Every quarter for 37 years, Mission Spotlight whisked Sabbath school members off to faraway places to experience the intriguing world of Adventist mission.
It all started with a handful of slides and stories created by Oscar Heinrich, who, as communication director of the Southern Union Conference, agreed to accompany a youth group to Guatemala and prepare a presentation of the trip for his local Sabbath school. It was a hit. Other Sabbath schools requested similar programs, and the concept of Mission Spotlight was born.
From its inception, Mission Spotlight was a family ministry. Oscar’s wife, Judy, traveled with him and wrote the scripts. Through the years, each of their three children contributed to Mission Spotlight until its last issue in 2007. Jerry Heinrich handled the photography, audio recording, and program editing. Judy (Heinrich) Carter managed the finances, promotion, and circulation. And Ginger (Heinrich) O’Neil wrote and narrated the scripts.
“To make these reports, we have gone to more than 160 countries,” Heinrich said. “We traveled in everything from ox carts to jumbo jets, climbed through mountain jungles from early morning to dusk, waded streams and forded rivers, and spent nights in thatch shelters.”
When he was a boy, Heinrich listened in wide-eyed wonder to stories about “wild men from Borneo, cannibals in the South Seas, and man-eating tigers in India.” He would never forget these riveting tales or the unselfish spirit of the missionaries who told them. From 1970 until his death in 2002, Heinrich dedicated his life to telling the stories of those who had given their all to reach an unreached world with God’s love.
“Mission Spotlight is not about the problems of the world, crime, AIDS, famines, terrorists, wars, or natural disasters,” said Heinrich. “It is about faith, hope, love, and promises fulfilled. It is about people.”
The Office of Adventist Mission would like to pay special tribute to and thank the Heinrich family for their commitment to keeping the story of Adventist mission alive. Only in heaven will the results of their service be fully realized.
"It is about faith, hope, love, and promises fulfi lled. It is about people."