harnessing the power of photography for good


Do You Own A Camera?


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.


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.


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.



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!


We Are MISSION focused

mf petco

June 2016

Travelling, photography, people, missions, a good cup of coffee are just a few of our favorite things…We love Jesus!

We believe in using our photography gifts, talents, and creativity to bless and serve others.

We are ready and willing to go anywhere, domestic or international, to photograph and serve.

We are in the process of retooling and relaunching our site so we apologize if it’s a bit dated.  If you are interested in learning more about us, we invite you to check out our           Facebook page HERE for the most up to date info about what we are up to.  You can also email us at MISSION.focused@yahoo.com

We look forward to hearing from you!


Serving in Oaxaca, Mexico with Adventures in Life Ministry

mf hope mf rezcueHelping the San Diego Rescue Mission celebrate 60 years of ministry

Music, Fun & Trevor


Friends and family are coming together for a benefit concert to help Trevor and his family. If you are in San Diego come join the fun, enjoy are some great music from the Tim Timmons band, and say “Hi” to Trevor. If you can’t make it, you can donate online or just buy a ticket…all proceeds from the benefit go to Trevor.

Benefit Concert is Friday, April 8, 2016 from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM at Horizon Christian Fellowship – 5331 Mount Alifan Drive, San Diego, CA 92111 – View Map

If you want to learn more about the event, please visit www.trevortime.com

Oaxaca Camp

Summer Camp is something most U.S. kids get to do sometime in their life. But in Oaxaca, Mexico it is a real novelty. This week Adventures In Life has hosted 62 kids for a fun filled four days on a farm.

There are fourteen staff people at the camp to love on the kids and to provide them with a fabulous experience. Seven have come from Evergreen Church in Pasadena, CA, Three from other parts of California, 1 from New York, 3 from Guadalajara and 1 from Ensenada.

The kids have come from all areas of the State Oaxaca: San Baltazar Guelavila, San Pablo Villa de Mitla, San Pedro Amatlan, Citla, Puerto Escondido,Oaxaca City, Zaachila

Joe & I have been at camp to document the week and to provide portraits for each of the kids.

To see more photos go to our Face book page

Hearts of Oaxaca

We have had two good days of ministry at San Baltazar. Tomorrow we leave Tlacolula at 6:30 AM to drive to the little town of San Padro Amatlan. It is about a three hour hour dive. We really don’t know what to expedited in regards to the turn out but we leave it all in God’s hands.

The people here in Oaxaca have filled our hearts with love as they have opened their hearts to us.

They have shared their heartaches and their hopes and dreams, we have learned from them and uplifted them in prayer.

Psalms 33:12-15

12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he chose for his inheritance.
13 From heaven the LORD looks down
and sees all mankind;
14 from his dwelling place he watches
all who live on earth—
15 he who forms the hearts of all,
who considers everything they do.

Follow Adventures in Life & MISSION focused on Facebook

Oaxaca 2012 :: Ministry and Mission Can be Messy.

MISSION focused welcomes guest blogger Dave Miller, executive director of Adventures in Life

The other night I was in church when one of the men who recently served with me in Oaxaca pulled me aside.

He wanted to say thanks for a great week of ministry and then he started to share about how he had been impacted by his experience.Hermana Norma, making fresh tortillas!

It seems that before he left for the airport, he went into the house where we were staying and noticed Norma, the wife of Pastor Americo, crying.

He knew why.

The night before, Norma had shared how hard and lonely the work can be in Oaxaca. She told us how when our team of men leave, all of a sudden the house is again quiet and organized.

Too quiet.

This is something many people in short-term ministry and mission miss. When we get on a plane to head home, those folks we have been serving aren’t getting on that plane.

The next morning when we wake up in our beds, and hop into our nice spacious showers, hit the hot water and lather up with that high quality shower gel, the folks to whom we gave everything we had for a week or two, will still be on the field.

When we are back at our everyday jobs, people like Americo and Norma will still be trying to manage a ministry that spans 4 different communities from Santa Cruz to San Baltazar.

And no one will be there to help them, or encourage them.

These are the messy lessons you learn when you really start to connect with people in the field. You begin to hear their stories, see their lives, and know their hearts, and it gets harder each time to leave. You realize that the simple act of climbing the steps to the plane for the flight home has become a chore.

Brother Joe asked me to blog a recap of our recent men’s trip to Oaxaca.

I could tell you of all the work we got done, the building we did, the pictures that were taken, the computers that were given and the stories that were shared.

But important as all that is, it is just stuff.


The real work of mission and ministry is done in the heart. Keith experienced that work when he came up on Norma that morning wiping the tears from her eyes. 

It was the connecting work of the Holy Spirit that had been done on the heart of two totally different people, from two completely different countries in a way that cannot happen unless people are willing to practice the power of the presence of Christ personally.

It is hard, it is messy, but it also our calling if we truly want to serve.


Photopeeps this Wednesday, February 7 in Rm 353 at the Rock Church. All are welcome.

