Halifax, Nova Scotia - Three years ago Christopher Price saw a movie that deeply affected his life. Price went to see the move "The Terminal" with several of his friends one night, and what he saw in the movie touched him deeply. The setting of the movie is in the International Transit Terminal of JFK airport in New York. The story is about a man named Victor Navorski, a traveler from the country of Krakozhia, which, in the movie, is depicted as a former Soviet Republic. Due to a revolution that breaks out in Navorski's country while he is en route to the United States, his visa is revoked. He gets lost in the shuffle of bureaucracy for nine months, having to live in the airport terminal.
As amusing as the story line might be for most people, for Price it was anything but.
"When I saw the movie I had been interested in missions for a number of years" said Price. "While we watched this movie my friends all around me were laughing and enjoying it, but I was crying on the inside. I couldn't stop thinking about Krakozhia. I had never heard of the place and seriously wondered why. Why hadn't someone gone there with the gospel?"
Price further recalls that night. After the movie was over he went back to his apartment and spent the night searching maps for Krakozhia, only to come up empty-handed. By the next morning, Price had "surrendered to missions" and had dedicated his life to reaching the people of Krakozhia. Price then began to set about the task of raising support to serve on the "mission field."
"I had prayer cards made up" said Price. "I would talk to perfect strangers on planes and buses and tell them about my vision for the unreached people of Krakozhia. Most people, like me had never heard of the place. Some had, and some even had the audacity to laugh at me, sometimes hysterically, when I told them that I was going to be a missionary there."
Price's passion for the people of Krakozhia continued to grow and grow, until this past weekend when he finally came to grips with something sad but true...that Krakozhia is not a real place.
"I was at church this past Sunday and we had some new visitors that day" said Price. "I was talking to one of them after the service and gave him my prayer card, and the guy laughed. I thought 'Yep, here's another guy who just doesn't care.' Then this guy says to me, 'Hey, you know this place isn't real.'"
The conversation that followed was filled with shock and dismay for Price. Not only did he have to come to grips with the fact that the country did not exist, but that his friends and church members had never had the gall to tell him the truth.
"We just didn't want to hurt him" said friend Mindy Adams. "He was always so excited and pumped up, I just didn't have the heart to break it to him."
"I always thought it was just a joke" said Alvin Connely, Price's pastor. "I just assumed it was meant to be funny. Never once did I think that Chris was being serious."
Now, "devastated" by the shocking revelation, Price is seeking direction for his life.
"I have not the faintest idea what I'm going to do now" said Price. "Everything I've been pursuing for the last three years has been from the neighborhood of make believe."
Several of Price's friends have tried disparately to get him to look at other possibilities for mission work, but seemingly to no avail, as Price notes,
"Mindy was telling me the other day about these places called Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, and I just told her 'Look, I'm not going to be made a fool of again!' I'm not about to look ignorant again, that's for sure. 'Tajikistan,' ha, where did she get that one from?"