Our Lastest

The book and the movie Stand on Courage are now in production!

Back in December of 2015, thanks to your support, I and a small film crew were able to spend almost two weeks living in the northern Iraqi town of Havresc (pronounced like “have-risk”). Though the winter was cold, and we were often without heat or electricity, we loved every minute of being there. Filming conditions were less than ideal, but the footage is in the digital can and we are now producing both the film and the book. But let me remind you about this village and why we decided to freeze our backsides off working on the border with the Islamic State.

From the outside, Havresc looks like any other small village in the region, but looks can be deceiving.

An old Armenian Christian village, Havresc was destroyed by Saddam Hussein in 1976. All of the residents were forced out and relocated to Baghdad, including a 12 year – old – boy named Murad Maderos Vartanian.

Growing up in Baghdad as a Christian, Murad (pronounced like “Mu-rat”) worked as a photographer until he was forced into the Iraqi army during the Iran-Iraq war. Escaping death on numerous occasions, Murad retired to Mosul, where, like many Christians in Iraq, he lost everything when ISIS captured the city in June of 2014. Run out of the house that he had built with his own hands, Murad decided that he was not going to run any further. He returned to the rubble of Havresc as a refugee, and resolved never again to be a victim.

As he and his family began to rebuild Havresc, Murad gathered a handful of men and trained them to stand up and fight against ISIS.

Patrolling the countryside around the village, Murad and his men shot and killed ISIS wherever they found them. The threat of ISIS has been pushed back, and the work of building and supporting the village of Havresc now goes on.

Many Christians in Iraq are ready to fight, and Murad’s story of determination, courage and faith needs to be heard by everyone in the United States, Europe, and especially, Iraq.

Now that we have the footage, Dave Ritter (the filmmaker) and I are working hard to produce the film and photo book, Stand on Courage.

Click HERE for the trailer. WARNING: Contains some graphic images.

To complete the post-production, we need to raise $20,000 over the next couple of months. Funds will be used to retire debts incurred from our time in Iraq as well as the costs of producing the movie and book.

To fund Stand on Courage, please click on a “Donate” the button below.

To move the project along, we have a couple of incentives that I would like to offer you. Everyone who donates $100 towards the project will receive a free eCopy (an eBook) of Stand on Courage. Everyone who donates $150 will receive a free print copy of Stand on Courage. Donate $500 and you will receive a free copy of the print book and the film Stand on Courage.

Pulling together we can spread Murad’s message of courage and support the village of Havresc.

Thank you and God bless you.


To donate $500 and get the print book and film, Stand on Courage, use this button


To donate $150 and get the print book, Stand on Courage, use this button


To donate $100 and get the eBook, Stand on Courage, use this button


To donate any amount to the project, use this button