Multimedia Vespers to challenge views of future ministry

The University’s next Vespers program will answer some of life’s great questions through testimonies of believers around the world in a multimedia presentation during chapel on Friday, Feb. 21.

The video, titled “So Do Ye Also,” was produced by Ms. Donnalynn Hess, director of education at the M&G, and is based on a hymn written by Hess and Joan Pinkston of the music faculty. Hess said the song is an overview of Christ’s ministry on earth, and each verse ends with a thought-provoking question. She said the film is divided into three sections and structured around each question.

The first verse deals with how Christ meets the needs of the destitute and raises the question, “Lord, who then is my neighbor?” The second verse talks about opening blind men’s eyes and raising people to life and raises the question, “Lord, which of us is greatest?” And the final verse mentions Christ’s betrayal and how He took the sins of the world on Himself and raises the question, “Lord, must we be forgiving?”

According to Hess, the full song will be played at the end, summing up what a true neighbor is like, who is the greatest and what true forgiveness means.

Hess said that within each section of the video is a story or two of missionaries currently working on international fields, including a man who runs an AIDS orphanage in Ethiopia, a youth pastor in West Africa who uses a wheelchair, and some American missionaries ministering in Albania. She said the presentation also includes the story of a young interpreter named Cheryl, who was killed in Afghanistan, and her friend Beth, who still works in Afghanistan as a nurse. Each of the testimonies helps to answer the questions asked in the hymn.

According to Hess, the reaction to the film should be twofold. First, it should cause viewers to want to serve Christ wherever they are now. Hess said much of the Gospel was given through day-to-day interruptions that happened during Christ’s early ministry and that often it’s the same for us today. “Sometimes the little interruptions in our lives are the places to serve,” she said.

Also, viewers should think about the future and how they can serve Christ wherever He leads them. Hess said the presentation should broaden viewers’ perspectives about believers who risk their lives each day as they further the Gospel. “In American Christianity we get stunningly provincial and unaware of the tremendous work our brothers and sisters are doing in other places,” she said.

Ultimately, Hess wants the university family to recognize the true power of God’s grace and the Gospel. “Our Christian family is very large, and it’s multi-cultural,” Hess said. “But our goals are always the same — to show forth what God has done. And as Christ has done, we are to do also.”