“What a pretty girl, she looks like a Japanese cartoon character,” Rory looked at her sister as a relative complimented her. She was used to being unnoticed, by relatives and guests who put all their attention on her younger sister. This slowly built up jealousy towards her sister and hate towards her physical make up. Rory hated herself.
Rory grew up feeling her parents did not love her; if they did she never felt it. Away from home, she used to be bullied in school that confirms her thought of not being pretty enough to be accepted by others. As a result, her childhood days were filled with depression. As a teenager, her biggest fear was bringing up a boy to her home and that he would fall in love with her sister.
Rory found escape through immersing herself in books and through sketching. Rory’s favorite book was ‘Till We Have Faces,’ by C. S Lewis, a fairy tale about an ugly older sister. Rory loved the book because she saw herself in the main character, like the protagonist she also felt that she is the ugly older sister.
One of the things that silenced all the negative voices in Rory’s mind was when her missionary relatives visit their house. She cherished the moments she got to spend with them because she loved the stories they often share. She was only six years old when she started hearing about the difficulties of bringing Bibles to some nations. She used to be mesmerized over the stories they told over dinner, about smuggling Bibles and church leaders who were imprisoned and interrogated by authorities. When she heard stories of how people sacrifice their lives to reach out to other people, Rory felt bad for focusing so much of her attention on herself and physical beauty. However as soon as her relatives walked out of her house, her mind took the turn to talk down to her.
Rory for the first time saw veggie tales when she was thirteen. Though she was over the age to see these videos, she fell in love with the videos. She says veggie tales was not corny like other animated Bible stories I Knew; it was fun. She used to play the audio over and over in the car and drive her parents crazy as a teenager singing veggie tales. It is during this time Rory knew in her heart that she wants to make videos like veggie tales in the future.
Rory learned from the missionaries that that they could easily bring in videos to the same nations they couldn’t bring in Bibles. It was at this moment that Rory realized she wanted to make gospel and educational videos like veggies for kids that will be able to go through borders. She realized Bible stories told through cartoons videos would be an effective way of evangelizing across nations.
Rory wanted to go to Fine Arts College and pursue her dream to make cartoon videos for children. However her father who was very practical and strict didn’t approve of it. Rory ended up majoring in Management Information Systems. But she was later able to teach herself graphic design. It didn’t take her long to find the job and even be promoted as senior designer. However, Rory knew that she will one day have to quit her job pursue the dreams she had since her childhood.
However it is not only her childhood dreams to produce children media that followed her to adult hood. Rory still struggled to accept herself as beautiful. She hated her body type. She struggled to accept love from her parents, friends or anyone else. Her parents didn’t know that she never felt or accepted their love, till 2008 when she went through counseling.
Soon after Rory resigned from her steady job, she met Chuck Quinley. She then joined MediaLight as a graphic designer. Working under the mentorship of Chuck Quinley, Rory found the place where she could work with a team that has the same vision as hers. “I learned to tell better stories.”
MediaLight also helped her to deal with her personal issues. She realized she have to deal with herself first before she tried reaching out to others. “MediaLight helped me to deal with the emotional struggle I had suppressed inside me since childhood. It helped me to better understand my identity in Christ and how to deal with the personal issues I faced in life,” she said.
This story is originally published on emergemissions.org