“I’ve always wanted to be on the mission field,” said Emily Ibarra. “My 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.”
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 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 for ministry purposes and to film a medical internship.
“Part of my job in Ghana was about training ministry partners in radio from across Africa” she explained. “I worked with 200 people from Ghana and surrounding countries who gathered for a conference for radio training, social media and video.”
In the past, her has tenacity 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.
“Whether it’s someone who doesn’t have access to clean water or a child dying of preventable causes…those things break my heart and motivate me. Even just the hopelessness of people not knowing Christ. Anyone abandoned, feeling unloved…that in of itself is an injustice.”
Her home church, Trinity Grace, played a large role in sparking her passion for missions. “Growing up in Trinity Grace gave me a foundation for understanding God,” she explained. “I’ve benefitted so much from their encouragement and the relationships that I’ve developed…I know I’m prayed for every day. Every time I go back I’m encouraged. That’s real support.”
This story first appeared in GraceConnect eNews. To subscribe to the weekly e-newsletter that includes news and information about ministries in the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, click here.