I was working double-time in a job that I loved, but that I had lost all perspective in. My back was hurting and my eyes had turned bloodshot from staring at a screen for hours on in. Burnt out and overworked, I knew I needed a little change. I had always heard to “rest in the Lord” but I had no idea what that meant. I pictured myself in a prayer room, or maybe at the beach with my eyes closed soaking up a good worship song or prayer. That was great, and I needed those moments but I hoped there was another way to find that rest throughout my day instead of the moments I happen to make time for it.
I love all forms of media and communication. I love the power of social media, the influence of a compelling video, the art in a perfect photo, and the excitement of hearing the perfect song on the radio. What I love most is telling stories and the world of media gives us more than one way to tell a story that the world deserves to know. I started diving into media and communications with a new mindset of serving God and learning to use what I do to worship Him. When I changed my mindset and allowed my heart to fully engage in my work I realised that this is what they were talking about. I was finally resting in my work, worshipping God through my efforts and ultimately, making a big difference.
Fast forward to a few months later, I was leading the media team on the YWAM Medical Ship in Papua New Guinea. It was my last trip on the ship before I would move home to the States and to be honest, I was tired. I made my way down the stairs to the Aft Deck and saw a little girl waiting to see the eye surgeon, I could tell she was blind and couldn’t have been more than five or six years old. A normal group waiting to see the doctor in this area would have an average age of 50-60 years old, so this caught my attention. I spent some time hearing her story and my heart was broken. She was six and due to cataracts in both eyes. She had to drop out of school and was fully dependent on her dad to help her get around.
Our videographer and I worked together to follow the story from beginning to end. We weren’t sure if she would regain her sight but we definitely had hope. We spent time interviewing her parents, the doctors, the nurses and a few locals that knew her. I called my mom that morning and remember telling her “If we take the patches off today and she can see… then today will be the best day of my life.” I had so much faith and love for this little one. It was a story that had my emotions wrapped tightly around the outcome and when I saw her walk up for the patch removal I could feel the tears coming up.
The nurse removed the patches and she went in for a follow-up with the doctor. I was shaking as we published the video to YouTube and clicked the share button. Did we do the story justice? Did we give credit to all the right people? Will people like it? The next day we woke up to hundreds of shares and people had the opportunity to fall in love with Mandy’s story just like we did. While media was my job, this didn’t feel like work. This felt like living.
My faith is that Jesus came so we could all have life to the fullest. This day on some far isolated island in the Pacific Ocean was a perfect example of that. I was finally resting in God while worshiping him through my work. Do you work in the media field? Are your skills and creativity being channeled toward affecting lives for the better? Do you find joy, rest and satisfaction in what you do? Could it be time for a life change, or just a change in perspective?
If you’re in a place in life when you’re searching for what it means to use your media skills to change lives and bring hope, the Media & Radio Gap Year might be your next step on the journey.
P.S If you’re dying to know the outcome of Mandy’s surgery, CLICK HERE for the video.
Alumni DTS and Staff Member for 5 years, Lea, is a bright ambitious young woman from Paris, Texas, USA. She’s an excellent leader, teacher, communicator, and one of the best story tellers you’ll ever get the privilege of hearing from! She enjoys coffee, being with good company, and watching documentaries.