Anita Dittman and family members

Anita Dittman and family members

Many people of faith sense something is terribly wrong in the world. As the Bible outlines all of the things to come, those with a biblical perspective can better connect the dots as to what is happening.

To that end, Olive Tree Ministries holds its annual Understanding the Times conference each fall just outside of Minneapolis. The event is designed to help people interpret the times and events from a biblical perspective.

This year’s conference will take place Oct. 15 at Grace Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Admission is free and no prior registration is needed to attend.

This year’s lineup of speakers includes prolific author and international speaker Anne Graham Lotz, gifted Israeli Bible prophecy teacher Amir Tsarfati, author and journalist Bill Koenig, and well-known Bible prophecy teacher Mark Hitchcock.

In addition, WND’s own George Escobar will make an appearance.

Escobar, vice president of WND Films and WND TV, will give a progress update on WND Films’ forthcoming full-length feature film “Trapped in Hitler’s Hell,” which tells the true story of Holocaust survivor Anita Dittman.

As a Jewish-Christian teenager during World War II, Dittman twice escaped from Nazi work camps in Germany, hoping to rescue her mother from a death camp hundreds of miles away in Czechoslovakia.

WND previously published Dittman’s memoir “Trapped in Hitler’s Hell,” coauthored with conference host Jan Markell, and produced a documentary of the same name.

Escobar will show the audience storyboards and production design elements and announce the start of the casting process. He will roll out the movie’s website and Facebook page, which are set to commence the day of the conference. Finally, he will let people know how they can get regular updates on the movie, spread the word or donate money to help offset production costs.

“By October, we expect to have production funding so we can begin filming in Europe (Czech Republic, Hungary or Poland) for the exteriors and in the U.S. (Tennessee, Oklahoma or Georgia) for the interior locations,” Escobar said. “We hope to be filming in early spring 2017.”

While Escobar has not officially begun casting calls yet, he has already found his star.

“Over the summer we discovered a young actress, Rose Reid, to play the role of teen Anita,” Escobar said. “She’s a Godsend to the start of our casting process. Athletic, mature, smart and dedicated to her craft, Rose, like the true-life Anita, is also a strong Christian with Jewish heritage. We will be auditioning other cast members over the next few months.”

The real Anita Dittman will also be present to meet and greet attendees at the Understanding the Times conference.

It’s a Holocaust survival story unlike any other. Read Anita Dittman’s memoir “Trapped in Hitler’s Hell” and watch the companion documentary – both available at the WND Superstore.

Markell told WND her conference fills a gap many churches leave in people’s lives.

“The most frequent email theme this ministry gets is a sense of isolation and rejection by people wanting to give out truthful information about current events,” Markell stated. “They want to outline what the Bible has to say about our times but are shut down by many people closest to them. Their churches will not address these issues. They find comfort in driving across the country to a few conferences that feature the subject matter we do. People actually make friends for life. They tell me the fellowship is almost like a support group.”

Markell continued: “Many of our churches are letting people down. They will give out great information on finances, family life, or marriage seminars, but they won’t talk about Bible prophecy or how today’s events fit into a biblical scenario. Almost one-third of the Bible is eschatology or Bible prophecy. When the ‘seeker sensitive movement’ came along 25 years ago, the glorious news of Christ’s soon return was deemed inconvenient. It didn’t promote church growth. It scared people. Pastors were afraid to be aligned with a fringe element. The Harold Camping types did great damage.

“We encourage people to join us for the one-day event. It proves to be life-changing for many.”

Those interested may find more information about the Understanding the Times conference here.


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