harnessing the power of photography for good

Indian Hills Camp

Baptism at AMP’D Summer Camp

one of my favorite things about camp is when they give the kids a chance to publicly proclaim their faith through baptism.  the night before many of the kids came forward, to either re-commit their lives or make first time decisions for Jesus.  a few of the leaders took the opportunity to be baptized as well.  Praise God!  what a great way to finish camp…

you can see more photos on our facebook page by going HERE

you can see all the baptism photos (in hi res format) from this special day

by going to the following link


Wednesday was AMP’D…

pastor dru…ready for another AMPD day!

leaders had a chance to share a little bit more about their lives…it was an amazing outpouring of love as the students came down afterwards to hug their leaders

crazy field games….

chad…bringing the WORD!

the students responding to the WORD!

you can see more from wednesday by going HERE

half way there…tuesday at AMP’D

tuesday at ampd was all about sharing “MY” story.  the boys and girls were separated  for most of the day, as they learned about submission to God and the freedom we have when we finally surrender everything to Christ…

how you demonstrate submission to boys is a little different than the girls…

pastor tommy sharing jiu jitsu references in the Bible…and how we need to surrender to God

stevie sharing with the gals

stevie shared a powerful illustration of how issues the girls are dealing with can be a burden to them and can become a hindrance to their relationship with God.  only by surrendering to God and giving Him everything will they experience total freedom!richard, AMPDs resident magician/entertainer, amazing the lunch time crowd with a card trick

belly flop contest!

practicing submission skills in the pool

free time fun!!

worshiping under the stars!

after worship the boys and girls were separated again.  pastor mingo shared with the boys and his wife fallon shared with the gals

please visit our facebook site HERE to see more photos from tuesday…dont forget to LIKE us!

monday at ampd…

this was their first full day of fun and craziness…and the action was furious with the temperature to match!  it was hot!  thankfully nobody passed out from heat exhaustion.  take a look at some of the fun from monday

just so folks dont think its total chaos all the time…they are encouraged to spend time each morning in God’s Word…

bonding time…the trust fall!

ben taking a much deserved 5 second break

the leaders are AMPD!

ninja workout time!

time for the WORD!glow sticks=fun!

it was a long day but just the beginning of what looks to be a great week of fun, fellowship and prayerfully…stronger more committed jrhi students who AMPD for Jesus!  please continue to pray for safety and that God would be Lord over AMPD this week.

more photos from monday at our facebook site HERE

2011 AMPD Summer Camp:: Day 1

rock jr hi ministry is back up at indian hills camp for this years edition of AMPD summer camp.

mark, the brave man that he is decided to come up last nite and spend the day with over a 140 crazy jr highers…

you can see more photos on our facebook page HERE…if you like what you see…please LIKE us : )

more photos soon….

Sunday at Epic Summer Camp

one of the great things at the end of summer camp is when the students get a chance to share what God has done and some of the lessons they will take with them down the hill.  its also a chance for those who made commitments to Christ to get baptized in front of their  classmates.

pastor mark with the class of 2011 graduates

rock epic 2011 summer camp!

rock epic summer camp leaders

new photos from sunday are being added…please visit


Epic Summer Camp: Saturday

saturday morning was full of activity, starting with morning devotionals and worship, leading into small group time.  after lunch, group games on the field and more small group time.  they finished the day with worship & God’s Word.

you can see more photos from the weekend at www.MISSIONfocused.smugmug.com

epic summer camp: homesick

i love camp.  it was at camp that i heard the call of Christ and began my walk with Jesus…its been at camp that ive had the honor to walk with young men as they first made commitments to Jesus…and its been at camp that i have had the privilege to document the work of the Holy Spirit as He worked  and moved in the lives of the leaders & counselors as they shared their lives with jr and sr hi students over the years.

ive lost track of how many times ive been to camp…but every camp experience is different and God never ceases to amaze me as i get to witness His Grace and Mercy in action!


