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â€œIâ€™ve always wanted to be on the mission field,â€ said Emily Ibarra (pictured at right). â€œMy heart is for reaching people who are lost and engaging the next generation, using video as a tool to inspire and convict. I want to get people to care.â€
Ibarra, 25-year-old Grace College graduate, has always been fascinated by the medium of video. She also has a tender heart for the lost and hurting. A young woman with a fierce determination and passion for social justice, Emily has traveled to the Central African Republic (CAR), Ecuador, Haiti twice, Peru, Kyrgyzstan, and Ghana since starting college. During the trips, she worked with mission organizations such as HCJB Global, Encompass World Partners, Three Strands Medical Team, and other partners as a videographer and activist for promoting social justice in impoverished countries.
Emily grew up in Northwood, Ohio, attending Trinity Grace Brethren Church (Ray Davis, pastor). She graduated from Grace College with a major in Film Communications and a minor in Intercultural Studies and has been putting both to use ever since. For the past two years, she has been working as a media production specialist for HCJB Global in Elkhart. In partnership with Moody Radio, she recently returned from a trip to Ghana, where she taught locals the basics of producing a promotional or evangelistic video.
â€œPart of my job in Ghana was about training ministry partners in radio from across Africaâ€ she explained. â€œI worked with 200 people from Ghana and surrounding countries who gathered for a conference for radio training, social media and video.â€
In the past, her tenacity has landed her a coveted internship with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (a television show where each program is dedicated to building a new house for a needy family), and despite often facing many difficulties raising support, Ibarra has never backed down from her dream of being a missionary and videographer.
â€œWhether itâ€™s someone who doesn't have access to clean water or a child dying of preventable causesâ€¦those things break my heart and motivate me. Even just the hopelessness of people not knowing Christ. Anyone abandoned, feeling unlovedâ€¦that in of itself is an injustice.â€
Her home church, Trinity Grace, played a large role in sparking her passion for missions. â€œGrowing up in Trinity Grace gave me a foundation for understanding God,â€ she explained. â€œIâ€™ve benefitted so much from their encouragement and the relationships that Iâ€™ve developedâ€¦I know Iâ€™m prayed for every day. Every time I go back Iâ€™m encouraged. Thatâ€™s real support.â€ - by MariJean Sanders
Moving Back to God
Shawn Buhrts is part of a movement of people finding their way back to God. He shared his story recently at Movement Church, a new Grace Brethren congregation in Hilliard, Ohio (Mark Artrip, pastor).
Stephen Joyce, pastor of About My Father's Business, a Grace Brethren church in Washington, D.C., was ordained last weekend at the Grace Brethren Church, Lanham, Md. Paul Mutchler, pastor of the Lanham church, sent along photos, which you may view by clicking here.
"It was absolutely a super service," he says. "Three deacon couples at AMFB did the major work of planning. "Scott Henry assembled a 15-member joint praise band for the service. Martin Guerena, who is on the pastoral staff at Northwest Chapel in Dublin, Ohio (Rob Barlow, lead pastor), Stephen's mentor for nearly 15 years, was the ordination speaker. About 150 people (from both churches) attended, then 120 stayed for great church potluck! We were tired, but smiling big-time, afterwards," says Mutchler.
In the photo are Martin and Kristy Guerena and Rosie and Stephen Joyce. ____
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