NGU Visit - Swaziland
Half a dozen students are busy at North Greenville University (NGU) working on video projects filmed in Southern Africa earlier this month. These young adults are taking NGU’s Missionary Media Ministries class. The group (which included two faculty members) landed at the Johannesburg airport on 7 March and travelled by road over 1000 km to conduct six interviews with missionary families serving in South Africa and Swaziland.
Karyn Campbell teaches the course and described how NGU decided to send a team to TWR twice in a row.
In 2013 we sent a team to Europe and that was our first partnership with TWR. By the end of that semester, we had two people from that team committed to full-time missions with TWR and another student did her internship with TWR over the summer. For a class that is supposed to spark a passion for using media in missions, this was a phenomenal outcome. When it came time to decide where to send students in 2015 (we do this every other year), the department chairman chose TWR because students demonstrated so much interest after the 2013 trip. One of them told us that it had a profound effect on his life calling and you can't ask for better results than that.
The NGU team’s first two days were based at TWR’s Africa Regional Office (ARO) in Johannesburg. Third-year student Jeremy Wetherton was impressed right away during the first two interviews with Ryan (a software designer) and Marinus (serving ARO’s IT helpdesk.)
“One of the most amazing things about the people that we have interacted with in Africa has been the passion that they have for Jesus. Both of our interviewees today made the comment that they simply wanted to see Jesus name made famous. The mind-blowing part of this was what their jobs are in this country.”
Marinus and Ryan are like ten thousand others in similar jobs but both have a similar perspective of how their lives are part of God’s much larger plan for Africa. Exposing students to a big picture view of life is a part of what makes the trip worthwhile for everyone involved.
After the first two interviews, the team loaded their luggage and video equipment into two vans and set off for TWR’s transmitter site near Manzini, Swaziland. Most Americans grow up with mental pictures of Africa drawn from TV documentaries so the majestic rocky hills and thatch-roof village dwellings made it feel like the team had arrived in “real Africa.” Four missionary families live in Swaziland relying on outside prayer and financial support while serving at TWR’s transmitter site. NGU’s team interviewed them and visited the short/medium wave transmitter site including a climb up a 200 foot tower.
Each student serves as producer for one of the six interview projects. A third of their grade depends on how well their final project combining missionary interviews with footage of home and work life tell the story.
TWR was honoured to host the NGU team and have outsiders see enough value in TWR’s work to devote time, money and equipment to make it happen. A major benefit for TWR as a mission is to expose college students, their friends and family to the work of TWR. There are many ways to show how God is moving through media ministry and NGU was a special blessing for TWR in Africa this year. Please pray for the team as they seek God’s leading for their future work and ministry.