Lifting up Her Voice for the Lord
Documenting research for podcasts
Lifting up her voice
A small lady having beautiful long hair and wearing a floral skirt... who do you think she is? Probably you won't associate this image with anything electronic, right? Even if you would, what you think of is probably those sweet and cute girls who pose in front of the digital cameras of the salon photographers. In fact, the title of this young lady is really hard to tell only from her look. She, Cathy Carlos, is an “electronic media specialist” of Wycliffe Asia Pacific Area Communications who focuses on audio production.
Cathy is a Filipino. She was born in Manila and has grown up in a small but happy family. She has been fond of music since she was a child. She majored in mass communication in university where she studied various types of media production, such as radio broadcasting, television broadcasting, journalism and theatre. After graduation, she immediately threw herself into the broadcasting industry and had worked for 702 DZAS - a local radio station, and Far East Broadcasting Company Philippines (FEBC) – a Christian broadcasting company, respectively. She was a copywriter of FEBC, but due to limited personnel, she had worked nearly in all positions, both backstage and onstage. These positions ranged from brainstorming meetings, script writing, radio drama performing and voice-over recording. Though they were understaffed, it was during those days that she learnt and experienced a lot through daily and real practice. Afterward, she joined a local band and performed as their main vocalist.
Recording a podcast script
Who could escape from His call?
However, deep in her heart, Cathy was actually struggling about her future at that time. While she was working for FEBC, she had read two books - Purpose Driven Life (1) and Holy Ambition (2). Through the books, she sensed that God was calling her to use her spiritual gifts to serve Him. However, Cathy didn't want to face His call. She explained, “I'm very lazy. Every time I think of sitting in the classroom of a seminary to study, and working on assignments in the library, I feel scared.” Therefore, she tried to escape God's calling and fled like the prophet Jonah did.
But who could escape from His call? The call was still there in Cathy's heart. One of her friends is a Wycliffe Bible translator. Knowing that Cathy is a specialist in media production, this friend asked Cathy to help in producing a 90 minute radio broadcasting program, in which Bible translation is featured, for a local Christian radio station in the Philippines. In order to produce the program, Cathy was given a lot of related materials. Unexpectedly, as she was reading those materials, her interest in Bible translation was growing. But, her friend said, studying linguistics and theology is a prerequisite to be a part of the ministry of Bible translation.... She escaped no more. Finally she obediently applied for a seminary in Manila to began theological and linguistic training.
Don't think that things would proceed smoothly by then. The Lord didn't do miracles immediately as Cathy still could not enjoy classroom study and almost dropped out. It was not until the fourth semester that something amazing happened. She had never known that there's a subject in her seminary called “Ethnomusicology” (3). Because of her background and great enthusiasm in music, she soon became the one who enjoyed the subject most and got the most understanding as a result. But most importantly, she learnt from the subject that she could use her gift in music and media profession to serve God in missions!
In 2009, Cathy joined Wycliffe Bible Translators and worked with Asia Pacific Area Communications. In the first year, she had been serving as a "tent-maker"--working in a local radio station for a salary while participating in electronic media production to support Bible translation. In the next year, Cathy started to obtain full financial support to serve as a full time missionary.
'Electronic media is indispensable to reach out to these young people.'
When talking about electronic media, Cathy said the younger generation today is born digital. The digital generation connects with the world through computer and internet. They wouldn't buy books, not even CDs! Therefore, electronic media is indispensable to reach out to these young people, whether we are to share the gospel or to get them involved in missions. In order to connect with them, communication tools should be emotionally engaging, artistically appealing, collaborative, interactive, thought provoking, meaningful and significant. Cathy remembered the response of a young lady. After watching a video about Bible translation, which Cathy had participated in producing, this lady was so greatly moved that she resigned her job right away to join missions. This was a good example to illustrate the power of electronic media.
Cathy sharing on the topic of music and missions with the young Christians in the Philippines
As a matter of fact, digital communications is powerful, penetrative and influential. According to Dr. Calvin Chong, Academic Dean of the School of Theology in Singapore Bible College, “The 21st century has seen the creation of new electronic habitats extended beyond mere physical space. Today digital spaces are [an] established part of the ecology of clicks and mortar spaces where commerce, business work, communication, education and entertainment are transacted” (4). Let's not discuss whether this phenomenon is good or not. The impact and penetrating power of social media and SMS has been proved already in a few international events, such as the anti-government rallies in West and North Africa, and the riot in the UK this year. Let's imagine positively. If we manage to use electronic media properly, it is also a good channel to share the gospel and mission.
