A Queensland teenager has won third place in the “My Story, My Mission” student film contest sponsored by Adventist Mission.
Jack Wright, a member of Nambour Adventist Church, entered the contest thinking it would be a good opportunity to further develop his filmmaking skills, but said he ended up learning a lot from the experience.
“I realised it would be extremely beneficial for me as a Christian to define what my mission really is, as it’s something we can easily overlook,” the 18-year-old said. “I decided I would leave any outcome in God’s hands.”
Jack’s film, entitled The Jesus I Have, explained the concept of mission through the love of Jesus.
“True mission isn’t an effort on our part to convert someone, but rather an insurmountable urge to love others with the same love we experience at the cross,” said Jack. “When I see that love manifested toward me [by Jesus] day by day, the Holy Spirit gives me the desire to share that same love with everyone I meet. It’s a mission that just happens naturally after you meet Jesus.”
Jack’s mum Nicole said it was solely his decision to enter the competition, but that God was already working miracles through her son’s short film.
“We are not a competitive sort of family, so we just encouraged Jack to pray and ask the Lord His will,” she said. “It wasn’t until the end results came in that we gained some insight as to why God had Jack enter the contest: a lady who voted for Jack’s video, who has a simple Christian understanding, told me she was having a really difficult time. She was asking herself, ‘How do I forgive someone who has hurt me so badly?’
“At that moment, she said that Jack’s big, beautiful smile came into her mind, and she remembered him saying in his video, ‘the Jesus I have’. Those were the words that gave her a great assurance that all would be okay—she wanted ‘the Jesus’ that Jack has. We can never underestimate how God is able to use each one of us for His glory and honour to bring people closer to their Saviour.”
After screening more than 500 entries from students around the world, the judging panel chose 10 finalists. These films were posted online, and members of the public were able to vote for their favourite films. Voting closed on October 17, and Adventist Mission announced the winners on October 19 at the Society of Adventist Communicators conference in Maryland (USA).
Jack was more than happy with third place, as he was encouraged just to have made it to the final four. His prize—a DJI Osmo Mobile Gimbal Stabiliser—was, of course, an added bonus.
“I wasn’t worried about my final position but rather, wanting to define my mission and come closer to Jesus through the experience,” he said. “It has given me a clearer direction in what I would like to pursue as a career.”
Jack is now working casually at a juice bar and hopes to study at university next year. He also works with his family’s cinematography ministry and would love to travel and do mission work for the Lord.
“We are so thankful for Jack’s faith in God and are looking forward to him working more closely with us in our cinematography ministry as the Holy Spirit moves us into a very important work in media,” said Mrs Wright.
First place in the competition went to Caleb Haakenson, a student from Union College in the United States, while Ryan Daly, a student from the University of East London in the United Kingdom, placed second. Five films were also awarded honorable mention, including Brisbane student Samuel Vidacak. All winning films will be given special recognition and will be screened online.