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.
Jim Wanglund is on his way to Oaxaca for this year’s Adventures in Life Men’s Week of Ministry. This will be Jim’s second trip to Oaxaca to photograph the work of Adventures in Life. Please pray for safety and good health for the men on this year’s Mission.
Internet access is limited at the site where the men will be working, so what updates we get, will be posted on our Facebook page HERE(facebook.com/MISSIONfocusedPhotography)
The above photo of Jim was taken at Hierve el Agua in 2011.
MISSION focused began photographing military families (free of charge) 3 years ago, as a way to say thank you for serving our country. It has become one of the biggest blessings for us as a group of photographers. When I began coming down to Oaxaca with Adventures in Life in February of 2010, I started thinking that maybe we could take the concept of free family portraits to Oaxaca, as way to extend the reach of the local churches. After talking with Dave and Pastors Americo and Norma, they liked the idea…we decided to try it out and see how it went.In this photo, I was able to gather, was 3 generations of one family, spanning 4 generations. The young girl in red was the daughter/great grand-daughter; the gal in brown was the mom to the young girl and grand-daughter of the women in native Zapotec clothing; and then there was grand-ma/great grand-mother(bis abuela). How cool was that! What a huge blessing to be able to take what most likely was their first photo of the 3 of them.In July of 2010, Terry came with me to Oaxaca to help photograph a kids camp Adventures in Life was leading for kids who live in the mountains surrounding Oaxaca. Terry and I were able to take portraits of every kid and print them so they could take the photo home with them.Along with a photo of themselves, we gave them a copy of the camp photo. Our plan was to go into some of the towns Americo and Norma are ministering in and take family portraits, unfortunately we got rained in. There was so much rain the first couple days we were stranded and unable to go and take photos. brotherjoe, Dave, Cyndy, Jim and Terry, with the owner of the famous Chaguita Nievas Oaxaquenas (ice cream like dessert) helados stand in the middle of the market in Oaxaca City.
Last February Terry came back along with Jim and Cyndy to help take portraits. Unfortunately Jim got sick and had to stay back at home base as Terry, Cyndy and I went out to take photos.Terry in action last FebruaryCyndy taking photos of some of the local kids in San Baltazar, February 2011The reality is this: In the parts of Oaxaca that Adventures in Life ministers in, family photos is a luxury item that most families can’t afford so they don’t think about it. The best example I have of this is Hermana Norma’s parents, Santiago y Julia.This is a photo of Santiago and Julia’s wedding day in 1965. Santiago is at the head of the horse that Julia is sitting on.Terry took this photo of Santiago and Julia last February. It wasn’t until we showed Hermana Norma this photo that we learned that this was the first photo of the two of them since their wedding day. I was in Santiago and Norma’s house yesterday and there was this photo hanging on the wall.
This is the power photography! This is why we come to Oaxaca and this is why we choose to use our gifts for God’s Glory.
**to see more portraits please visit our Facebook page HERE, and while your there please LIKE us**
I’ve been inside the Cathedral de Oaxaca numerous times over the past few years. I never paid attention to some of the details, or I just never “looked” long enough. Looking beyond the gate, I noticed the cross with the sun…
I’ve seen this lady walking the courtyard in front of Iglesia de San Matias Jalatlaco, which is next door to Casa Arnel, for the last 3 mornings. At first I thought she might be praying the rosary, but no beads. Watching her, she appears to be praying. I must have watched her for at least 20 minutes this morning while I was reading Proverbs and listening to some Hillsong praise music. It made me think, in light of the worship series Pastor Miles is going through right now, am I fully worshiping Jesus with my life?
The details really jumped out at me, and as I watched two gals try to light a candle below, I saw Jesus(really).
Our friends Raquel and Bayani got married on 11:11:11. Time to party…mixin it up on the turntables!
What to do with a bunch of photographers “attending” a wedding…watch out!
The Rock Photographers and MISSION focused wish only the best for Mr. & Mrs. Bayani Atienza as they begin their new life together in Christ! Thanks for sharing your lives with us!
