Nicky shares his journey of learning to see missions as a lifelong commitment to God’s will. Change of plans, challenges and learning new skill sets are all part of Nicky’s passion to use his gifts to build the global church.
Though Nicky grew up and spent most of his life in the USA, his desire for and awareness of missions started from a young age. “My parents were missionaries before I was born, so I grew up hearing lots of missionary stories. As soon as I turned 18 and graduated from high school, my dad challenged me to go on my first short-term mission trip,” recounted Nicky. After his first mission trip to Ireland, Nicky studied Fine Arts and trusted that the Lord would use his gifts to build the Church in the future.
The following summer, Nicky served on Logos Hope, one of OM’s ships, and the summer after that, he returned to Ireland for another short-term trip and brought along a few friends, including Mackenzie, his girlfriend at the time. “It was during this time we knew we wanted to get married and serve together in missions,” Nicky shared. After getting married in 2012, they started applying to mission organisations while Mackenzie finished her college degree in Hospitality Management.
Trusting God in new locations
In 2015, the couple sold almost all their belongings and made the move across the ocean. Though they signed up for a two-year commitment in Ireland, both Nicky and Mackenzie felt they would spend the rest of their lives there. “When we started exploring long-term missions, we were challenged to see missions as a lifelong commitment to God’s will. To us, that meant the rest of our lives in Ireland, but that wasn’t God’s will for us,” explained Nicky. Due to various circumstances, they stayed for only a year. Deciding to end their commitment early and return home took another huge step of faith in trusting God with such unexpected changes of plans. Though Nicky and Mackenzie were unsure why God was leading them back to the USA so soon, they felt certain, after much prayer and talks with leaders, that returning was part of God’s plan.
Trusting God in new media ministries
Once back in the USA, it was six months before first Mackenzie, and then Nicky, found jobs. During that time, they also started serving at a small church plant, where they led the music ministry team and other ministries - all while working their regular jobs. “It was exciting for us to start a music ministry from the ground up as we spent so much time just studying the Word of God to know what should music ministry look like, and where it fits into the Church. We served with this church plant for five years, and it was an awesome experience to see how God still wanted to use us in ministry. Throughout those five years, God always gave us exactly what we needed despite me never finding a job in graphic design. We worked in so many other kinds of jobs over the years while fully serving in our church plant,” Nicky explained.
Once Nicky and Mackenzie welcomed their first daughter, they wanted something more stable for their growing family. Nicky looked for jobs in graphic design, and, after months of looking, missions came back to their minds after a conversation with their pastor. “We explored remote jobs with OM because we felt like, during this time, we needed to stay close to family in our country,” said Nicky. After interviewing with a couple of creative ministries, MediaWorks came across their search. During their first online meeting with leadership, Nicky and Mackenzie felt God’s faithfulness in making it clear that this was the team and ministry for them. Nicky joined MediaWorks as an animator in 2021.
“I’m excited to create media that will proclaim the gospel. Something that gives people the opportunity to think and recognise their need for the gospel while also being visually compelling and even fun!” shared Nicky.
Trusting God in new personal growth
Being a graphic designer by profession and passionate about reaching the unreached, Nicky felt MediaWorks was a perfect fit as he can use his skills to create evangelistic materials. “I’m passionate about getting my hands deep in the work like frontline workers. It’s cool that I have this unique combination where it’s a remote position, but I’m working directly with the people that are getting the gospel to the unreached,” Nicky excitedly shared. Nicky’s first project was an animated video titled The Story of the Contaminated Tea, which explains the need for a Saviour and why people can not make themselves good or clean. Having little experience in animation meant Nicky was once again in new territory. Over the past two years working with MediaWorks, Nicky has grown in areas where he previously felt inadequate about his capabilities. “I was given a lot of grace and space to grow in my area, and that was helpful for me as I also took more classes to improve my skills,” Nicky explained.
Currently, Nicky is working on the Bible in One-Hour project, where he functions as the art director, animator and illustrator, which are all roles he would have felt nervous to take on two years ago. Now, Nicky sees how much God is using him and helping him grow through these experiences. Creating contextualised content for various people groups continues to excite Nicky as he serves the global Church right at the desk of his home. “It’s not just about making cookie-cutter videos or content where we copy and paste it to different languages. It’s creating content based on one’s unique culture that will resonate with them,” Nicky concludes.
Nicky and Mckenzie are excited about their future ministry with MediaWorks as they continue to trust in God’s creative will. If you are thinking about serving in missions, be encouraged that as you step out of your comfort zone, you can trust in God’s future grace to sustain you.
Pray for the “Bible in One-Hour" project that Nicky is working on with various partners. Pray for more Animators and Graphic Designers who have a passion for creative ministry to join our team.