harnessing the power of photography for good

Cyndy Smith

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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Back to Oaxaca!

Mark Shreves and Cyndy Smith are flying off to Oaxaca tonight to serve with our ministry partner Adventures in Life.  They will be photographing AIL’s Fall Medical Mission in Eloxochitlan.  They will be taking portraits and printing photos too.  They will be back October 22nd.  Please keep them in prayer.

Don’t forget to check our FB page for updates during the week. Thanks mucho!

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Oaxaca 2013 :: Serving Alongside Adventures in Life Ministries

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L to R: Raquel, Claire, Jolene, Cyndy, Arlene, Judy, Linda with Ty in the middle

MISSION focused has been actively serving in Mexico with Adventures in Life Ministries since February of 2010.  It has been a real blessing to see up close the work Dave Miller, executive director of Adventures in Life, and their ministry partners in Mexico are doing.

The above photo is of the 2013 Adventures in Life Spring Medical Team, posing for a photo in San Diego, before heading South for Oaxaca.  They are in Oaxaca this week seeing folks that they saw last March, and attending to new people who come to their clinics this week in the different towns and villages.  Please keep them in prayer.

MISSION focused photographer Cyndy Smith, is photographing this year’s Medical Mission.

The photo below is of this year’s Adventures in Life FMO Men’s Ministry Week Oaxaca, that just finished up in February.  It was a busy week, unfortunately they didn’t have any internet connection, so we are working on photos now and hope to have some to show soon.  The photo was taken by Jim Wanglund, friend of the Mission who was photographing this year’s Men’s Week in Oaxaca.

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Cyndy Placed on Injured Reserves

Please keep our friend and fellow Mission Focused photographer Cyndy in your prayers.   She recently broke her wrist fighting off lions, tigers and polar bears in the arctic tundra…well, it wasn’t that dramatic but she did need surgery this week.  Pray for healing and a speedy recovery so she can get back to serving Him with her gifts.


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


Horizon Fall Festival

Our friend and fellow photographer Dr. Jim has been taking photos at Horizon North County for quite some time now.  I had the pleasure of meeting him a few years back and since then, I’ve helped him photograph several different events at Horizon.  He has helped MISSION focused photograph several events over the years as well.

Photography can be a very solitary art at times.  It’s not uncommon to hear about photographers waiting days, weeks and even years… for the perfect photo.  Much of that time in the middle of nowhere all by themselves.

With a little extra effort, it can  be a time of community and sharing, where photographers come together and learn from each other.  This sharing of the creative process is in my opinion healthy, and beneficial.  There’s nothing like getting up in front of your fellow photographers and explaining why and how you took a certain photo.Last week I went to Horizon’s Annual Fall Festival with Cyndy and Danie, to help Dr. Jim take photos of this years festivities.  I think I have been to the last 3 or 4 of these, it’s always a great time and a wonderful alternative for young families who don’t want their kids roaming the neighborhood at night.  There’s tons of fun activities for big and little kids along with chairs, coffee and entertainment for the folks.

These are just a few of the photos that we took.  You can learn more about Horizon North County HERE.  Enjoy.