Keep your eyes on this post as we will be adding more information to the below activities after our next meeting. We have a ton of things planned to do over the next few weeks so come out and join us for some photo fun. ALL are welcome to come out and experience our classes and events. We are going to end the year strong and take a few weeks off during Christmas and the new year before coming back in January to resume basic classes from the beginning. We are looking forward to seeing you soon!
– Wednesday 11/30/11 @ 7-9pm
Join us for photo class at the Rock room 353. We will be sharing 5 photos that we have taken over the last week during the holiday. We will also be talking about the upcoming events for the rest of year.
– Saturday 12/3/11 @ 4-10pm
Christmas On The Prado aka December Nights at Balboa Park. Get there early as parking is limited.
The event starts at Noon in case you want to wander on your own first. We will be meeting at 4pm in front of the Photographic Arts building. The museums are open to public for free from 5-9pm. You can find out more information at the links provided below.
December Nights website:
Map of events (Print before going): http://www.balboapark.org/sites/default/files/decembernights_map_2011.jpg Event list (Print before going):
http://www.balboapark.org/decembernights/entertainment#dec3 – Wednesday 12/7/11 @ 7-9pm
Let’s get together at the Rock Church room 353 and go over the photos from Christmas On The Prado. – Wednesday 12/14/11 @ 7-9pm – CANCELLED
Class Christmas potluck & lesson on fireworks photography
– Sunday 12/18/11 @ 4:30pm Sharp
San Diego Parade Of Lights – Location TBD
Come join us for fireworks photography and the parade of boat lights on the bay.
There is much to do before the end of the year and many opportunities to check us out. Again we welcome everyone no matter what the skill level to join us for any of the events or classes. More to come soon about the above events and what we have planned for next year. Keep your eyes on the Mission Focused site to find out what’s going on with the team, classes, and events.
We definitely had fun shooting the fountains last week. All are welcome to come out for class this Wednesday to see the results. We will have time to look and critique what we have shot so that we can improve on our skills. We are looking forward to seeing everyone and don’t forget to bring your top three photos to share from last weeks class.
What: Photo Class Sharing Time
Where: Rock Church Room 353
When: Wednesday 11/16/11 @ 7pm
Who: Anyone who wants to learn more about photography, Mission-Focused, or about how to serve Him
What to bring:
Your top three photos from last weeks class
Your manual if you have it
An open mind to learn more about photography
See you all in class!
Let’s go out and do a photo exercise this Wednesday. We are going to meet as usual in the classroom but will go out to do some night photography at the fountains near Tender Greens. This is your chance to do some fun shots and ask questions as we use the existing light to take photos. Please see the list below for things you should bring if you have them. If you don’t have a tripod I will have a limited supply of them to loan out for the exercise.
What: Photo Exercise
When: Wednesday 11/9/11 @ 7pm
Where: Rock Church Room 353
Things to bring:
Manual for camera
Flashlight if you need extra light
Good attitude and ability to have fun under difficult lighting 🙂
Looking forward to seeing you all there!
Tomorrow night we will be sharing photos we have taken in the past. We are asking that you bring 2-3 photos with you and be ready to talk briefly about why you took the photos and what inspired you. This will allow us to get to know each other a little better and our individual shooting styles. Please bring the photos on CD, flash/USB drive, or the medium/card that you use in your camera. We are looking forward to seeing you and your photos.
What: Mission-Focused Class sharing time
– Bring 2-3 photos to share with the class along with a brief explanation of why you took the photo
– Put photos on CD, USB/flash drive, or bring in the medium you used in your camera
– Photos should be put into their own folder to make them easy to find. If you are not sure how to do this please write down the file numbers you would like to show and location on the storage device.
When: Wednesday 10/19/11 @ 7pm
Where: Rock Church Room 353
Why: To learn and share photos as well as our gift for photography
Who: Anyone who has an interest in photography. All experience levels are welcome. Please come even if you are not prepared for this class or never have been before. We can bring you up to speed during and after the class.
HOW IS HE WORKING IN YOUR LIFE???
