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Saturday, January 29, 2022

International Internship Provides New Lens on Life

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Cedarville University rookie Jonathon Lipscombe would have never imagined that his Lego videos would turn out to be training for global missions.

Lipscombe, Biblical Studies A pioneer from Spring Lake, Michigan, has worked with AMG International for the past 17 months as a Global Advanced Intern, capturing on film what is happening on missions around the world. Lipscombe has worked as a virtual intern and person with AMG Guatemala.

Lipscombe became interested in videography in grade school when he was making stop-motion videos of Lego characters who had great adventures.

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In middle school, he graduated into semi-professional photography, working with friends and family to take selfies and group photos. By the time he was in high school, photography was a passion. However, Lipscombe was looking for a way to unite his passion for media and his love of service.

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“My church has always focused on missions, but it was never something I imagined doing,” Lipscomb said. “That all changed when I went on my first trip to Guatemala during my junior year in high school.”

On his weeklong trip with his church, Lipscombe described his exposure to poverty and need he had never seen in the United States. With that experience, a passion for missions arose.

“I had this very familiar scene where I got home and wanted to sell everything and immediately go on errands,” Lipscomb said. “I made myself wait nine months and pray for God’s call in my life. After those nine months, I planned to train for six weeks in Guatemala through AMG International.”

In August 2020, Lipscombe was accepted into year-round training with AMG international, combining his love of photography and errands. He creates images and videos that are used by AMG’s development department, which is responsible for fundraising.

“Working as an advanced intern has given me the opportunity to capture all that the Lord is doing around the world,” Lipscomb said. “I will be part of the missions, to see the impact of short-term mission trips, and to promote the gospel around the world with my photography!”

However, due to COVID-19, Lipscombe’s plans to travel around the world have been halted. While he was still able to work as a remote intern for the year, it didn’t look like global travel was possible. However, when Cedarville University’s Global Outreach Program announced plans to volunteer with AMG in Guatemala for a summer assignment trip, Lipscombe had the opportunity to attend.

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“I was hesitant to go,” Lipscomb said. “I had just come out of a very busy semester, and the whole project felt stressful. But now, looking back, I’m so grateful for that week. It was one of the most impactful trips of my life.

“I had to step back and look at the week through the viewfinder,” he added. “It gave me a different perspective on missions…literally.”

For Lipscombe, one part of the trip, in particular, had a huge impact on how he viewed the service.

“There was a little girl on the flight that really grabbed my attention,” Lipscomb recalled. “Throughout the week, I had thousands of pictures of children smiling and playing soccer. But there was one stop where the kids had to sit and listen to the camp chaplain discuss faith at work. A lot of the kids were having a hard time concentrating but this little girl just sat and listened quietly. It was a different face than what I had picked up all week. She was pensive.”

Lipscombe currently teaches Sunday school to middle school students at his church, Cypress, and his time in Guatemala has influenced how he interacts with children in his class.

“After I saw that little girl, it made me realize how accommodating the kids were,” Lipscomb said. “I was able to tell how much communication is being communicated, 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 its own missionary field.”

Lipscombe plans to continue his training with AMG and is grateful for the opportunities to work in both missions and the media. He hopes to find a role after graduation that will allow him to continue combining his passion and professional interest.

Located in southwestern Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited Baptist Christ-focused institution with an enrollment of 4,715 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 fields of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of Ohio’s largest private universities, nationally recognized for its authentic Christian community, and rigorous academic programs, including a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical StudiesAndStrong graduation and retention rates, accredited health and occupational sciences offerings, and a high ranking for student participation. For more information about the university, visit cedarville.edu.

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