(July 27, 2012 - by Kathy Lee and Harold Goerzen) A typical computer keyboard phrase has become a key to developing a Spanish-language, youth-oriented website to attract today’s younger generation to Christ.
Named Control Z by its youthful designers, the title comes from the popular computer keyboard function known as CTRL+Z, referring to the feature that will “undo” what has been created on the computer and will allow the operators to take a step back and rethink what they are doing.
The website received valuable help from three media interns this summer, led by Emily Ibarra from the HCJB Global Technology Center in Elkhart, Ind. The group was in Ecuador June 17-July 27, joining members of the communications team in Quito who have been working for months to develop the site.
Summer interns Chris Hecox, Samantha Cripe and Cara Zimmerman spent time creating and editing videos for the new site (controlZ.fm) that is expected to launch in the near future. The website incorporates various media elements such as social networks, videos, a music stream, news articles and a forum.
The Control Z staff has been working to create fun, edgy videos for the site that caters to youth, incorporating both Christian and secular music. It gives teens the opportunity to laugh together and talk together about a wide variety of topics, ranging from the world’s most expensive pizza to cyber bullying.
Once the visitors go online, ready to talk about these things, Control Z staff will get in touch with them and start discussing issues and struggles they are experiencing in their lives The site’s main purpose is to inspire youth to think about who they are and what they believe, encouraging them to take a step toward a relationship with Christ.
In addition to producing “fun and dramatic” videos for Control Z, the interns changed gears to create documentary-style videos that will have promotional uses at HCJB Global. The interns will continue the editing process after returning to Elkhart this weekend.
“We spent maybe a little too much time on special effects,” Hecox admitted, “and some of the videos feel pretty over the top, but I think that with today’s generation of kids, over the top is definitely in order. It’s been so much fun learning some of the editing programs we are using while putting these videos together.”
Missionary Larry Castro, who is directing the Control Z project, agrees, saying team members “spent a good bit of time on special effects. But seeing the finished product I can say that it was well worth it.”
“They did a great job capturing the idea we are going for, and we even talked Chris into playing the main role in one of our short, funny videos. He got ‘pooped on’ by a bird,” chuckled Castro, who serves in the radio training and new media departments in Quito, teaching radio partners how to use radio effectively to spread the gospel and using new media to reach the younger generation.
The interns said they were impressed with the passion and excitement of the Control Z staff in Quito. “The people here are fun to work with and truly want this program to succeed so that it can reach as many Latin American teenagers as possible,” added Hecox, a junior at Taylor University studying media communication.
He expressed hope that Control Z will be a massive success. “I feel that it has no choice but to succeed with the help of God’s hand pushing the process along!” Hecox exclaimed.
Source: HCJB Global