Mission-Focused Meet & Greet
Rock Church Room 353
2277 Rosecrans St.
San Diego, CA 92106
Wednesday 10/12/11 @ 7pm
Come out to learn more about photography. how you can use it to serve Him, and what is in store for the next few months. We will be offering classes, outings, opportunities to serve in the ministry, and much more. So if you feel a calling to use the gifts He gave you or just want to learn how to improve your shots then come on out and learn about the group.
ANYONE with an interest in photography. All skills levels are welcome to share in fellowship, to learn, and to serve.
We are looking forward to seeing everyone on Wednesday. Be prepared to bring your questions and we’ll do our best to answer them. We have an exciting year ahead of us and we are looking forward to sharing His ministry with you. If you have a heart for Him, serving, and photography then this is the place for you.
Just dropped Brother Joe off at the airport to meet up with the team from Iaomai Medical Ministries. After praying and saying goodbye to my friend it left me thinking of how I wish He had called me to participate in this mission. I’ve been wanting to cover Sean Burgess along with Iaomai for quite a while. The last time I worked with the medical mission was too long along ago in Jamaica in 2008. It was an experience that will live with me forever and often I wonder if I was more blessed or the people that we served. I’m excited for the opportunity that Joe and Cyndy have before them to document the work going on in Guatemala. The work will be difficult and I’m sure the line started a week or two ago to receive help but to witness the blessings and His work will be awesome.
We encourage you to learn more about Iaomai through the links below. Also there will be regular status updates right here on Mission-Focused as well. We also would like to ask for prayer for the people of Guatemala, the doctors, nurses, and other volunteers, as well as for Joe and Cyndy that their journey is a safe one and that He gives them the strength, ability, and assistance they will need for this opportunity.
Yet again the Rock Church through our Do Something World actions helped the community of Barrio Logan with some clean up, painting and other repairs. God was really working through the participants and it was truly awesome to see people pitch in to help the people in this area of San Diego.
We ministered to the homeless as well during our time there and it was great to even see people who were not with the church helping. One homeless person was busy picking up trash and other debris from around his shelter. He also had some good conversation with some of the volunteers as he assisted with the efforts. I would have loved to have gotten the photos but sometimes you just have to know when to put the camera down either to help out or out of respect for someones privacy. While the gentleman was very helpful he felt ashamed of his situation and didn’t want to be photographed. Hopefully the Lord will bring better times to this kind homeless man so that he can participate from a different perspective in our next event. Sometimes you run into people who are mentally challenged, addicted to something, or just on a bad run of things but more and more it is happening to people who just can’t find a job. It happens more times than you think in this economy and we have to remember that we are all just a couple of steps from being on the street. Pray that this gentleman and many of the homeless get the assistance they need to get off the street and into a home. The colder weather is coming and any way you can help is appreciated.
Ok now for some of the photos from the event. Brother Joe should be posting the complete collection soon.
Recently I was blessed by being able to photograph some wonderful women who spent time in fellowship and worshiping the Lord at the annual Rock Women’s Retreat. Most of my time was spent at the photo booth but I also had time to capture moments in silence with Him and worship with After Eden. Even with the serious discussions, prayer, and groups the women really had a good time especially with the photo booth. I’m happy to have been able to serve and help MISSION focused capture some of those moments.
to see more photos from the Women’s Retreat please visit MISSIONfocused.smugmug.com
photo-gallery from this years retreat are loaded on our Facebook site HERE.
the same photos are up on our MISSION focused gallery site, where you can download hi quality images of these photos and photos from the photo-booth. link below
photos of all the craziness are ready for the world to see……..you can see some at our facebook page HERE. and we are working on loading all the photos on another site where yall can download all the photos you want, in their full resolution versions…stay tuned.
