Through exploring the stories of the ancient land of Ethiopia, discussing on how Christianity meets myth, learning about the current need of missions in Ethiopia, and God’s heart for missions blended with practical media sessions; ML Ethiopia conducted its first four-day workshop in Debrezeit, Ethiopia.

On the training conducted on May 11-15, 2017, 12 media missionaries were equipped with the passion and skills they need to reach their nation creatively with the gospel. The training was organized by RedeeMedia, a media missions ministry started by ML alumni and current staff Genaye Eshetu, through a partnership with MediaLight Asia and Great Commission Ethiopia. RedeeMedia ministry has 12 active members of which four of them are ML graduates.

Ria Bagatsing, ML’s Global Community Director also joined the training. The training is part of ML 2017 initiative to multiply training opportunities in 5 nations. The initiative was started on Dec 2016 by assigning 5 ML graduates who offer their own local training programs and raise up media missionaries in their own nations.

Generation of leaders; left Genaye is ML graduate 5 years back, (middle) Ria ML 1.0 graduate and is ML staff since and Lydia on the right is ML 8.0 graduate

Generation of leaders; left Genaye is ML graduate 5 years back, (middle) Ria ML 1.0 graduate and staff since and Lydia on the right is ML 8.0 graduate

The 12 trainees are between the ages of 16-37. Though most of the trainees had interest both in media and missions, they never had a proper training in media or missions. Most of them serve in their church media in various ways, but never had the opportunity of using their skills outside of the church to reach out to the lost. Few even had decades of experiences serving in their church media, but their ministry was only limited to editing sermon videos and managing power points.

On May 15, the training started with a course on general teachings on media missions, the mission needs of Ethiopia, communication evangelism and digital strategies for missions. These courses set the tone for the coming 3 days on the basic aim of the workshop, which was – missions. The second day of the workshop covered creativity in ministry, storytelling and basic photography courses with practical sessions. Photography composition session continued on the 4th day of the training with segmented class on videography. The videography session was segmented in 3 sections of video editing, shooting and sound. Media ethics was also covered in the training, as it is one of the basic concerns in the Ethiopian Christian media landscape.

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For the last day of the training, RM teams and Ria Bagatsing shared their experience of using media creatively for missions in gospel multimedia exhibitions and online ministries. Following a survey to identify the students’ interest, they were also put in groups to brainstorm on ideas and draft a plan for G.O.D (Global Outreach Day) which was held on May 27, 2017.

The 4 days workshop was finalized by hearing the creative ideas the students came up with for G.O.D. and a certification ceremony. Though the 4 day workshop is finalized, the students will keep meeting with their assigned mentors for one to one sessions on photography and videography. The team also aims to keep involving the students in RedeeMedia outreach events, assisting the students as they learn and grow to be media missionaries.

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What the students said about the training:

“I was able to receive so many things that are useful to me in the near future and I got a chance to know people during this time. I feel like I am part of God’s plan, because God wants us for this mission. So this training helped me to know the heart beat of God in finding the lost. Now, I am motivated for missions work. In general I want to thank God first, and second I want to thank the team for showing us amazing love, because in these four days I feel like we have become one big family that is trying to get more people to come and join the family. So you have taught me not just media missions, but also love!”

“This training has honestly exceeded my expectations, and it didn’t even seem like the team is doing this for the first time. I didn’t expect I would have this much to take away from the training. I did expect to learn a lot, but not this much.” 

“I expected it to be an interesting experience to be trained as a media missionary. But it ended up being more than an experience. Because through it, I got education, experience, fun, fellowship, which has become a part of me now.”