cambodia/ thailand

I couldn’t believe the news. I had won first place in Adventist Mission’s 2017 student film contest! I was so excited to travel to Asia and help produce a story for Mission Spotlight. Ever since I was a child, I had listened enthusiastically to mission stories told at church every Sabbath. To think that I now had the opportunity to film a mission story was a beautiful dream come true.

Our first stop was the outskirts of Battambang, Cambodia. There, we recorded the story of Marina, a girl who had been diagnosed with a cancerous tumor. She and her family had no money for treatment, so they took refuge in prayer, asking God to provide the financial help they needed to have the tumor removed. But God did more than provide the money. On the day of the surgery, the doctors repeated some medical testing on Marina and found that the tumor had miraculously disappeared! Today, Marina and her family are very grateful to God.

Me with Marina and the translator after the interview.
Bonding with the students at the Adventist International Mission School (AIMS) in Korat, Thailand.
Me filming a testimony at AIMS.

At Marina’s church, I also met a man who encountered God in an unexpected way. When the church needed some construction, the man was one of the workers. He noticed that every Friday at sunset, his construction team and the church members stopped their work. Confused, the man asked why and then learned the truth about the Sabbath. Because of the church members’ witness, he now worships in Marina’s church.

Our next stop was the Adventist International Mission School (AIMS) in Korat, Thailand. A medium-size, welcoming school, AIMS teaches kindergarten to 12th grade and houses several classrooms, a dining room, and two playgrounds. However, the school continues to grow, and the students are often cramped in their classrooms, so the administration plans to build a new, larger, and more modern school.

I was delighted to connect with the students and their families. From the spark of curiosity in their eyes, you could tell that the kids were eager to learn. I had the opportunity to preach to the students, and they were fascinated by the different miracles God had worked in my life. The Mission Spotlight tteam and I recorded the testimonies of some parents and students who shared how their lives had changed after studying at AIMS. I was very impressed to see how, despite their economic difficulties, they praised God in such passionate ways.

Traveling to Asia has forever impacted my life. I was inspired by the local Adventists’ faith and their dedication to sharing the gospel in new ways. I was moved by firsthand experiences in mission work, seeing people show the love of Christ in their day-to-day lives. And I realized that it doesn’t matter whether someone is from the other side of the world or from your neighborhood; human beings all have the same needs and are full of stories that they must share. We can all be missionaries, listening to those stories and meeting those needs right where we are.

See the story Rachel helped film about the Adventist International Mission School in Thailand at

Rachel Fortunato
is from the Dominican Republic and is studying communication and media at the University of Montemorelos in Montemorelos, Mexico.