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Do You Own A Camera?

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Do you believe that 90% of people have only taken photos on a camera phone versus a camera? In the article I was reading the author said he did not believe the statistic was true. I think his opinion is coming from a very American point of view. The statistic was not referenced so there is no way to know where it came from. However, there are other statistics that are well documented. Like the fact that more than 1.3 billion people live in extreme poverty barely surviving on less than $1.25 a day. And nearly ½ of the world’s population, more that 3 billion people, live on less that $2.50 a day. Overall 80% of the world population lives on less than $10 a day. These people are not spending their money on cameras. However, they are spending money on the ability to communicate. More people on earth have access to cell phones than toilets. Out of the world’s estimated 7 billion people, 6 billion have access to mobile phones. It has been amazing to watch the increase in mobile phone around the world over the past 15 years. These phones are not iphones with high quality cameras.

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Because people don’t have cameras they don’t have printed pictures of themselves. We at MissionFocused know this first hand as we interact with people we are talking photos of. We did not just want to be another bunch of photographers who come into a village and get a kick out of how the kids react when we show a few photo to them on the camera. Our desire is to leave them with a lasting image of themselves.

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This man told us he had one other photo of himself. Thank you Canon for making these nice little portable printers.cjoy-00942

Here are a few of the women who were thankful for their photos.

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Toys For Joy

IMG_9683How long would you wait in line to get one free toy for each of your children?

These two kids were one of the first ones into the toy room, they had waited outside in the cold all night long to be sure they would get their toys. They were there with their Mother, her two sisters and their three siblings.

Over 10,000 toys were given away!

Macys provided the 2,600 books that were given away.

Pastor Miles of The Rock Church greets one of the thousands of volunteers who worked to make the day possible.

14,000 bags of groceries were assembled and given away.

196,000 donated articles of clothing was distributed to the families that day.

80 bikes were given out to children who won the raffle drawings.

There was TV coverage of the event from ABC, FOX, NBC, SD6 and KUSI, to watch click HERE

The day was tremendously fun with entertainment on the stage included signing, dancing, puppets, acrobatics, and theater productions. There was an area with face-painting, balloon making, haircuting and a place to make gospel bracelets. The kids had a incredible time playing on the inflatable jumpers and slides. When they were hungry there was free food and drinks provided for them.

More than ten thousand people heard a clear gospel message of God’s love and forgiveness, with a large number of them wanting to become a follower of Jesus.

To see more photos from the day Click HERE


Golfing To Help Reshape Children’s Destiny

Calicinto Ranch’s annual Barcelo Classic Golf Tournament was held this year at the beautiful Legends course in Temecula. The Barcelo family has been a faithful sponsor for each of the last seven tournaments. Participating in the Tournament is a way to support The Ranch in their effort to break the cycle that youth walk in when their parents are in prison. Barna Research reports that 7 out of 10 children of prisoners follow their parents into incarceration. There are over 70,000 children of prisoners in Southern California, over 2 million in our nation! Calicinto Ranch is lovingly showing the children of prisoners that they don’t have to be like their parents.

Red Robin donated the yummy lunches for all the golfers as a result of Any Jones and her team. The Red Robin team also contributed to the tournament by entering a foursome of golfers which included Andrew Mulz, Don Clark, Paul Bankston, Kenny Hom.  The Red Robin team additionally sponsored a hole and participated in the Ball Release, even to the extent of donating the winning money to Calicinto Ranch instead of keeping it. When making a choice on where to dine out consider Red Robin to thanks them for their generous donation to Calicinto Ranch.

The support from the Law Enforcement group was particularly inspiring. Their foursome included Capt. Gregory Peck, Retired Chief Gary Dominguez, Capt. Glen Dominguez and Officer Kevin Poulter. These are men who truly understand the significance of what the Ranch can do to help stop children from following in their parents footsteps.

The day included a putting contest, the longest drive, and a closest to the pin contest.

The Helicopter ball release was a creative way for people to donate money to The Ranch. 1000 balls were dropped from the Helicopter and if the ball you paid for was the closes to the pin you would receive half the money from the pool and The Ranch would receive the other half.

The day concluded with a delicious dinner gala, a silent auction, many door prize drawings, the announcement of the golf tournament winners and most importantly a glimpse into how consequential Calicinto Ranch is in the lives of at risk youth who have been able to attend a life changing camp.