Cathy is currently working on a series of podcasts called “Adventurer's Archive,” which target English speaking youth worldwide. Each 30 minutes episode focuses on one specific topic. Two lively hosts take the audience to new levels of adventure in missions with translated scripture and translation updates, plus Christian music and human interest stories. The first three completed episodes are “Top Ten Most Read Books in the World,” “Happy New Words” and “Music is not a Universal Language”. The program is open-to-all and now available on the internet for online listening or downloading. Simply visit Facebook or iTunes, and search for “Adventurer's Archive”. There you go! I invite you to pay attention to the sweet and clear voice in introduction - she is Cathy!
Looking forward to the future, Cathy is hoping that, apart from English communities, she could use her skills in music and electronic media production to serve other needed language communities as well. Besides, Cathy senses the need to pass the vision of mission on to the next generation, and the need to cooperate with each other in mission. Therefore she always shares the vision with the youth, and encourages them to explore and use their gifts. Cathy Carlos has found her role. How about you?
1 Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life.
2 Chip Ingram, Holy Ambition–What it takes to make a difference for God.
3 Ethnomusicology is not only the study of ethnic music. Ethnomusicology personnel seek to help language groups use traditional art forms in relevant ways within their daily lives: as a bridge to literacy, to communicate health instructions or address health issues, to articulate community development ideas, and, primarily, to encourage development of meaningful forms of worship within each culture.
4 Quoted from Cathy's blog.
Photo Courtesy: Cathy Carlos
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誰知，那陣子卡嘉芙的內心卻為前途而掙扎不安。原來在遠東時，她讀了華理克牧師的《標竿人生》 和應理翰牧師的《聖潔的志向》 ，感到神呼召自己運用恩賜全時間服侍祂；可是她不願多深思，究其原因，竟然是：「我是個很懶惰的人，想到要乖乖的坐在神學院上課，在圖書館做功課，就很害怕了。」像先知約拿逃避神的呼召，她逃跑了，離開遠東跑去搞樂隊。
事實上，電子通訊無遠弗屆，影響力超乎想像。新加坡神學院的莊秉俊博士（Dr. Calvin Chong）說：「在21世紀，我們看見新電子棲息地的創造，已遠遠超過單純物質的空間。今天，數碼空間已經發展成為『網上和實體結合的電子商務』的一部分，供人辦理商業、生意、通訊、教育、娛樂等事務。」 我姑且不討論這個現象是否健康，社交網站和手機短訊所產生的滲透力和影響力，卻已經在國際間多次大型的群眾事件，如2011年在西亞、北非和英國發生的社會騷亂中給證明了。從正面來看，電子通訊科技只要運用得宜，也是傳福音和分享宣教異象的上佳途徑。
卡嘉芙剛製作了一系列名為“Adventurer's Archive”（作者譯：『冒險家檔案』）的英語廣播節目，對象是世界各地使用英語的年輕人。這廣播節目每輯長約三十分鐘，由兩位主持以輕鬆對談的形式，配合悅耳的基督教音樂，介紹世界各地聖經翻譯事工的現況和需要，已完成的首三輯，主題分別為：「全世界最多人讀過的十本書」（Top Ten Most Read Books in the World）、「快樂新話語」（Happy New Words）、「音樂不是世界流通的語言」（Music is not a Universal Language）。這些節目都是公開的，並已上載互聯網，大家只要登入Facebook和Itunes搜尋“Adventurer's Archive”，即可網上收聽或下載。大家不妨留意節目開首那把咬字清晰、響亮悅耳的女聲，她就是卡嘉芙了。
1 Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Life. 中文版《標竿人生》由楊高俐理譯，道聲出版社出版（香港，2002）。
2 Chip Ingram, Holy Ambition–What it takes to make a difference for God. 本書暫無中文版。
4 原文為“The 21st century has seen the creation of new electronic habitats extended beyond mere physical space. Today digital spaces are established part of the ecology of clicks and mortar spaces where commerce, business work, communication, education and entertainment are transacted.”引自卡嘉芙網誌。
Ling Lam is a journalist of Wycliffe Global Alliance Asia-Pacific Area.
Ling Lam is a journalist of Wycliffe Global Alliance Asia-Pacific Area.