services with a chicken, goat, bushel of apples or what ever you had access too. It’s amazing what you can buy with some beads..  New York for example..

The point is value. To some degree or another, value is measured in two ways. Either your the buyer.. or the seller. Almost all of us are both.

IMG_0237 vball

Last fall I had the opportunity to coach a girls 4th grade volleyball team. It was a two month commitment. Three events per week. What was I thinking? My life was already to busy. At first I was fine.. then I started to feel the pressure. I started asking myself questions and really began to wonder if I had made a mistake. Is this the best use of my time ? A question of value.

Then something happened. I was struck by the diversity within the group of girls.. The range of personality and skill level mirrored many of  the people in my everyday life encounters. There were girls who were clearly athletic stars and girls who lacked basic coordination. There were confident high achiever types and timid insecure types. Strong, weak, mouthy, pouty, they were all there.  A significant change in my awareness came when I yelled at one of the girls for kicking a ball and nearly smashing another girl in the face with it. She shut down completely. I had been oblivious to the the damage I could do even though I was clearly right to protect the other girls from this potential source of injury. It took me several minutes to talk this little girl back into “being ok”. Up to that point I had been treating all the girls pretty much the same regardless of their individual personalities or skill levels. But not anymore. I got real intentional about understanding each one better. My wife, Mary was also co-coaching with me and she helped me a great deal with this. In the weeks to follow I got significantly better at interacting with each girl with better understanding.

I was loving these girls. Each one in a different way.


Grandma & Granddaughter in Remote Cambodian Village

During the time I was coaching this volleyball league, I was also prepping for a two week trip to India and Cambodia. These mission trips are a very big deal to me. They are a significant part of what I think God has called me to do. It’s important! Really important! A very high value in my way of thinking.

One morning in prayer.. I believe I got a little revelation… about value and currency.

God’s currency.

He does not need money, He owns everything.  What does God value ?


God’s currency is love. And it has the same value everywhere. No need to exchange it at the border.

When we are sharing God’s love, it has the same value no matter to who or where you are sharing it. In India, Cambodia or the 4th grade girls volleyball team.

So what does God want ?   Who has something of value for Him ?

We do. He wants us. He wants to spend His love on us. Lavishly.

Jesus is God, spending His love on us.

The Cross, the symbol of God’s love and payment in full for my sin and the sins of all His children.

Jesus, the embodiment of God’s love for us.

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This is a test.. the trouble is not in your set.

by on May.30, 2009, under Gene

In order for me to be prepared for this trip, I have to test every piece of equipment I take. I also have to test every process and that includes capturing video, posting it to vimeo and linking it to my blog. So thats what this is.. This is also testing video transfer to my lap top for the first time. I am really wondering about the internet connection in India as well. On my last trip, is was hit and miss. I am hoping for better this time.

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