For more information or to help support Calicinto Ranch click HERE

To follow them on Facebook click HERE

To see more photos from the day click HERE


Extreme Horse Rescue Makeover

Tim & Cheryl Jachlewski, leaders of The Rock Horse Ministry organized an “Extreme Horse Rescue Makeover” day at Rapture’s Horse Rescue Ranch.  Over thirty people showed up on Saturday morning to help wherever they were needed.

A new shade structure was erected over one of the corrals.

 The trees were trimmed and the new staging area was set up.

All the corrals were cleaned

The storage area was cleaned and organized.

Stacey Russell, the founder of the Ranch, was very emotional as she thank everyone who had come out to help. What a blessing it was for the Horse Ministry to give of their time to support this worthwhile cause. Stacey, Shontel (her sister) and a few family members and friends have been providing care and comfort to horses and other animals in need for the past 12 years. They just recently became a non-profit, if you would like to donate your time or give financially email Stacy at i4rescue@ymail.com or connect on Facebook: Rapture’s Horse Rescue

At the ranch they are dedicated to the rehabilitation of abused and neglected horses and other animals. They have placed over 50 horses and numerous other animals into loving homes. Also, they hope to educate future and current generation on the rewards and benefits of caring for our animal friends.

To see more photos chick HERE

To learn more about MISSION Focused check out our Facebook Page


Guelaguetza 2012: The Parade Of The Delegations

The word Guelaguetza comes from the Zapotec language and is usually interpreted as the “reciprocal exchanges of gifts and services”. Traditionally when there was an occasion for celebration such as a wedding, or a feast day, the people attending the party will bring items necessary for the celebration like food or alcoholic beverages.  Each person’s offering, or “guelaguetza” allows the party to take place and becomes part of a reciprocal exchange and is one of the ways social ties are reinforced and preserved through time.

The state of Oaxaca is home to 16 different ethno linguistic groups and is incredibly diverse. For the Guelaguetza festival, members of these groups gather wearing their traditional clothing and perform folk dances that are particular to their village.

The Guelaguetza celebration dates back to way before the Spanish and continues as a defining characteristic of Oaxacan culture.  Its origins and traditions come from a earth-based religious celebrations that worship the corn god. In contemporary Oaxaca, indigenous communities from within the state gather at the Guelaguetza to present their native culture, mainly in the form of music, costumes, dances, and food. It is the most famous indigenous gathering of its kind in Mexico.

For the 80th year in a row, delegations from communities all over Oaxaca unite in the capital to showcase their traditional clothing and music  with parades, and dance performances.  The Parades are held on the last two Saturdays and the performances in the amphitheater take on place the last two Mondays in July.  Although the celebration is now an important tourist attraction, it also retains deep cultural importance for the peoples of Oaxaca and is important for the continuing survival of these cultures.

I feel privileged to witness and photograph this parade which took place on the 28th of July. I have come to personally know these fine Zapotec people and admire their spirit and pride.

To see more photos go to MISSION focused Facebook page


Oaxaca Camp

Summer Camp is something most U.S. kids get to do sometime in their life. But in Oaxaca, Mexico it is a real novelty. This week Adventures In Life has hosted 62 kids for a fun filled four days on a farm.

There are fourteen staff people at the camp to love on the kids and to provide them with a fabulous experience. Seven have come from Evergreen Church in Pasadena, CA, Three from other parts of California, 1 from New York, 3 from Guadalajara and 1 from Ensenada.

The kids have come from all areas of the State Oaxaca: San Baltazar Guelavila, San Pablo Villa de Mitla, San Pedro Amatlan, Citla, Puerto Escondido,Oaxaca City, Zaachila

Joe & I have been at camp to document the week and to provide portraits for each of the kids.

To see more photos go to our Face book page


Sewing in Oaxaca

The Church at San Baltazar had their first Women’s Ministry Outreach last year when they put on a sewing class during the Children’s Club. On the first day they had only 6 ladies show up. By the last day there were 20 women and 14 of them finished a project.  They had 3 sewing machines to work on.

This last week there were 8 women when the class started on Monday and by Thursday there were over 30 women who wanted to learn to sew.  Another sewing machine had been donated, so now there were 4 machines that the ladies shared. Four of the ladies finish their projects and sixteen are still working on theirs.

Most of the ladies in San Baltazar know how to hand stitch and embroider but have never used a dress pattern or sewing machine before.  Lilia, who had taken sewing classes before will be continuing the sewing ministry by teaching a morning and an afternoon class every Wednesday at the church. There are 26 women signed up to take these classes.

The women really enjoyed talking and sharing life together. Fabric is very inexpensive to buy in Oaxaca so making their own clothes and their kid’s clothed is a great help to the family.

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