Nuggets of Experience
It took a while for Scott to find the perfect fit between his two loves, anthropology and studio art. Scott Rayl, 2018 graduate, had always wanted to use his arts skills in cross-cultural work, so he was thrilled to learn how training from the Center for Excellence in World Arts would enable him to serve overseas among indigenous arts communities. Scott now serves in Nigeria with SIL International, working on the EthnoArts Team in Scripture Engagement. His primary work involves engaging several times a year with local minority language communities on projects such as facilitating Scripture songwriting workshops and teaching in seminaries and mission training schools about using the arts to reach people with God’s Word. His team also helps local communities plan cultural or language celebration festivals.
Some of the most valuable nuggets of experience (as Scott calls them) from his preparation here at DIU included using Participatory Methods with local communities to help them assess a situation and think through how they want to respond to it. He also points to the value of studying under great professors who had arts and cross-cultural experience themselves and “got it” as to why local arts are so important for the success of Bible translation and church planting. Scott is also grateful for the friendships with a core group of students who enjoyed exploring the Arts and expanding God’s Kingdom, as well as laughter and strengthening each other’s faith.
One of Scott’s most memorable experiences overseas was when the EthnoArts Team taught for a week at a local mission training school about using local arts in mission. Some of the students were initially skeptical at first about whether traditional art forms could be used to glorify God and communicate His Word. But as the week progressed, they got to experience praise and worship in local musical styles, which deeply impacted them. At the end of the week after all of the teaching, they formed groups and performed a drama sketch using costumes and props with visible joy on their faces.
Scott asks for prayer for a few works in progress: “I’m beginning to search for a local community with whom I can apply some of my CEWA training in producing new works of art that draw people closer to God. I hope to at least identify this community by next summer. I’m also seeking to find opportunities to study traditional visual art forms from local practitioners.”
He also says that he is looking forward to using his training in getting to know a community and its arts in order to work alongside them as they use their arts to usher in more of God’s Kingdom into their midst. He hopes to commission local visual artists as illustrators for Bible and/or literacy projects and encourage local churches and pastors to commission visual artists to provide illustrations for sermon series, as well as devotional or Bible teaching tools.
Scott came to DIU with unique interests and experience and left with nuggets of new experience and training that have become the perfect fit for his life and work. Thanks to partners like you, we were able to provide high-quality training in the CEWA department to empower him to impact the community he now serves in Nigeria.
Where Are They Now!
Aaron and Christy Hemphill
Aaron and Christy, DIU alumni now working in Latin America, shared this story: “This was our second event in the Casa de Idiomas (House of Languages). One family came and brought a friend, Ruth. After three hours of playing Me’phaa literacy games on the computer, we eventually had to ask Ruth to leave because it was time to close up shop for the day. We hope that more people like Ruth will come and take interest in the resources available in the Casa de Idiomas.”
We are growing at DIU! Below are some of the exciting things coming up over the next year:
- We have a new certificate program in Multicultural Teamwork designed to prepare graduates to lead, advise, and train people from two or more cultures who work together toward a common goal.
- Our new student center had its grand opening on January 17th. Students were thrilled to have a dedicated space for studying, fellowship, and fun.
- This summer, we will begin offering courses to train students to work among the Deaf around the world.
Thanks to the prayers and generosity of our partners, our school and community continues to grow. We are so grateful for your support so that we can continue providing high-quality training for people to serve cross-culturally and make an impact around the world. Thank you!
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