My Beginnings at Sunnyside Christian
As a senior in high school at SCHS, I didn't know that God would use my interest in film and a hand-held video camera to shape my heart and direct my future. I did know that being behind a camera sounded like fun, so the summer before my senior year, I saved up enough to purchase my first 8mm video camera. I carried it through the hallways and classrooms, into basketball games and school assemblies, and on field trips. By the end of the year, I had hours of footage of our senior class.
Near the end of that year, all of us seniors took a few days out of school to do Career Shadowing. This program allowed us to spend time "on the job" with a professional in a business or field we were interested in. I wanted to get some hands-on experience in video editing, so I shadowed another SCHS alum, Serena (Haak) Werkhoven, at a media production company in the Tri-Cities. Those few days convinced me that video production was the career path for me. After Serena taught me how to use the editor, I poured over hours of footage and photos, and created a final video to show during our graduation ceremony.
In previous years, the senior class always made a slideshow of photos to show at graduation. Mine was the first video, and I was excited to part of doing something new that helped tell a better story than just pictures alone. Slowly, God was using these experiences to plant a desire in me to be a storyteller through visual media.
Because of my experiences at SCHS I also knew that I wanted the rest of my education to be faith-based as well. The Christian school environment laid the foundation for a holistic and Biblical worldview that helped me connect the deep truths of faith with my everyday life. So, after high school I looked specifically for a Christian university with a strong digital media program.
Looking back it is so clear how God used Christian education to direct the course of my life and prepare me for His plans. Not only did I meet and marry an amazing, Godly woman, but I learned that my passion for video and storytelling was connected to higher purpose. It was above all to be used for God's glory.
Now I work with a ministry called Lahash International using my skills to tell the stories of vulnerable kids in East Africa. In our Portland office, I create media that connects children and sponsors in meaningful relationships. Through videos, magazines, and websites, I help others see the struggles of the poor and open their eyes to how God is inviting them to make a difference.
What started with a video camera in the halls of SCHS has lead me to film the stories of God's work across East Africa. His hand has been at work since the beginning, and I am so grateful for the role of Sunnyside Christian School in my own story.