A Journey Home tells the story of the Waller family. Tired of working 80 hour weeks, and despite being on the fasttrack to a great career with Federal Express, Tommy Waller felt that his life demanded change. And so he moved his family – a family that has grown to eleven children – from the suburbs of a large city to a remote area of Tennessee. It may as well have been the other side of the world. The family moved to Amish country and began a new life, a life without many of the luxuries common to 21st century North America. They did not even have electricity.
The family built a new life as farmers – organic farmers. The film documents their lives, showing how they adapted to life in their new community. It shows how, while the family gloried in their isolation, they still walked into the world one day per week to sell their produce at a local market. It was here that they had a profound impact on the community.
It seemed to me that the family moved to the country for something less than ideology. They moved because they felt it was in the best interests of their family. While they forsook much, they also kept some ties with the world. They had no electricity, but drove a new passenger van. They farmed their own land but also wore storebought clothes. My wife and I discussed whether this was hypocrisy, but we found that it did not seem to be. Again, it was no ideology that drove them out of the world, but conscience and necessity. Thus they were free to set boundaries as they saw fit.
Near the end the movie takes an unexpected turn and the family truly does move to the other side of the world. Feeling a call to missions, the family moves to Israel to farm and to share Jesus with the Jewish people. They are in Israel to this day, and according to the extras on the DVD, are keeping a vineyard.
A Journey Home was winner of the Jubilee Award for Best Documentary at the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival, and for good reason. It is an enjoyable film and one that is well-made and well-produced. It shows a slice from the life of a unique family. If interested, you can purchase it through Franklin Springs Family Media.