harnessing the power of photography for good

Rock Youth

Hey Gurl!

When I was a teenager, a long time ago, those who got pregnant without being married felt ashamed and even made an effort to hide it. Today teenagers that I have known, even those in the Church, don’t seem to feel any remorse.  Has the passing of time changed the “rules”? I don’t think so, God’s word tells us how to live our lives in accordance with what is best for us. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 – “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable”   There are even many good reasons beyond “the Bible say so” to abstain from sex till marriage, to read more see: Pure Intimacy-Why Teens Have Sex & What Does The Bible Say

The sex statistics for teenagers is shocking: 25% of girls and 30% of boys have sex by age 15, 21% of 9th graders have slept with four or more partners, 50% of 17 year olds have had sex, 80% of teens have sex by age 19 (http://www.purehope.net/teens.asp). Relevant magazine indicates that premarital sex rates among evangelical Christian American teenagers fall only slightly behind those of the average American teenagers.

These girls have vowed not to be part of these statistics.

The Rock Church Jr. High department had a Hey Gurl class whose purpose was to educate, inform and encourage the girls so that they would not become one of the teen sex statistics.

Last week at The Rock Church almost 100 Jr. High girls participated in a Purity Ceremony, which was the culmination of their class. So many family members came to celebrate with the girls that the event had to be moved into the sanctuary.

The girls untie their purity rings from the birdcage to wear until marriage.

This is the vow they said together:

I promise on this day, to give myself to God. To be pure as He’s called me to be. To flee sexual immorality and strive for righteousness in mind, body and soul. To look to Jesus who takes away all of my sin. To look beyond my past, and live this commitment out to the best of my ability. May this vow honor God, myself, my family and bring glory to Jesus Christ. Amen

To see more photos click HERE

For more information on The Rock Jr. High Ministry click HERE

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?

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!

rock epic san diego summer camp

summer camp was a blast.  check out this video they made…then you can go to the rock website to see the photo gallery or just go HERE


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!

epic spring break kickoff

rock epic high school ministries began the spring break with a huge blow out at the rock on friday nite.  bands, music, inflatable fun where you could beat your friends down…fun stuff

Rock Sr High Ministries

the rock sr high ministries have begun their new year of ministry.  the cafeteria was packed with hi school students from all over san diego.  there were over 220 students who came on wed nite to have fun, learn more about Jesus, and for a chance to win an ipod.  the godkins lead worship and pastor mark shared the Good News.  for more info about shm at the rock you can check out their website HERE.

Halloback 2009: Photo-booth Pics

Halloback 2009:   pics are up on Rock website from the photo-booth!  to see pics click on BOO SOMETHING!

AMPD Summer Camp…still ministering

we received this comment yesterday from a gal who went to jr hi AMPD summer camp, i thought it would be better if this was posted, so more folks can see the results of all the hard work the jr high leaders put in this past summer. thanks gianna for sharing.  blessings.

From Gianna S.

I think that camp was the best thing that happened to me for a few reasons:
1. It DEFINATELY helped me grow in my walk with God.
-It helped me because the leaders would let you pull them aside and just talk about ANYTHING I felt that way more comfortable talking with the leaders and my friends from camp than I do/did feel talking with my friends from school.
-It also helped me because tuesday was probably the MOST EMOTIONAL day of my life and it was partially because of that I felt more comfortable around other people and why my eyes are now open wider than EVER before!

2. Because I made sooooo many new friends there. To tell you the truth I am VERY shy and quiet…. That is until you get to know me then I will tell you a ton of stories laugh at the STUPIDEST  things and just be crazy, wierd, and just plain all out. Because of tuesday evening I know that I have more in common with other girls than I could have EVER imagined!