for now, enjoy
**all photos are loaded up on our gallery site!!**
you can view all the crazy photos and download the ones
you want to keep and share…
we do take bribes if you wanna see a photo “disappear”
****please visit www.missionfocused.smugmug.com ****
so, jim and i had the tough job of hanging out with over 3 hundred beautiful women of God at this years rock womens retreat…somebody had to go! it was a real blessing for us!! stay tuned for photos…we will let all yall know when they are posted…
photopeeps this wednesday, we will be sharing some photos and our own personal thoughts and observations from our time in Oaxaca…
i took this photo of jimmy, from the back of the truck! we were coming back from the ocotlan market…some of yall might not remember the days when you could ride in the bed of a truck in the states…but you still can enjoy the view, and the wind in your face, in the back of the truck in oaxaca mexico! come this wednesday to see more photos and here more stories of our ministry time in oaxaca.
all are welcome. with or without your camera. we will be in room 353 once again at the rock. 7pm start time. for more info or questions, please feel free to email us at email@example.com
there is power in an image…sometimes more than we expect or imagine. our goal as a group of photographers is to document the work of the Holy Spirit in our images. a big part of the equation is being ready. and ready isnt confined to our cameras, it has to do with being right with God as well. so with camera in hand, and lead by God the Holy Spirit, we look for the photos that will testify and glorify God. to show the world that He is still working today in the lives of those who love Him.
the above photo was taken in tlacolula, mexico on sunday feb 6th at la unica esperanza, pastor americos church. all of us photographers were taking photos that sunday, and i looked outside and saw hermana julia…praising God. the service was almost over and she was making her way to the food that was gonna be served for lunch…praising Him along the way. im humbled.
Santiago and Julia Reyes Reyes
brother terry took this photo, same day, after church. come to find out this was their first formal portrait together in some time. naturally they wanted a copy of the photo. so we made a 8×10 and had it framed for them. after giving the framed photo to hermana julia, she was so appreciative. she hugged each of us and started crying…telling us that (translated) “there werent enough words to express her thankfulness. gracias wasnt enough.” she touched her heart, tears coming down her face, saying “gracias, gracias.”
i told cyndy, jim and terry that if we didnt do anything else during our time in mexico…it was all worth that moment that we gave her the framed portrait. it was a powerful moment. terry being ready and in the right place…was able to provide a truly priceless memory for the family. to God the Glory!
i love this photo. there really doesnt need to be much said about it. it speaks power & strength and at the same time theres a sense of humility and grace. it was tough to get this shot, since it was dark and lit with fire from the outdoor stove, and he didnt always stay in one place. it really was one of those waiting for the right moment shots…
Brother Joe our Mission-Focused Photo Lead says all the time that there will be time enough for sleep when he takes a dirt nap. What he means is that serving God is more important to him then getting sleep. When his life in this world is done it all won’t matter anyway so why spend all of your time sleeping. Spend all of your time serving taking only the rest that is needed to keep serving. Now we all need sleep, even Brother Joe, but there are other types of dirt naps that can happen prematurely.
When we had some down time and Matt needed to come off the roof, everyone gathered to see his exit. Believe me this looks more dramatic than it actually was but it was great fun for the crew to watch and blow off some steam. We have been working hard the last few days and great relationships have been formed. Prayer and having a sense of humor are key to keep the fellowship and work for Him moving forward. Enjoy the photos and understand that no one was hurt in the following photos 🙂
The Adventure In Life ministry is working hard at building more living structures at the Templo Bautista Cristo La Unica Esperanza or The Only Hope Baptist Church of Christ. Today many things were worked on including setting the form for the concrete pad, setting rebar for a new counter top, plumbing, wiring, and many other things to make life easier here at the church. See the crew hard at work in the slideshow. Please keep us in your prayers as we face many of the same obstacles with construction as we would in the states. Things like wrong parts, fabrication of items to get the job done, and difficulty in getting supplies are just some of the factors. For a team that has come from many different parts of the US we sure work well together with Him leading the way. He is truly working through us to get the job done. Thank you Jesus for the opportunity to do works in your name.