chad w his daughter

there was a young man, he looked like he might be going into his freshman year…not sure.  i saw him several times crying…someone said he was homesick…for the sake of this post lets say he was.

as i watched, i was impressed by how many of his fellow students came to comfort him.  the idea of being homesick stuck with me the rest of the weekend.

this wasnt the first time ive seen kids be “homesick,” it happens fairly frequently.  why it made an impression on me more this time i dont really know why… what i do know is what God revealed to me.

i like the photos above because it reminds me that i need to remember who i am in God.  i am a child of God.  no matter what comes my way, my Dad is still in charge and right there beside me.   and i need to remember that as fun as camp can be and as adventurous as life is, with God…i am just a visitor here.  this is my temporary home (to steal a line from carrie underwood).  and maybe i need to be more homesick.

as i really thought about the concept of being homesick, what comes to mind is a desire to be somewhere where we belong, a place of safety.   it really is a better place.  as followers of Christ, our home is in Heaven, with Jesus.  i think sometimes we get to comfortable here on earth.  as if this is all there is, this is as good as it gets.  we know this isnt true from God’s Word, and that whats to come is much better,  philippians 1:21  to live is Christ and to die is gain.

luke 14:26  If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple.

our love for God and our desire to be with Him, must be so great that it looks like we hate everything else in comparison.

when was the last time you were homesick?

Epic Summer Camp has Begun

EPIC{rock high school ministry} Summer Camp is this weekend and guess where im at…you can see more photos on our facebook site

lookin back and south to oaxaca

chillin in oaxaca w miss corona

seems so long ago, i hope she doesnt miss me…i never got her name, but she did give he a cowboy hat.  as i look back at this past month since ive been back in san diego, lots has happened…ive looked at tons of photos from oaxaca and i have lots of good memories and some real good lessons ive learned about life, missions, and my own walk with Christ.

some yummy mexican coffee w chocolate

i went to jrhi camp recently.  that certainly was eye opening… honestly, i didnt want to go to camp this year.  although i do look forward every year to going, but this year was different.  not sure if its because of what i saw in oaxaca, or that i wasnt gonna be at camp the whole time…all i know is im glad i went.  on many different levels, it was good and difficult all at the same time.

the memories were still fresh from oaxaca when i went up to camp.  it was a big difference from oaxaca to indian hills.  kids are kids, but at dinner, i heard some of the kids complaining about the food and where they were sleeping.  they werent there more than more than 3 hours.  i dont think i heard any kids in oaxaca complaining about anything.  at least thats what i was told, since my spanish is pretty bad.

kids playing “red light, green light”

at indian hills, the kids had plenty to do, tons of activities…i cant imagine what the kids at indian hills would say if they were to be given a jump rope and a flat soccer ball and were told to go and play.  the kids in oaxaca didnt blink, they made the best of that flat soccer ball and loved it.

i love this photo because it speak volumes about what we really need.  this kid was good too, he was all over the field, and didnt have shoes on.   if you look closely at the photo, theres a pretty big stick right near him, and in the background theres a mound of dirt that the younger kids play in with buckets and shovels.  the kids just rolled on, and didnt let that slow them down.

not to say that the kids in oaxaca are better.  do i think that kids in the states are over stimulated with electronic gadgets and tv and internet…yes.  but the bottom line is the kids in oaxaca and the kids in san diego (usa) both need Jesus.  and no matter where you are, there will be obstacles to the Gospel.  and without Jesus, forget about it.  so what God has been reminding me of is not to get mad at the kid who is complaining that all of his clothes are dirty and he will be at camp for 2 more days, in comparison to the kids in oaxaca- many of them wore the same clothes the whole time…but to show the love of Christ and help them see their need for Jesus.

