These past few weeks have been stretching for the Media team. At times we may have felt that some of the tasks were outside of our current skills or comfort zone but Dr. Richard Huston reminded us early in the trip that “God is more concerned with your availability than your ability” and he will use our gifts. Our prayer has been to use our creativity and technology to capture God’s presence in the faces of the children, in the work of the ministry teams, and in landscapes of Nicaragua.
Unlike the other ministry sites, the media site has the unique privilege of traveling to all of the sites. While most of our photographs show us behind the camera, at each site we had plenty of opportunities to set aside our media and become a part of the ministry team in which we joined for the day. Somedays that meant we were playing “futbol” with young boys and other days that meant praying with older women, making crafts with little girls, or installing water filters. In each activity we strived to live in the moment and build relationships with the people in the communities that SI is ministering to.
Often we spent half of our days at the base editing our photography and video media and creating various marketing pieces for Students International. In additional to the daily blogs, like this one, we have also designed 10 different postcards that showcase the prayer needs of staff members, 6 unique fundraising brochures for different staff members, and a logo, financial planner, and large poster for the Micro Finance site. Tonight while most of you are sleeping we will be staying up to finish a capstone video that showcases the entire three week experience in Nicaragua. We plan to show this video at our “Remember and Celebration” banquet tomorrow night. Since President Ivan Filby, Professor Kathie Filby, and Dr. Brian Reinhard arrived in Nicaragua yesterday afternoon, we are excited to use our final video to explain to them the full value of working in an occupational ministry site through Students International.
Once we return to Greenville College we will also be using our footage to create a short fundraising video and a study abroad promotional video for Students International. In late February we plan to host a gallery show on campus that will include all of these pieces. In addition, there will be several artistic design works created based upon our own eye opening experiences in Nicaragua. We will promote this gallery opening closer to time and we would be honored if you attend. We hope that through these pieces we can raise an awareness of the personal and spiritual transformation many of the students go through on a Students International mission trip, raise an awareness of the poverty in the area, showcase how SI is ministering to the marginalized, and open people’s heart to our brothers and sisters in Nicaragua.
Professor Jessa Wilcoxen
Photos by Kat Kelley, Fallyn Paruleski, and Professor Jessa Wilcoxen