Josh Olson is a Cinema-Television student from Stafford, VA. In his words, his goal is “to use video to evangelize – to share the gospel with people [with] a global focus – essentially telling God’s story of what he’s doing around the world.” Directly after graduation he will be spending summer at a camp then returning home to work with a wedding videographer. “I think the goal after that would be to meet up with missions organizations to build relationships in that aspect and begin to offer up my services as a videographer to these organizations. To say ‘hey do you have any missionaries who have been on the field of four years or longer?’ – because that’s when they start to lose funding. So, maybe I could come do a documentary on them,” Josh explained his desire to serve the Lord with the skills he developed at Regent.
As he finishes up the semester, Josh is working on a documentary to widen people’s views and appreciation of worship. He described it as “a documentary about worship in a broader spectrum. I want to use it to talk about using our lives to worship. So, not just singing or dancing or whatever it is, but really using our jobs, our lives, to worship… So, right now I have four people I’m interviewing – and hopefully more but four right now. A surgeon from El Salvador, a film-maker from India, a lawyer from here, and an athlete form Africa. I’m also looking to get a business lady from Austria.” You can follow the documentary’s process here.
During his four years at Regent, he’s learned a lot about himself and his relationship with the Lord. He summarized his biggest out-of-the-classroom with, “I’ve learned a lot about [not just] who I am as a person, but as a follower of God. More specifically about God’s love for me and how even when I think in my life that I’m not deserving of his love, he is still willing to give it. You know that even though it’s hard, even though sometimes you go through ups and downs, it’s all about striving for God: all about that discipline, all about that intentionality to make every step, to make every thought towards God.” In addition to the things God taught him during his time here, Josh also learned a lot from the community, remarking, “through the community I learned what a Christian community even is, or what a community can be. Coming into school I don’t know if I ever had super deep friendships… But coming in, even in my freshmen year, I was amazed to have four or five people that I could say anything to, I could talk about anything with, I could strive towards God with… That’s something I’ve seen here – that everyone really cares about one another and I think that’s really cool”
Josh has also left his mark on the community through his involvement in various community building organizations. “I was a Life Group leader for two years – sophomore and junior year. [I was] a freshmen Life Group leader first, then I was on an upperclassmen hall. Freshmen are a lot of fun! I was the head of the DocuMinistry Club for two years, that was pretty cool.” As you probably can tell, the community truly was the highlight of Josh’s experience at Regent. He expressed his love of the community by saying, “The people that I’ve met, the people I’ve interacted with, every person I’ve seen is just so important in my life… It’s so special too, you know, and through these friends I have the different experiences – like the Waffle House runs at 2 a.m. and all the fun, but I think the big thing is [the friendships] because these friends are the reason these things happened.”
In the end Josh’s advice to anyone just starting out their journey is: “Don’t be afraid to really put yourself out there. I think college is such a time for us to not experiment with who we are, but experiment with what we like. So, don’t be afraid to go to a Party at the O and dance your heart out. Don’t be afraid to just have fun with it! I know especially as I’m a senior right now, I didn’t spend enough intentional time with people… I wish I had really dove in and gave my time. I did hang out, and that’s cool, but I wish that I was willing to every week to go to lunch with someone. All that boils down to don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and have fun with it and sometimes make a fool out of yourself, but in the end to understand yourself more and understand who you are as a person.”
Renée Hogan is a Department Head for the Daily Runner.