by Greg Fish, creative media designer
Chile was my home growing up. My parents were missionaries there for 18 years. For me, it had been 14 years since I last set foot on Chilean soil. However, I recently went back to connect a GNPI supporting church in Plainfield, Indiana, to Habacuc Diaz and the NOMaD team in the booming capital of Santiago.
Much was very familiar: sights, sounds, and smells. However, I also noticed how much has changed. Most striking is the prevailing attitude of the unchurched toward religion. Chile is a country steeped in Catholic tradition. In the past you were placed in one of two groups, Catholic (the vast majority) or Protestant.
Today, there are still two major groups, but I’ve been told any religious group, whether Catholic or Protestant, is now lumped together and seen in a negative light. In Chile, religion and all that it stands for has become bad. Secular culture has moved to the forefront of this predominantly Catholic country. This is the ministry context for Chilean culture.
The decline of interest in the things of God is one reason project NOMaD is so important. Media has played a big role in Chilean cultural shifts and how people regard the Church. Misguided perceptions need to be reoriented. A connected and media-savvy generation of Chileans is searching for something significant. Habacuc has seen this search tear the fabric of society because Church is not valued, but any other sort of community is. He wants to use media (the language of the day) to try to pull people’s hearts back to God.
It’s not an easy task, and to even be considered, media must look modern and professional. Habacuc’s NOMaD team has been trained well, and their productions are meeting some of the greatest needs facing the Chilean church.
While I was in Chile we were able to provide the team additional, advanced training to help them learn and implement popular video effects commonplace and effective in secular media. The training will help their messages compete with those seen everyday by Chileans.
Please pray for Habacuc and his team as they continue to fight a tidal wave of closed mindedness toward God. The boundless Message of Jesus can speak through media to change lives. That change starts with the heart.