Director Tim Mahoney on Patterns of Evidence: Young Explorers: Let's Explore the Foundation

Tim Mahoney’s extensive research on the Israelite experience in Egypt, especially the Exodus, has led him to speak on the subject everywhere he can. But after his experiences speaking to younger audiences, he saw a need to translate the material of Patterns of Evidence into manageable media for those curious minds. Patterns of Evidence: Young Explorers is the result, available now with video and printable curriculum for ages 8 to 14. To find out more about the project, Christian Cinema caught up with Mahoney.

“What I could see from events where we had showings of Patterns of Evidence was that a number of families would bring kids,” he remembered. “It was great that these kids were tracking with the original film, but I could see that we could do better.”

“We had an Egyptologist speak at a school and they had ninety kids show up. There was a huge interest there; we went to another school, a parochial high school, and we had a line of high school students waiting to talk after the presentation. I thought we had to tap into this and get the material out there for them.”

Mahoney’s team randomly picked ten young people and did a test run of the material. They realized that they could make a series that followed the format of the film’s five sections, leading to the following:

“The Adventure of Abraham’s Promise”: “It starts with a camping canoe trip. It begins with kids around the campfire asking me what is true. They follow me into this cave and I have a creative device called the Exploration Chamber - I take them to meet various people who can share the story.”

“The Search for the Amazing Rise of Joseph”: “It starts at the mansion where Egyptologist David Rolle explains what happens.”

“The Case of the Israelite Slaves and the Wicked Pharaoh”: This shows how there are names of Semitic peoples in the historic record who show up in the midst of the Pharaoh’s reign over the Hebrews.”

“The Hunt for Ten Plagues and the Exodus from Egypt”: “Here, we learn what happened to Egypt through the plagues; one of the kids gets hit by a hail stone!”

“The Mystery of Joshua and the Falling Walls of Jericho”: “How the Israelites end up taking over the city of Jericho.”

Mahoney said that he enjoyed taking the kids along on the adventure for them to understand the evidence, to be critical thinkers, and to have more of a foundation of belief. It gave him a break from his next project, a twelve-hour series called Patterns of Evidence: Moses. Several of the moments in Young Explorers allowed for a different set of experiences for Mahoney, as well as the kids.

“I was always excited about the hot air balloon,” Mahoney shared. “We take a hot air balloon ride over the city of Avaris - the city where the first Israelites lived. There are some really fun scenes with the kids; they go to an antique shop, they fly in a teapot from Arabia, where they meet this French antique dealer who talks to them about the Rosetta Stone. I like those different characters.”

“It’s a lot of work keeping everybody focused for hours…but I loved working with the kids,” he mused. “I could probably do that all the time. Two of them were even my grandkids! We looked for real kids to feature in the series and they all did a great job!”

In fact, Mahoney’s experience with the kids on the set reinforced his desire to use Young Explorers to reach even more young people. The experience of the kids on the set showed what a difference the material could make.

“They started to understand that the story was a real story. It became more real to them because there was real, tangible evidence. There’s a connection to the historical account.”

Now, Mahoney will have to wait for audiences to dig into the videos and curriculum. Once they do, he’s sure that they will see the patterns of evidence left behind.