We are made in his image and dearly loved (Genesis 1:26-27; John 3:16). Knowing our inherent value before God should affect not only how we view ourselves, but how we respond to each other. Everyone has a unique identity and story. We can demonstrate care for another person by listening to their story. Then, respectfully telling that story can be a powerful means of affirming their dignity as an image bearer.
During one ABWE short-term missions trip, visual communicator James Dockery met a Nicaraguan vendor selling her wares. Engaging her in conversation, he learned her story and asked if he could create some photographs of her. Smiling, she agreed.
Inspired by the opportunities to serve in Nicaragua, James returned the following year with his family to minister at the Rayitos Feeding Center, an ABWE ministry. He brought copies of the photos he had taken of the vendor and made it his mission to track her down. He was delighted to find her again, and she was thrilled and honored to receive his gift.
James, through his work as a media producer, knew the importance of using storytelling to highlight the value of image bearers rather than using stories for one’s own purposes. He teaches others how to effectively communicate these stories as he serves as an instructor for ABWE’s Storytellers Abroad: Missions Multimedia Workshops, which seeks to connect creative professionals with opportunities to use their photo, video, design, and writing skills to serve the Lord in missions.
Stories can change lives. As we see in Scripture, Jesus often used storytelling in his ministry on earth to allow listeners to draw connections to similar experiences they had in their own lives or to explain difficult truths. Following his example can help us continue to serve those whom he dearly loves.
Storytellers Abroad: Missions Multimedia Workshops are uniquely designed for those with hands gifted in media and a heart geared to missions. These short-term ministry opportunities will help you:
- Develop a ministry that connects your creativity and unique skills with God’s heart for the world
- Train alongside world-class professionals with storytelling experience at some of the industry’s top media outlets
- Learn how your passion can make a difference on the mission field
Applications are now open for the next Storytellers Abroad: Missions Multimedia Workshop in Brazil in May 2023.