By Laura Wilson
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A life of traveling around the world, taking pictures and connecting with people and writing their stories so their voices can be heard – that is Susie Rain’s* life and passion.
“You don’t often hear about ‘missionary journalists’ but that’s what I am,” explained Rain. “I write and photograph stories about God’s work and His people all over the world.”
The beginning of her passion for missions started when she was much younger. Rain started out in Mission Friends and then GA and Acteens at her church. “I do know that Bible verses I memorized as a GA still pop into my brain when I’m out doing ministry,” said Rain. “It always surprises me when a verse comes to mind that will comfort someone in the midst of an earthquake or tsunami.
“I used to sit for hours in the church library just looking through The Mag [the WMU publication for Acteens] as my parents were in meetings,” reflected Rain. “God started my passion for media at that young age and allowed me to be a tool in sharing His story.”
Rain started her adult missions involvement as a journeyman with the International Mission Board in the Caribbean. “A journeyman is someone who has a college degree, is under the age of 26 and gives two years to missions work,” explained Rain. “I knew about this program as a GA and Acteen. There I learned frontline missions and was mentored by veteran missionaries.”
However that wasn’t all God had in store for her. “I was able to impact lives for Christ,” shared Rain, “But my life was definitely impacted more. I felt God calling me to a career in ministry and missions.”
Rain went from reading missionary stories in GA and Acteens publications to being a contributing writer in many. “To write for the Commission magazine [an IMB publication] went way beyond my wildest dreams,” said Rain. “I have the best job in the world. I get to see God at work in some amazing ways.”
Since 1996, Rain has been able to tell people’s stories from 140 countries.
“It’s a fun challenge to show Southern Baptists how their Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and mission dollars are being used, as well as figure out ways to get people involved beyond reading words on a page,” shared Rain.
Even when Rain isn’t traveling the world, she is sharing God’s Word at home.
“When I’m not traveling for a story, I work in a refugee village that’s not far from my house in Southeast Asia,” said Rain. “Most of the people are migrant workers that escaped violence in a neighboring country. The goal is to plant seeds of the gospel among these migrant workers and let them take it back to their closed country.
“The gospel spreads like wildfire when it’s done from within the inner circle of the community,” continued Rain. “We use a lot of the principles and training I received as a GA and Acteen in teaching and sharing my testimony. We teach Bible stories from Creation to Christ and we try to pass on the vision that all are to share God’s love with people they come in contact with.”
When asked what was the greatest value of being involved in GA, Rain responded, “I think learning from a young age to be in a ‘small group,’ to worship God and study deeper than just reading scripture out loud. In my current ministry, this is what I do and teach others to do. In some of the villages, we even start off with a craft – just like we often did in GA. GA cast the vision for sharing the gospel with your friends, family and beyond. I’m doing this today and passing this same vision on to other people in groups. Kind of crazy to think that something I learned in a small town in Kansas also works in spreading the gospel in Southeast Asia.”