3. Camp just opened my eyes soooo much in the short time I was there now I am trying to do more for and with the church. I am going to a homegroup in Linda Vista on tuesdays and am starting my own in point loma on wednesdays, I go to Friday Night Live every week, I want to start going to every service on sundays to start helping out more and just getting involved and DOING SOMETHING! I realized just yesterday (Sunday Sept. 20th 2009) that the more I listen to a lesson the more I understand it and the more comfortable I feel around people. I realized this because when I went to the ten I just went and did what I normally do just sit in the back and listen not answer any questions not volunteer to read verses just opening my bible reading the verses and laughing with all of the other junior highers and I realized that I wanted to stay for the twelve for the first time so I asked my she said sure so I played carpet ball while I waited for everyone to start coming for the service and while I was waiting for it to start I met 3 or four new people that were SUPER nice and during the twelve I answered a question in the service for the FIRST Time and so I went home between the 12 and the five and when I came back I was outside until service started and I realized we were late for worship and so I hurried down the hall and I was in such a hurry that I passed the door so I pretty much did a painful skidding u-turn and walked quickly to a seat in the back and just started singing along and during the five I read a verse thanks to Michelle and Megan, and I also answered the same question and just felt like I learned more and more each time and felt more and more confident too. So thank you leaders and all my camp friends for helping me in my walk with God!


today was the first day of school for the rock academy.  seems like ive been goin non-stop for most of summer.  one event after the other, then editing lots of pics (when i have the time).  yesterday at church marked the end of summer in my mind.  with today being the academy’s first day back, and takin pics at school and editing pics at the same time from jr hi camp… and then reflecting back on nick’s message at church…then processing what i saw at camp last week on top of all that.  im excited about what ive seen, and blessed as i think of the privilege ive been given to document what God is doing at the rock.

i just finished editing down the pics from camp, between terry and i we took 5458 pics during the week.  it took me several days of looking at the pics, deciding which pics best represented the week, and told the story of AMP’D.  as i was looking at the pics, it brought back lots of fun memories…and seeing the kids again as they worshipped, goofed around, played games and learned more about Jesus…man, i love taking pics of this stuff!  i am truly blessed.

the pics are loading and as soon as the galleries are ready, i will let yall know.  ive edited the pics for the week. so it wont take you all day to look at all of them.

blessings, bjoe

UPDATE:  to see the edit of camp pics please go HERE

2nd Video from AMP’D Summer Camp

nate just p0sted the 2nd video we showed the kids at camp…

Thursday at AMP’D

Last night after Pastor D preached and there were prayers with counselors a Jr. High boy ran up to me excited and proclaimed loudly that he had excepted Christ, and the next morning during Chapel again  proclaimed his newfound faith in Christ to everyone. And a few moments later two young girls proclaimed their status as BFF’s, Best Friends Forever. For twenty minutes boy’s and girls got up and testified how camp had impacted them and how many made decisions for Jesus.

The day was for the most part light and fun with the counselors joining in crazier than the kids.

I think worship took on a whole new meaning after Wednesday nights salvations.

mo camper blogs…

Today(wednesday) was so fun!  We still continued to play games with just boys & girls.  The first game we played today was called human foosball!  It was pretty much like soccer because you pass the ball to other teammates and then make a goal.   but you couldn’t take your hands off the rope.  The second game we played was frustrating!  Everyone took a turn playing and it was so fun!  What we did in that game was put a box over our head, spin around 5 times and then try to go straight to our cone and back.  Finally, the third game we played was with a giant blown up ball and we had to try to push the ball to our side whenever the leader called our number we were given.  Some people fell over trying to make a point!  Then, later on, we went to the ampitheater and did worhship.  About half the crowd decided that they wanted to be saved and become christians!  It was so cool just to see people give up their lives for the Lord.  At the end of the night, we all sat around and watched Nacho Libre!  that was about my fifth time watching that movie but it was still fun to watch it with all of my friends…Well tomorrow is our full last day here at camp and I can’t wait to see what we do tomorrow!

Sincerely,  Melisa R.

