I don’t know where to start, so much has been happening. So after 5 months of so much of alone time here, our MediaLight staff and students are here and I am flooded with people. After months of hard work, preparation and prayer our students arrived Chiang Rai on Sep 27 & 28. We have 12 students from 7 nations (Myanmar, Cambodia, Honduras, Jamaica, USA, Thailand and China) here to be trained as media missionaries.
On their first week we went up to the mountain for students story necklace retreat. During the retreat our students made a necklace to help them tell their story. Story necklace is a tradition of MediaLight where we make a necklace with beads representing the three things that make us who we are today and two challenges we are facing right now in our lives. We started with some of our staff sharing their personal stories and struggles. Most of our students started their sentence with phrases like, ‘I never told this anyone but…’ Story after story, so many tears was shed. It is true that we can bond more in sharing our pains than success as long as we are in a safe community. And the devil’s place is in dark (secret) places. When we put things to light the devil losses its power. As it says in the Word, we defeat him by the power of our testimony.
After the retreat, we gave our students personality tests (TheJung Myers personality test & Strength Finder test) so that we can get to know each other better. Since they will be working in teams, this kind of tests are very helpful to know each others personality, strengths and weakness.
It has been 3 weeks now and our students already learned photography, production and editing. This past weekend they were able to produce their first silent film. We have also already brainstormed a theme for our outreach gospel multimedia exhibition which will be conducted at a university here by the end of MediaLight. It is beautiful to see ideas flooding from our students on themes they can use to communicate the gospel to Thai people. I also shared with them my experience of organising a gospel multimedia exhibition event in Ethiopia, to help them see how to do this in different cultural perspective.
Every day, every moment is special at MediaLight. But this past Sunday was the highlight of it all for me, the baptism of the girl I Mitisahai. Mitisahai is a Thai term for older sister or mentor. Every staff here has to Mitsahai a student. The girl I Mitsahai is a beautiful lady from China. Celest has been saved only for less than a year and coming to MediaLight she still have so many questions about God and Christianity. However in MediaLight she was able to experience God at a more intimate level. What makes this past Sunday special was that it was Celest’s birthday and baptism as well.
We celebrated her the whole day, we went to the elephant’s camp in the morning then to the fountain where she was baptised it was so beautiful! After that we came back to school for worship, Pastor chuck shared a word, and we had the birthday celebration with a cake. We all toasted Celest and told her the things we loved about her. Her husband who is not aChristian by the way flew from China for her birthday, so he has been with us as well. To your surprise, this is the first time Celest ever had a birthday celebration. Her husband in the end told us that he has never seen her so happy and full of life. He said ‘she had often been self-destructive but since she came to MediaLight she is a new person. ‘ Celest told me later that her husband was crying after her baptism and was so emotional. Please pray that her husband’s eyes will be open and that he will come to know Christ.
It is a sacred season here for both students and staff. God has been teaching me a lot of things I will share with you may be in my next mail. Please keep us all in your prayers as well. To learn more about MediaLight please visit our website here and follow us on Facebook here. By the way on our online school all our courses are free you can simply sign up here and access all the courses that can equip you to be a media missionary. There are also podcasts by our Director Chuck Quinley on basic teachings of Jesus.
Thanks for being with me in this mission work! It is working!