harnessing the power of photography for good

Dave Miller

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!

img_7997


Give the Gift of Life

toms shoes 98

A pair of these Toms Shoes will set you back $98. Buy these and Toms will help one person in need.  One for One is their motto. Right now our friends at Adventures in Life are offering you a chance to help a whole family in Oaxaca for life.  For $99 you can buy a Sawyer Water Filter for a family in one of the areas Adventures works in.  Areas where availability of clean drinking water is scarce and they can’t always afford to buy bottled water, so they drink water that is not clean or safe.  They have no choice.  A Sawyer Water Filter will filter 1 million gallons of water in its lifetime.  Realistically, for the life of the family!

This #cyberMonday and #givebackTuesday consider giving the gift of Clean Water!  You can learn more about Adventures in Life’s plan to give Sawyer Water Filters to the areas where they minister at the following link> http://conta.cc/1yE8RJp

324


Blessed!

Raul was paralyzed from the chest down when the truck he and his cousins were in was hit by a gas truck that didn’t stop…that was 7 years ago.  It hasn’t been easy for him or his family but they continue to trust God for their needs and God has been faithful in His grace and mercy.  The family is a great testimony of what it means to trust God for everything and remaining faithful to Him despite the circumstances of life.

Pastor Raul and his family.

I first met Raul’s Dad, Pastor Raul, in 2010 when he came to Oaxaca to serve alongside Adventures in Life during the February Men’s Ministry week. Pastor Raul wanted to see photos we were posting but he does not have Facebook, he told me his Son did.  That’s when I became “friends” with Raul. It was a blessing to be in Guadalajara this week, where I got to finally meet Raul in person!  It’s been a great week of ministry…

We finished up work at the church on Friday and eating lunch when Raul asked me if I would take some photos of him on the grass.  Of course I said yes!  I didn’t realize that this would become one of the hardest photo sessions I’ve ever done…After taking photos of Raul he asked the folks from AACF UCLA, who were serving with Adventures in Life in Guadalajara, to come join him. As I started photographing and watching as the family gathered around Raul for photos, a few things really stood out to me.  Raul wanted some nice photos where he was not in the chair…for a few minutes he was just part of the family posing for photos, smiling, having fun, goofing around…Honestly, it took every ounce of strength I had to keep the tears back!  I’m taking photos, praying and thanking God for the blessing of being here in Guadalajara to photograph this beautiful moment.  It was magical!

This is the power of photography.  Once all the photos were done, Raul looked exhausted and was left lying on the ground, he looked in pain but had a big smile on his face.  I had to take a walk and compose myself.

The interesting thing is I don’t think some of the folks in the photo understood what just happened…The lesson was not lost on me.  I am blessed!


Adios Oaxaca!

This was our set up in 2010 when Terry Schwartz and brotherjoe first came down to Oaxaca for Summer Camp.  We brought 2 compact HP Printers to print 4×6 portraits of the kids at camp.  Since then we have been down to Oaxaca for Summer Camp 3 of the last 4 years and we have learned a lot about how much gear we need to bring.  We definitely used to bring too much back then.

This year, with 2 Summer Camps back to back, it’s been a busy week and half.  We now leave one of the printers in Oaxaca, so we don’t have to bring it down with us anymore.

The kids are just as cute as they were in 2010!  And the blessings are just as huge.  Amazingly, there are still kids who have never had their photo taken! That’s why we come to Oaxaca.

Tonight brotherjoe heads off to new territory for Mission Focused….Guadalajara!

We have never photographed on mission there, so it’s gonna be exciting!!

Adios Oaxaca!  Cya soon.


Guelaguetza Parade…a few photos

One of the great things Adventures in Life is does, is they encourage those coming on mission with them to engage and experience the culture of Oaxaca.  The Guelaguetza is the biggest cultural celebration in Oaxaca, some would say all of Mexico.  It’s a chance for the different communities in the State of Oaxaca to come into the city and celebrate “being” Oaxacan!   The last 2 weeks of July every year, the city is alive with music, color, art, food and dance…a cultural kaleidoscope!

These are just a few photos of the Guelaguetza parade.  If you ever get a chance, and I highly encourage you to…come visit Oaxaca during the last 2 weeks of July!  You won’t be disappointed.


Team Oregon is in Oaxaca

This is the Team from Grace City Church, in Corvallis, Oregon

They took this photo at the Mexico City Airport, yesterday, before boarding the plane for Oaxaca.

Please be praying for them as they prepare for a week of ministry with Adventures in Life…Summer Camp with 40-50 kids under the age of 12!

brotherjoe will be posting more photos today and tomorrow on Facebook, you can go HERE to see or to Adventures in Life FB page HERE.


Back in Mexico!

untitled-8799Greetings from Casa Arnel.

I’m ( brotherjoe) in Mexico for the next week doing some photographing and planning for this Summer with Dave Miller, executive director of Adventures in Life Ministry.

Please keep us in prayer…for safety, good weather to photograph in and patience.

What was to be a relatively simple flight from Tijuana to Oaxaca, via Mexico City, turned into a long day of travel on a bus to Oaxaca from Mexico City.  This time of year the local farmers are burning off the corn fields to prepare the land for planting of the next crop of corn.  The airport in Oaxaca is downwind from many of these farms and was closed down yesterday due to the thick smoke coming from these farms.

We had to re-schedule or cancel some meetings since we weren’t able to get to Oaxaca til about 630pm.  Our original flight had us arriving in Oaxaca at 930am.  That’s ministry in Mexico.  Things change, stuff happens, you have to be patient and flexible.

Thankfully, I’m used to it now so you just roll with it.

I’m excited to be in Oaxaca.  Praise God!

You can keep track of what we are doing here and on Facebook  www.facebook.com/MISSIONfocusedPhotography

Adventures in Life  www.facebook.com/AdventuresInLife