We are continuing to interview people in different areas of work to showcase what being On Call in Culture looks like on a daily basis. Today we introduce Rachel Bastarache Bogan, video editor for SIM. Learn more about Rachel at http://www.Rachelfinder.com
As a child, Rachel was surrounded by creativity including music and painting. Her favorite gift was a “box full of opportunity” that someone had filled with random knick knacks from a craft store. When she was five years old, she felt called to be a missionary, but she never understood that her art would be the tool God would use to show his love to others.
Quite a few years later, Rachel found that video production was a need in the missions world. She became fascinated by using that tool to help people with missions work. Now as video editor for SIM, Rachel still goes to a box of opportunity, but now it is filled with ideas and scraps for creating videos. The challenge is where to start to tell the story. One of the books that influenced her is What They Don’t Teach You at Film School by Camille Landau, which encouraged her to always tell the story she wants to tell. As she has grown in her video skills, she can relate someone’s story to the bigger picture—the glory of God. She says that part of that is the great commission and part of it is leaving the viewer with a sense that there is a much bigger role for the subject of the video and the person watching.
Rachel feels a great sense of responsibility working within the medium of video. “The beauty of art is that it can slip past the analytical mind and appeal to the emotions. As a result, it also slips past good questions.” She says it’s important to tell the story truthfully so we can honor God. She also encourages accountability. “There can be dire consequences if not. As believers, especially, we are even more accountable. There is a weight of responsibility to bear in mind as artists,” she says.
We ask her how she balances her passion and this responsibility. She says, “Through prayer. As much as I am the editor, God is the director. I have to be listening in my spirit as the red flags go up.” She describes how even though it may make it more sense to do it her way, sometimes she feels God leading her in a different direction. She says, “God’s hand must direct an artist—especially a believing artist. You can’t create outside the awareness of the Spirit… it’s not up to me to figure out what the idea is. He gives me the idea. He has given the tools to bring about that idea. If I ignore that, I’ve ignored what God is saying.”
When asked what her big dream was to change culture? She answers, “Expanding the vision of the church through media missions,” with her sphere of influence being the Western church. “I see the work that I do shows the western church the needs of the missionaries and the world.”
She tells the story of being a young teen and looking around her church where many different flags from around the world were hanging. There were missionaries’ faces on the wall and missionary prayer letters to read, yet there was no passion for the great commission. Everyone thought they were making a difference in the community, but she knew that they weren’t as effective as they thought that they were. She thought, “Why won’t this church wake up?” Now God has given her the passion to change the church’s vision for the world.
On a day to day basis, her world is comprised of computer screens, editing videos and talking through problems on the phone. “It’s the little things that make a difference. No one video will make a big change, but you can’t make big change without the big picture. You have to keep the big picture in mind. Otherwise, you get sidetracked, frustrated and depressed. You see your job as menial work. That’s poisonous and destructive. You have to know the big picture to keep focused on the little stuff.”
For the everyday process of bringing change, she uses the metaphor of the simple action of water melting. Everything seems quiet until a large piece of ice breaks off and creates a huge wave. The change has been happening all along, but we don’t notice it until that moment. She says that sometimes work can seem mundane, but it’s up to God to bring change.
So what does Rachel have to say to young people moving into the field of video production and wanting to be On Call in Culture? “I tell people to stay in motion. That’s not the same as being busy. You need to keep working and asking God what’s next. Keep moving forward. It’s like when I’m dancing . . .I stay on the balls of my feet so I can move in any direction. Staying in motion and making a mistake is better than going to a full stop. When you’re moving, you’re always ready for God to nudge you where you need to go next. If you move in a direction he doesn’t want you to go, he will direct your steps. Stopping takes twice as long so stay in motion. Stay close to the Lord. He will direct your steps.”
To see some of Rachel’s video work, visit the following links: Personal Ministry Video for Bob and Amy Hay: https://vimeo.com/37602682; SIM’s Radio ELWA Restoration Project video: https://vimeo.com/32150305; The Simpson Wedding: https://vimeo.com/36158085