Bituin, a digital missionary in the Philippines, has always loved art and design. During the height of the global pandemic, she decided to launch a Facebook page that combined her gift for calligraphy with her passion for encouraging people and sharing Jesus. She recently shared about that Facebook page, The Creative Encourager, during an episode of Indigitous CoffeeTalks.
“I started the Creative Encourager page to encourage people online through encouraging words, encouraging verses from the Bible using my own handwriting,” Bituin says. “Using art as a means to reach out to people, to inspire people, is something I’m comfortable doing.”
Though she doesn’t enjoy traditional pen-and-paper calligraphy, Bituin loves the digital form on her iPad. She felt convicted by God to use her social media presence for Him, so she thought about ways she can use her digital calligraphy. “That was like God telling me, ‘that’s it; you will write beautifully for me and you can minister to people by doing that.”
At the height of the pandemic, traditional ministries in the Philippines, like most of the world, shut down. People needed new ways to share Jesus and many were looking online. Bituin felt God affirming her that it was the right time to start her new page.
Convenience of digital ministry
Bituin is a wife and mother – both of which can be full-time jobs – in addition to other work she does as a missionary. So one of the great things about using a Facebook page for ministry is that she can fit it into a busy schedule. “Doing ministry in this way is convenient for me because I can set aside time to do it in my spare time. As long as I have the things that I need and an Internet connection, I can do it,” she says.
But it’s not just about others. She’s found that her work on the Creative Encourager page also helps with her own personal walk with God. “More often than not, God speaks to me as I create my posts. I always end up being ministered to as I get to minister to others,” Bituin says.
Talking about relationships
One day Ashley messaged the Creative Encourager page to talk about her relationship with her boyfriend. Bituin responded and had a great conversation about that relationship, but also looked for an opportunity to share Jesus.
“Since love and relationship was our topic, I focused on God’s love for her. I told her that although we need relationships with people, our deepest need is to have a relationship with Jesus,” Bituin says.
Bituin then shared the Gospel with Ashley, who eventually prayed to receive Christ. And it all started with a girl who wanted to talk about her boyfriend because of some encouraging posts she saw on a Facebook page.
The need for encouragement
Samantha was a young Christian woman who messaged the Creative Encourager page because she was depressed after having her heart broken. She felt insecure, questioned God’s love for her, and even contemplated suicide.
Sofia lived in fear of COVID, to the point where she was afraid to go to sleep because she didn’t know if she’d wake up the next morning. To make matters worse, her home environment was toxic. And all of it was affecting her walk with God.
For both, Bituin offered words of encouragement through Scripture and living a Spirit-filled life. “I shared how they can be filled with the Holy Spirit, to refocus their eyes on Jesus,” Bituin says.
Though every person’s situation is different, everyone goes through struggles and there are some desires and needs that are common to the human experience, whether you’re a Christian or not. “What people need is hope. They need to know that real hope can only come from Jesus. That was my desire as I do the Creative Encourager page – to inspire hope,” Bituin says.
Finding your unique way to share Jesus
One of the reasons that the Creative Encourager page has been effective and is life-giving for Bituin is that it comes naturally for her. She’s not doing something too far out of her comfort zone. She’s doing creative designs, which is something she already enjoys, and she’s having discussions with women, another thing that she likes.
What would this be like for you?
“You should not try to be someone that you are not,” Bituin says.
At first, Bituin copied what she saw other people doing on Facebook pages, tried to take their strategies and styles and make it work for her. But it felt burdensome. Eventually, and after praying to God, she made it her own. “I finally have my own style that I’m comfortable doing so it became more natural for me,” she says.
To get there, Bituin recommends you ask yourself and God:
- What do you enjoy?
- What is God showing you?
- How can you experiment with that idea?
“When we create with God and wait on what’s going to come out of the process, it will be more enjoyable and natural,” Bituin says.