Fina Lin was lost in thought as she stood by the window of her office. Cars rushed as drivers hustled to and from work and errands. Though her body was still, her mind rushed with thoughts like the busy street she was looking down onto. “I need to do more with my life than chase after money,” she thought.
She had moved from Indonesia to America to pursue a career in computer technology. She found success, but no meaning in her work. An interest in missions began to kindle in her heart, but she didn’t have the knowledge or experience she felt was needed. She took a Global Perspectives course and discovered that missions’ work was not confined to preaching and church planting. She met other professionals that had used their business, administrative, financial and other skills to engage in professional missions work. Fina began to re-evaluate her own life. “Though, I believed that God had equipped me with skills and experiences, I felt I was not using them to expand His Kingdom,” she says. She soon handed in her letter of resignation, leaving the company she had been building a career with for the past eight years. It seemed to be the most foolish, and the best, decision she had ever made.
She started volunteering with Wycliffe Bible Translators in the Department of Vernacular Media Service. There, she worked with the translation teams and assisted them in researching what kind of media would be best to use in specific cultures and groups. She also assisted in the translation of the Jesus Film, Bible stories, and other scriptural books and helped communities create and broadcast their radio programs.
Wycliffe later asked her for a deeper commitment and presented her with three countries that were in urgent need of a specialist: Brazil, Cameroon, and Burkina Faso. Fina’s heart inclined towards Cameroon, but she remembered a dream she had months back. She had dreamt of a white banner with the word “Burkina Faso” written on it. “Back then I didn’t know what to make out of my dream because I never had dreams,” she says. She prayed, “God, if you want me to go to Burkina Faso, please close my heart towards Cameroon”, and God answered her prayer.
In Burkina Faso and the surrounding countries, Fina took the Jesus film and other Bible videos to villages, showing them in the villager’s native languages. “The expression on their faces was priceless. They said, ‘now we understand what the Bible is all about’.” During this time, her eyes opened to the power of media. Fina says, “I used to wonder why they downloaded garbage: films with explicit sex and with themes of betrayal or hate. Later, I realized it was because they didn’t have a choice. There weren’t any good things in their language to download.”
She realized, during the last three years she served in Burkina Faso, that cell phone technology had widened, and almost everyone, especially in the city, had cell phones. “Even in the countryside, every family would have at least one cell phone,” she says. She noticed that people didn’t just use their phones to make calls. Most of them had a feature phone that had a video player. There were also cybercafes everywhere, even in the villages, where people would download movies and videos. “It hit me that they didn’t have options for good movies, so they fed their minds with whatever they could get.”
Fina realized the need for Christian media. Though Fina wanted to produce short films, however, she did not have the media training that she needed to speak to the young generation of Burkina Faso. That was when she heard about MediaLight. Wycliffe encouraged her to come and receive advanced training to become a modern-day missionary. Fina joined us in our three-month media, leadership, and discipleship course and graduated in November of 2014.
This year, Fina returned to Burkina Faso with the skills she needed to reach to the youth. Soon after, Fina dubbed the Hide and Seek gospel video into the Burkina language with French subtitles. Fina says, “The youth in Burkina Faso need good Christian movies in their language. With the skills I learned at MediaLight, I aspire to produce short gospel films and films with positive content that have biblical values.”
You may not be ready to leave your job. Like Fina, though, you may want to put the skills you have developed in the workplace to use in ministry. If that’s what’s happening in your heart right now, we would like to invite you to join us at MediaLight. Here, you will receive an intensive discipleship, leadership, and media training experience. You will find yourself amongst others who aspire to use their gifts for a purpose and not just a paycheck. Find out more about MediaLight and our next intake here.
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