Now the Lord has been good to me but it has come with obstacles. The last two weeks before the trip, like most times we are doing His work, we face things that have us doubting our abilities or desire to help others. Patience and perseverance are important any time we do the works that further the name of Jesus. The first day here was an incredible despite having been pick-pocketed, having to cancel my ATM and credit card, and losing my drivers license in the process. God shows us that we need to rely on Him to assist us when we have things removed from us. Thank God that He has put some very special people in my life who were quick to come to my assistance like Cyndy lending me her cell phone, Terry getting me a number to contact a credit card company or Brother Joe helping me to pick up food and other expenses along the way. I thank each of them for being in my life and being so quick to help a Brother-In-Christ out.
25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
26“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31“So do not worry, saying, `What shall we eat?’ or `What shall we drink?’ or `What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
I’m really looking forward toward our mission work which I will blog about soon. Enjoy the slide show of the other images I have shot since Monday. More to come soon so please keep checking the site.
dan is fueling up, hi octane coffee
Adventures in Life Oaxaca 2011 FMO Crew
if you look closely at this years AIL Oaxaca 2011 gang, you will notice some familiar faces and some new ones. this year im excited to bring 3 more photographers down with me. terry, who came with me in july, jimmy is new and the queen, cyndy smith. she is technically the only gal on this trip. norma lives here and natalie is her daughter. she said shes used to being around guys, with 2 sons and a husband. its a blessing to have her here. i think she will be a real asset when we start shooting photos of families tomorrow.
natalie and julian, working at playing
dave miller with his alter egos
on monte alban
cyndy on ruins of monte alban
cyndy, terry, jim and me came down early to visit some of the ruins in oaxaca. we had a chance to see mt alban, the ruins at mitla, and hike on and around the frozen waterfalls of hierve el agua. we got to sample plenty of delicious traditional oaxaqueñan food and see their culture up close and personal in the zocalo (center of the city). we got to visit some of the surrounding towns and witness “market day,” when all the local farmers bring their produce, meats, and artisan come and sell their crafts. we also got to visit pastor chable’ on his farm, where he is breeding rabbits, chickens, goats and cows for food. and we witnessed mounting day.
the weather has been beautiful and as we prepare for ministry week, im ready to see God work! most of the men who are working this week have arrived already into oaxaca, and cyndy is feeling quite “royal!” since she will be the only gal with 20+ guys this week, she is the queen.
praise God for His mercy and grace. that we get to come along side Him and be part of His plan to share Jesus with those around us in Oaxaca!
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
jimmy takin a breather
looking for the shot…
dinner being cooked up in a stone oven, at La Tlayuda Restaurant
keeping the folks dancing…
dancing in the night…
dave, me, cyndy,dan & terry at the ruins in mitla
top of hierve el agua(frozen waterfall), oaxaca
looking up at the frozen waterfall, thats jimmy at the bottom
fresh tejate’ for breakfast
dave & pastor chable’
pig w big
cocina de frida
market dayfridays at pastor chables ranch are mounting day…where the males have conjugal visits with the females…
for breeding purposes of course
los fotoperiodistas de mission focused in the zocalo
Our landing in Oaxaca was uneventful and we arrived at Casa Arnel about 8:30am, had a nice breakfast, with awesomely sweet orange juice from fresh squeezed from local oranges. We washed up… I cold showered then we proceeded to the center of town near our hotel, visited some lovely Churches. Churches that had a sense of worship and where it was nice to spend a moment with GOD. I know some may have a problem with icons and so do I. But I ignored them and worshiped an awesome GOD, and sat in amazement as I considered my wonderful Savior and Lord, our Messiah Jesus.
I observed the Stations of the Cross and meditated on how very much our Savior suffered so that we who know Him have passed from death to life, Jesus paid a debt that He did not owe, one we could not pay.
We did have some trials hit our group, Jimmy got pick pocketed and lost some important stuff, but I’ll let him elaborate on his blog.I got left behind a couple of times, of course Bro Joe and Jimmy did not agree with my assessment but I’ll stick to my left behind story. One great thing that came of it is I could go to Churches and other sights and relax as I unhurriedly took in the sights and sounds of Oaxaca. Enjoyed children laughing, playing, either hiding or mugging for the Mission Focused Paparazzi, people praying, and merchants hawking their wares on the city streets.
Pray for James and I’ll talk at you later.