Lost And Found

Writing led Thrivent member Cedric Gegel to rediscover his faith and find a new talent.

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By Kathleen Childers

PHILADELPHIA—The summer Cedric Gegel spent as a counselor at Camp Arcadia in western Michigan turned out to be a godsend.

During college, Gegel—who’s now 25—had many unanswered questions. Big ones, around life’s purpose and faith. While at college, he suffered a serious concussion in a car accident, struggled with mental health issues and battled cancer. He had lost his bearings with all the challenges. Arcadia felt like a place of refuge (Gegel went there as a child), where he could focus his energies and find answers.

“Arcadia was very important to me as a kid,” Gegel says. “It fostered my love of nature as well as my faith.”

The summer he was a counselor, Gegel spent happy days working with the campers. But in his time off, he wrote. By the end of the camp season, he’d started to tackle those big questions around life and faith and in the process had written most of a screenplay, a fantasy he titled Cadia: The World Within.

“The theme of the screenplay is doubt and love and hope—and hope through doubt,” Gegel says. “It begins in our world and moves into the fantasy world of Cadia, a big mystical forest. It’s what our world could have been had we not messed it up.”

When he went back to college to start his junior year, Gegel made a commitment to finish the script. While he’d never written one, he had used scripts since he was in high school: Gegel’s an actor who got his start in musicals.

Fast-forward to 2019: Cadia: The World Within is now a movie starring Corbin Bernsen and James Phelps. It’s had screenings in the Columbus, Ohio, area and is awaiting release to more theaters. In getting here, Gegel co-founded a production company, secured funding, hired actors and directed the movie. Due to budget, the movie was filmed in a couple weeks. But Gegel’s faith kept him focused.

“I felt that God truly had a hand in this,” Gegel says. “It was something He was calling me to do.”

Learn More

You can read more about Cadia: The World Within and watch a preview at cadiafilm.com.