one benefit to not staying the whole time up at camp was the ability to see the changes in the kids at indian hills.  i left camp monday nite and wasnt back until the baptism on thursday morning. they seemed more serious about worship and by looking at the amount of kids wanting to be baptised, it was a good week.  to see more photos of the camp baptism look HERE

i will certainly be going back to oaxaca.  and perhaps, summer camp with the rock kids… as i think about it, the main reason i love going to camp is i get to see first hand as im documenting it, what God is doing in todays youth, tomorrows leaders, teachers, missionaries to mexico, and it gives me hope.  its always a privilege to be part of what God is doing, and in the case of us photographers, we get to show the rest of the world what God is doing in mexico and in san diego.  i pray that i dont ever get tired of this.  if i do, somebody take me out back and slap me around…praise God!

epic takes over indian hills camp…

i love camp.

goin to camp always gets me fired up.  friday was no exception. one of the greatest blessings for me, as part of the rock photographers, has been the chance to go to camps with the rock academy and rock youth ministries.  over the years ive been privileged  to get know many of the kids and ive known quite a few since they were in jr hi and in the case of rock academy students, even before that. so to see them at epic hi school summer camp is really a treat.

those who know that im heading to mexico in 3 days may think im crazy.  i was thinking the same thing as i was packing up my gear yesterday.  but as they started rolling into camp i decided to use this time to prepare myself for God was gonna be doin in mexico.

in case there was any doubts…once worship started, i was blessed and humbled once again.  i love taking pictures of folks, young and old, fully abandoned worshiping our God!  but its especially sweet to see hi school folks who dont care what others think and are willing to praise God whole heartedly.  thats not to say that every student here was like this, not yet at least…there were folks lookin around, and a few you could tell wanted to raise their arms but were scared.  thats ok.  theyre here and more importantly, the Holy Spirit is here!

after worship, they showed the movie to save a life. it was originally released in the theaters last year, and ive heard nothing but good stuff about the movie.  so i was glad to see it and more so, after i saw it.  the readers digest version of the movie is its about hi school students getting serious about their relationship with Christ and looking to make a difference in their world.  not just when things are good, but in the bad times as well.  and seeking out those kids that others look down and make fun of…realizing that we all have baggage and issues, and to not let appearances fool you.

after the movie, pastor mark asked that they break into hi school classes and pray that God would allow them to be the difference in their schools, that they would be the one to show the Love of Christ to others in their schools.  they closed the evening holding hands in prayer and praise to God!

Rock Academy Fall Camps

camp has come and gone, but there are still pics to be seen…and finally there are some high school pics posted!   follow the links below each image to see pics from each camp.  it was a blessing for all of us photo peeps to be there to document what God is doing at the Rock Academy.  Praise God!

For High School Camp pics at Pine Valley Conference Center please go HERE

Jr High Camp pics from Young Life’s Oakbridge, please go HERE

For 6th Grade Camp pics at Indian Hills please check HERE

id like to take thank publicly Terry Schwartz and Malia Dadez, Rock Photographers who took some time out of there busy schedules to come and help take pics at camp this fall.  Well done shooters!

6th Grade Camp

Psalm 8:2 “From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger”

About half-way along my one-hour drive to Indian Hills Camp, I thought about what I was about to experience, wondering what kinds of things God was going to show me and I tried to imagine what to expect from the children. I remember when I was in 6th grade and a part of me was anxious at the day to come. I was surprised to find a group of 6th graders who lived in awe and reverence to God! I was especially blessed at the end of Thursday evening when the kids shared about how God had spoke to them individually over the past week. The responses were amazing. They spoke of God’s incredible attention to detail as shown in his creation of different species, the vast power and magnitude of God as evident in the universe and astronomy, and His ability to take a young girls’ insecurities of meeting new people and turn them into the joy of making new friends. I was both astonished and amazed to hear about their experience at camp as life-changing and a mode of building new perspectives. Even at a young age, God can change a life! girls

camp staff




our last day at 6th grade camp

today terry and i moved on to jr and sr high camps.  terry went to the sr high camp at pine valley conference center in alpine, and i am at young life’s oakbridge in ramona with the jr high academy students.  we posted a few pics from wed morning before leaving 6th grade camp…you can see them at the academy flickr site by going HERE

More 6th Grade Camp Pictures

were loading pics from camp, you can see them at the following link….more soon.