Today(wednesday) for camp we had a continuation of the team games.  But the boys and girls were seperate for these games.  We had 3 different games again.  The first game was human fooseball.  It was tons of fun!  It was just like fooseball but there were people that played.  The second game was the box game.  It was fun too!  You had to put a cardboard box over your head, spine around 5 times, and then run to the cone on the one end of the field and bak.  Your team could help you by yelling what direction to go.  It was also quite difficult because it was hard to hear your team.  The last game was with a huge blow up ball.  It was kinda like steal the bacon.  But is was quite difficult because everyone was pushing the ball in their direction.  All these games were extremely fun!  We even won them all!  I hope to write more soon!

Sincerely,  Brianna C.

video from camp!

check out this video that the kids saw yesterday….footage from day 1 and 2.  just posted on youtube, but you can see it here. (hopefully)  enjoy

more camper blogs from AMP’D

Camp is amazing.  Every morning there is morning devotion to get us pumped up for the day.  We then eat an amazing breakfast then we have morning worship.  After that we have small group time to get to know each other more.  Then we all chill at the dining hall for a nutritious lunch.  We also have group games to earn points for out team which is awesome.  Then we have free time for 2 hours to do whatever.  Then we eat dinner.  Then we have a night worship and devo.  We then finish the night out with an awesome game.  Camp is an amazing place and it is fun learning more about God and growing in our godly relationships.      -CameronCameron, always a smile on his face


So far camp has been amazing!  The theme of the camp is AMP’D. A is for acknowledge, M is for matujrity, P is for personal relationship (with Jesus), and D is for “Do Something.”  They have all been challenging subjects, and I am sure that the rest of the week will be amazing/challenging for me and my cabin. 

Indian Hills has been an amazing experience for me and my friends.  If you didn’t get the chance to go to camp this year I definitely recommend going next year.

Peace out-  Joel A.

matt with his cabin of young men, joel is in the middle w the big grin & red hat


Today (Tuesday) was our second day of camp.  It was all girls day!  The boys and girls were seperated for the day.  We had awesome competitions!  We had 3 different games!   The first game was a water relay!  We had to swim from one end to the other and then we had to push this weight ball to the other end without using our hands, it was hard!  The second game we had to run and get a mouthful of root beer and then we had to spit it into an empty bottle.  After we filled it half way, we had to drink it!  It was disgusting!  The last game was another water game.  We had to get into a hamster ball and got pushed byh 3 people from 1 end of the pool to the other.  We ended up winning 2 out of the 3 games.  Later on, when it was dark outside we went into the barn (meeting room) and got into a circle.  It really opened my eyes and it was very emotional.  Many people were cryhing.   They asked really personal questions.  Then we stayed up til 11:30pm singing and dancing to random songs.. though this day was very sad, by the end of the day we really enjoyed having fun.  Camp has been an awesome experience! 

Bye for now, Brianna C.


Tuesday was our official 2nd dayof camp!  Boys and girls were seperate for the whole day.  During that time, we had 3 really fun games!  The first one was a race in the pool.  Basically, the first team to finish swimming to the other side of the pool and back with a small weight was the winner.  But the catch was you couldn’t use your hands to help you.  The second game the purple team (my team) played was pretty gross!  The sad part is that we had to use my favorite soda…rootbeer!  What we had to do was run and get a huge mouthful of rootbeer and then run back and spit it into another container.  Afterwards, two of our team-mates had to drink all the soda that everyone spit!  It was hard to watch my two team-mates drink everyone else’s backwash, but it was still fun!   Finally, the last game we played was once again in the pool.  I liked this game the most because we were in hampster balls on water!  The first team to finish 10 people across the pool and back was the winner.  So far i’ve had fun at camp and can’t wait until tomorrow!

A camper at Indian Hills,  Melisa R

wednesday at AMP’D

wednesday was a long day.  the day ended with lots of kids standing up and coming forward…hearing the call of Christ wanting a Personal relationship with Jesus!  Wow! a great way to finish off the day.

Connecting with God

Today the most significant thing was the worship and seeking of GOD. Whether it was the boys in the cool of the garden reading the Word and praying or kids weeping after an encounter with Jesus at the end of Pastor D’s sermon. There were a lot of GOD connections today.