University begins with big plans, new adventures and just a little trepidation. You need to move away from home and meet new people. There is also the looming question of what to do with the rest of your life.
These steps are each big leaps of faith. Stephanie Ten Hove, a 2018 graduate with a double major in art and media production, discovered bigger plans than she anticipated. “If you would’ve told me two years ago that after graduation, I’d move to another country, learn Spanish and become a missionary working in media, I would have laughed,” says Ten Hove.
In the last semester of her graduating year, Ten Hove began looking on the Redeemer job boards for potential positions that she could take on after graduation. She found a media internship posting for the Nehemiah Center in Managua, Nicaragua. As Ten Hove was researching, her home church announced that they were starting a partnership with the Nehemiah Center. It was perfect timing.
From its base in Managua, Nicaragua’s capital and largest city, the Nehemiah Center fosters local, national an international collaboration between churches and parachurch ministries. Resonate Global Mission, a ministry of the Christian Reformed Church, has partnered with the Nehemiah Center from its very beginning. The organizations continue to work together on projects like urban community development, training for pastors and encouraging business owners to incorporate a biblical worldview in their practices.
With support from Resonate and her church community, Ten Hove took on a six-month internship with the Nehemiah Center after graduation. “That internship changed my life,” she can now say. Now working full-time for the Nehemiah Center as a media specialist, Ten Hove tells stories she never imagined.
“I definitely think that I would not be as successful in my job if it wasn’t for the MCS program,” she reflects. In the Media and Communication Studies program, students learn the necessary technical aspects and how to focus on workflow, time and efficiency. On a deeper level, however, students discover how to use their own voice to lift up and tell the story of people who frequently don’t have their own voice. Coming from Canadian culture, Ten Hove works diligently to tell Nicaraguan stories to Nicaraguan people.
It takes effort to overcome the struggles of working within a country and culture different from where you are born. “Sometimes it is difficult to navigate the two cultures — and subcultures — in this interesting place but it is a wonderful place to work and through God’s grace and power, beautiful things have come about. Being in it now, I can’t see myself doing anything else. I really have to thank God for this awesome opportunity.