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|Missionary Sisters of St Columban|
By Mary Michie A. Gambe
First Place Winner
The author is a Second Year student in Rosevale School, Xavier Estales Phase 4, 9000 Cagayan de Oro City.
Today’s world is different. Access to even the remotest part of the globe has been made easier and faster. In the past, it was harder to evangelize countries, because of the limited resources, crude communication and travel facilities, language, geographical barriers, and fear.
During the summer of 2009, I and seventeen other girls from different parts of the Philippines, went to Ladian, a rural place situated near the hinterlands of Davao Province, to reach out and teach catechism to the natives. This outreach program was made possible and greatly facilitated because of technology. All of us were brought together through the text messages of the organizers. Until now, we still keep in touch, planning future rural activities through the internet and our cell phones.
In the past the apostles would travel for days to proclaim the gospel or build churches throughout the land. While both of these methods are still widely employed, modern technology and changes in cultural values have caused radical shifts in the kinds of evangelistic ministry being done today.
People are already embedding their beliefs in songs, movies and books that are laden with Christian values based on the life’s work and examples of saints. And many internationally held concerts by famous Christian composers are being done to spread the gospel. Today’s modern technology allows the evangelist to spread the good news without always being physically present. This is done through media. What is important in this kind of evangelization is that due respect, consideration, and appreciation are accorded to diverse cultures.
When we do our evangelization work there are factors that hinder us sometimes. Travelling, for example, requires money. The lack of money makes it harder to reach out to people because we cannot travel. But through today’s technology we can reach out to people and console them through the internet or through text messages. With all the digital gadgetry nowadays, it is easier to communicate and to be present in thought with people who are in different places.
The media is a very powerful tool of evangelization. However, it can do both harm and good. The media is good when it spreads accurate information fast. It becomes harmful when people use it for their own selfish reasons. Regarding gadgets on the other hand while they help make our work load lighter because of their ease and facility, the downside is that the better gadgetry there is, more people get hooked to it. The young who are hooked to the Net spend less time doing things that need to be done such as studying and doing their respective responsibilities at home. There is also less personal interaction among family members when people become obsessed with gadgets. This holds true the saying ‘In each action, there is an equal but opposite reaction’.
The most crucial part in my life as an evangelist is to live by my words and flesh it out into action. I do not have to go to evangelize but I can start where I am, to do what I can. I will do my best to live my life virtuously as a teenager, observing the values of chastity, respecting my body as a temple of the Holy Spirit to exert a positive influence on my fellow teenagers. This, for me, is the true essence of evangelization. Before we can spread it to the world we must start with ourselves by living out our faith not only in words but more so in action. In other words, I have to ‘walk my talk’.
I must always try to be there for people by consoling them. It would be easy to tell people about God when they see God in me, through the things I do. I must always remember that the decisions I make can affect other people, therefore, I must choose wisely what I do and say. By showing people that I care, I hope to leave an impression that God cares for them. This impression would surely last a lifetime.
With a strong faith in God as my weapon and my shield, and the Bible as guide, I am strengthened and confident that nothing is impossible. There are still many places in the world where people are suffering, waiting to be saved. Let us spread the good news and conquer the world with the goodness of Christ by utilizing the gifts of present day technology.