(July 20, 2012 - by Marla Bender) Emily Ibarra is combining two of her passions—video and missions—as she guides three media students through a missionary internship in Ecuador this summer. She will provide training and supervision as they assist with media projects for HCJB Global’s Latin America Region.
Having been through two internships herself, Ibarra, media specialist at the HCJB Global Technology Center in Elkhart, Ind., is excited about working alongside these students. “I think of how my managers have impacted me,” she said. “Now I get to pass on that knowledge and passion to others.”
Reared in a Christian home, Ibarra became a believer at the age of 8, but she didn’t get serious about her faith until high school. It was then that she realized following God required total commitment. Where God led, she followed, even when she was uncertain where the path would take her. “I figured if God is God, then go for it! He has always wanted me to trust him,” she explained.
Ibarra’s fascination with video began when she was a little girl. “I loved movies and dreaming of adventures. I used to listen to classical music and create stories in my mind and imagine videos to go with the music,” she related.
But it wasn’t until she was a sophomore at Grace College in Winona Lake, Ind., that she had the opportunity to create her first video. “The college needed someone to do promotional videos for chapel, and though I had no video experience, I volunteered,” she explained. It was through this work that she first began to see the connection between video and missions.
Then in her junior year she was asked to make a video for Grace College to show during its annual missions conference. The theme was social justice. Already passionate about making videos to give a voice to those who can’t speak for themselves, Ibarra poured herself into this project. The chapel speaker, moved by her video, encouraged her to apply for an internship with his agency, World Vision. As a summer intern at World Vision, Ibarra experienced firsthand how video could be used in missions.
Back at Grace College to complete her final semester, Ibarra heard about HCJB Global from her roommate, Emily Anderson, the daughter of HCJB Global missionary Dan Anderson who serves at the center in Elkhart. After she graduated with a degree in film studies, she began working as a volunteer at the facility’s state-of-the-art media center.
She knew people might question her decision to take a volunteer position when she had college loans to pay. She explained it this way, “Sometimes you can’t play it safe. If we ever feel safe, maybe we’re not risking enough. God was saying, ‘Trust me. Obey me. I will provide.’”
And He did! Gracious donors, hearing of her passion for God’s work, paid off her entire student loan.
Recently Ibarra entered HCJB Global’s yearlong apprenticeship program. “Emily is proving to be highly effective in helping us add a new facet to the ministries of the Technology Center,” said the center’s director David Russell. “She has what it takes to engage her peers for the cause of Christ and get them on-board with harnessing new media tools for the gospel.”
He added that it’s been “affirming to watch our digital media program grow from one intern last summer to five interns this summer. In conjunction with the development of engaging content, we are eager to master the use of smart mobile devices for the purpose of reaching people wherever they are with the message of new life through Jesus Christ.”
Now instead of imagining her own stories, Ibarra is creating videos that tell God’s story. As the videos convey the amazing work that God is doing around the world, she hopes others will be inspired to get involved.
Source: HCJB Global