Jonathon Lipscombe, a junior at Cedarville University, could never have imagined that his Lego stop-motion videos would turn into a globetrotting mission internship.
Lipscombe, a Bible study Major from Spring Lake, Michigan, has worked with Advancing Ministries of the Gospel (AMG) International for the past 17 months as a Global Intern, capturing on film what’s happening in missions around the world. Lipscombe has worked both as a virtual intern and in person with AMG Guatemala.
Lipscombe became interested in videography in elementary school when he was making stop-motion videos of Lego characters having fantastic adventures.
In college he switched to semi-professional photography, working with friends and family to take portraits and group photos. When he was in high school, photography was a passion. However, Lipscombe was looking for a way to unify his passion for media and his love for ministry.
âMy church has always been mission-oriented, but it was never something I imagined myself doing,â Lipscombe said. âEverything changed when I made my first missionary trip to Guatemala during my first year of high school. “
During the week-long trip with his home church, Lipscombe described the revealing exposure to poverty and needs he had never seen in the United States. And with this experience came a passion for missions.
âI had this all-too-familiar scene where I came home and wanted to sell everything and go on a mission immediately,â Lipscombe said. âI forced myself to wait nine months and pray for God’s call in my life. After these nine months, I planned a six-week internship in Guatemala through AMG International.
In August 2020, Lipscombe was accepted for a one-year internship at AMG international, an internship that combined both her love of photography and the assignments. He creates photos and videos used by AMG’s Advancement department, which is responsible for fundraising.
âWorking as a Advancement Intern has given me the opportunity to grasp everything the Lord is doing around the world,â Lipscombe said. âI can be a part of missions, see the impact of short-term mission trips, and promote the gospel around the world using my photography! “
However, due to COVID-19, Lipscombe’s plans to travel the world have been halted. While he could still work as a remote intern during the year, it didn’t seem like traveling the world was a possibility. However, when the Cedarville University Global Outreach Program announced its intention to volunteer with AMG in Guatemala for a summer mission trip, Lipscombe had the opportunity to accompany them.
âI was reluctant to go,â Lipscombe said. âI was coming out of a very busy semester and the whole project seemed overwhelming to me. But now, looking back, I’m so thankful for this week. It was one of the most memorable trips of my life.
âI had to step back and look at the week through a camera lens,â he added. âIt gave me a different perspective on missionsâ¦ literally. “
For Lipscombe, part of the trip, in particular, had a big impact on how he views ministry.
âThere was a little girl on the trip who really caught my eye,â Lipscombe recalls. âAll week I had thousands of pictures of children smiling and playing football. But there was a station where the children had to sit and listen to the camp chaplain discussing faith in action. Many children had difficulty concentrating, but this little girl sat down and listened quietly. It was a different face than the one I had captured all week. She was contemplative.
Lipscombe currently teaches Sunday School for middle school students at his church, Cypress, and his time in Guatemala has had an impact on the way he interacts with the children in his class.
âAfter seeing this little girl, it made me realize how absorbent children are,â Lipscombe said. âI could see how well we communicate, even through masks, even with language barriers. It showed me how important it is to work with middle school students in my church. They may be at home, but working with children is a mission field in itself.
Lipscombe plans to continue his internship at AMG and is grateful for the opportunities he has had to work both in the missions and in the media. He hopes to find a postgraduate position that will allow him to continue to combine his passion with his professional interest.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,715 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 fields of study. ‘studies. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of Ohio’s largest private universities, nationally recognized for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including the Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies.,high graduation and retention rates, accredited health science and professional offerings, and a high ranking of student engagement. For more information about the University, visit cedarville.edu.