Monday Pics from Rock Academy 6th Grade Camp at Indian Hills

Tuesday Pictures Here

AWE-Full Appreciation…

under the stars.  dwarfed by God’s Creation!

i like the word AWFUL.  some time ago, in church i heard my pastor share about being “awe-full” in light of who we are (sinners), and who God is and what He did so we might have fellowship with Him.   he shared how when you heard the word awful more often than not today, you think of something was bad, unpleasent. or objectionable.   but, the primary definition of the word is to be filled with AWE, or to feel deeply respectful, reverential.  it made me think about how i view God, and ask myself, im i filled with AWE when im in God’s (presence) Word, or when im spending time in His creation taking pictures. 

ive come to realize that there is holiness in the ordinary.  God is in creation, the created.  in the sinner, saint, the beauty of the stars, or in a mangey useless cat.  God is there.  as i seek to take pictures of what God is doing, at the rock academy,  rock church, in san diego… often its easier to take pictures of  the “pretty” things…but God is working in the lives of the fatherless and the widows as well.  the outcasts of society have value and meaning in God’s economy too. 

as i watch what God is doing in the lives of these academy students the last 2 days, im excited that these young students, with skulls full of mush, are hearing God’s Word. and are being taught about the beauty of God’s creation, and that there is a Creator, an intelligent designer, that spoke all that we see into existence.  as curly was sharing with the kids tonite, about how big the universe is, and how small our little milky way is…and that God’s Word says it all fits in the palm of His hand!   and that the same God that holds the universe in the palm of His hand, cares about us and wants to know us all intimately.  i vaguely remember learning about the stars at 6th grade camp, but im sure God was never mentioned. 

mr chapman, wondering if its friday yet…

the students had lots of fun today, but it was nice to see it all brought together at the end of the day.  its all about God.  so its with great appreciation to a God who first chose me, that i am thankful i get to see up close what He is doing at the rock academy.  i am AWE-Full!

stargazing over. kids heading back to the cabins, flashlights in hand….

Wonder Years


Back to 6th Grade Camp

its been many moons since i was in 6th grade.  from what i remember of my camp experience, was it was a long time ago, and i think i had fun.  we went to camp cuyamaca, near lake cuyamaca, imagine that…

and now, this is my 3rd or 4th time to go to 6th grade camp with the rock academy.  whats always interesting is the mix of kids at camp, since the rock is a fairly small school, we are here at indian hills camp w 3 other small schools, there are about 100 kids here this week.  unlike past years, i think this year i know the least amount of academy kids.  as i was getting to know some of the kids, i was trying to figure out why that was the case, and i think its because the school is so much bigger now, that is with the addition of high schoolers at the academy, and my shooting more hi school events, i dont see the elementary kids as much… oh well.

the kids are having fun, im having fun, and God is at work in the lives of the 6th graders from the rock academy…and terry and i get to be witnesses to it and have the honor of documenting His Work!  Praise God!

Rock Academy 6th Grade Camp

The day began as all 6th grade camp first days begin, loud and kids everywhere, ecstatic at five days of freedom, but the I miss mommy will come in a couple of days. The I miss mommy will be tempered by great new friends and maybe a few bffs.

They seemed to like the food, food fit only for 6th graders whose taste buds are still under developed. They learned about fire before dinner, the power fire, how to use it as a tool, how it is misused, and how to extinguish the different types.

After dinner they hiked around to the Tepees and gathered before a campfire where they were treated with jokes that had Bro Joe and the other adults rolling in the dust and slowly dawning on the kids who erupted in laughter, one by one.

After the jokes there was a devotional that challenged them to a higher commitment to GOD, one that will last longer than a mountain top experience. Before they were released to prepare for the night games the offer was made to remain behind and sit quietly around the fire and listen and talk with the Lord. I must confess that I was surprised by the number of kids that remained behind at the fire, to commune with the Lord.

Now they are tuck safely in bed with visions of sugar plums dancing in their dreams, oh, sorry that is a different story, one for another day.