Touching Souls Through the Arts

Christel Lim

The Arts Projects Across Cultures course, run by OMF and WEC’s Arts Release, blessed me with the opportunity to connect with people of different art disciplines across the globe. Through stories from the field, I caught a glimpse of how deeply the arts can touch one’s soul beyond words. As 70 to 80% of the world’s population are oral learners, this has implications for how we approach gospel work. 

As a video editor by trade and a storytelling enthusiast, I was thrilled that this event gave me the opportunity to team up with two other believers and a WEC missionary who works with refugees to produce videos for Refugee Awareness Day. The plan was to travel to Malaysia to interview refugees living there. However, with borders reopening after pandemic restrictions, Singapore was facing a massive surge in passport renewals, and I was one of those contributing to the long waiting times! I tried going to the passport office to expedite my passport renewal, but couldn’t get it ready in time. It was time to adapt. 

By God’s grace, we were able to do the interviews over Zoom instead. Thankfully, the medium did not negatively affect the quality of the video; rather, it elevated it, making it feel more like an authentic conversation rather than a formal interview. This authenticity, felt by all present in the meeting, was only achieved through the preexisting friendship that had been built between the refugee and missionary. I have been moved and encouraged by the tireless work of this missionary, who has devoted most of her life to serving God and others, emulating Christ who gave Himself up for us. 

The refugee told her story in a wholly sincere way, so her video didn’t need any fancy editing. As editor, it was my duty to communicate her story as faithfully and sensitively as I could, to handle the material with utmost care and judgment. Throughout the production process, I praise God that our team was on the same page in balancing the solemnity of the refugees’ experiences with hope and light-heartedness, resulting in a more complete and nuanced perspective on their lives. The videos premiered at WEC’s Refugee Awareness Day on 18 June 2022. 

Having been deeply inspired and blessed by these experiences with the work of WEC and OMF, I wanted my church to be blessed too, for God’s glory and the good of others. As I was on the missions committee of my church, and August was our annual missions month, we invited WEC and OMF to share with us on the arts in missions. What a privilege it is to work together to make the gospel known to all people. To Him be all praise!