This Wednesday we will be sharing photos we took for our homework. The homework assignment theme was 13, how you choose to take photos that express our theme is up to you. You can join the fun this Wednesday by doing the homework and bringing photos to share. Sharing is caring!

Please bring three (3) photos of 13 to share with the class.

You can bring the photos on a thumb drive, cd, or memory card in order to share the photos.

Please bring your cameras to class with you. Time permitting we will answer any questions you might have about your camera or any other topic you can think of.

We will continue to share more info about our upcoming Intro to Photo Fun class coming in February.

Any questions, you can email us a MISSION.focused@yahoo.com or you can leave a comment and we will get back to you.

Today :: Youth Night at SD Christian Film Festival

Tonight 730pm at the San Diego Christian Film Festival… the movie Hardflip

Hardflip: What do you do when your life does a 180?

SD Christian Film Festival at La Jolla Marriott

4240 La Jolla Village Drive : La Jolla CA : 92037

You can learn more about the film at hardflipmovie.com

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from MISSION focused!

Christ came that we might have life!

Shout for joy to God, all the earth;
sing the glory of his name;
give to him glorious praise!
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you.
All the earth worships you
and sings praises to you;
they sing praises to your name.” Selah

Psalms 66:1-4 ESV

Rock Church – Ministry Fair Sunday 10/2/11

It that time of the year again for the Rock Ministry Fair. Today 10/2/11 at all of our services 8am, 10am, Noon, 5pm, and 7pm we will be at the fair talking about our next classes, events, and about what we do. I encourage everyone to come out and learn how you can serve the community and to find ways to serve Him. While we will be representing the Rock Photographers/Mission-Focused there will also be over 100 other ministries catering to whatever God has gifted you with in this world. So please come join us and Do Something! We are looking forward to seeing you there!

About us:

We serve the church and make Jesus first in our lives. Many of us serve in more than one ministry and cover events for other ministries both with the Rock Church and for other organizations like Adventure In Life. We provide training, formal classes, photography services, fun outings, and document field mission life. Most of all we are about serving the Lord with the gifts in photography that He has given us. Come out today and ask us more about how you can be a part of His work!


Rock Church
2277 Rosecrans St.
San Diego, CA 92106


10/2/11 Today
8am, 10am, Noon, 5pm, & 7pm services (Both before and after service)


All of the Rock Church minitries will be represented and we encourage you to come out to learn more about serving.



Iaomai Medical Ministries – Guatemala Mission

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.

Iaomai Medical Ministries

Mission-Focused Articles



Want To Improve Short-Term Mission? Join Me At The Forum 2011

Dave Miller posted this recently on his blog…MISSION focused has been on several short term missions trips to Oaxaca with Dave and Adventures in Life.  if youve been on a short term mission and want to learn more, read on…

“Don’t worry, I’ll show you everything you need to know.” Those were the words of my pastor when I was told I would be leading the youth group on their annual short-term mission trip in 1990.

My training consisted of a shopping list for supplies and a map of where we were going. Once there, I learned how to keep locals from getting in the way of our mission, the subtleties of buying clean drinking water, and what to do when your group scares the local chickens so much they cannot lay eggs.

That was over 20 years ago and certainly many things have changed. However, too much of our short-term training is still based on a model of pray, trust God, and go!

Thankfully, through the vision of a dedicated group of leaders that included people like Roger Peterson, Wayne Sneed, and Gordy Grover, things are a lot different than they were in those early days.

In the mid 1980’s, a small group of leaders began meeting annually to try and bring a little professionalism to a then young movement called short-term mission. Over the years the group of people attending those annual gatherings became known as the Fellowship of Short-Term Mission Leaders.

I became part of the Fellowship in 2004. It has changed my life, my perspective, and my mission. There is no single event in which I participate that I find to be more important to the continued success of Adventures in Life Ministry and my mission than the annual conference held by this group.

As a leader I get a chance to interact with and fellowship with peers in my field. I can seek counsel, test ideas, and see where short-term mission is headed in the coming years. It also gives me a great chance to slow down and consider where I believe God is leading AIL Ministry in future years.

This year’s conference, The Forum 2011, will be held at Green Lake Conference Center in Green Lake, Wisconsin, October 12 – 15.

Our Keynote Speaker will be Robert Guerrero. Robert, the founder of Del Camino Network and an on field host receiver, is going to tell it like it is from someone who has received thousands of STM teams.

If you, your church, or your organization wants to improve your short-term mission, there is no better place to be. If you are a pastor, and your church is sending out short-term teams, you need to be here. If you have been wondering whether God is calling to the foreign mission field, a few days at The Forum can help you better understand that call.

Adventures in Life is better because of this conference. Please consider joining me and the Fellowship of Short-Term Mission Leaders this year at The Forum 2011.

For full details, and to register for The Forum 2011, click here!

Happy Easter

 Easter Sunrise services have been taking place on the top of East County’s Mt. Helix for 94 years. It is one of the longest running celebrations of Easter in our nation.

Each year, the service is sponsored by a different congregation, making it truly a community event. This year, Calvary Chapel of La Mesa was the sponsor.
Even the dogs were enjoying the worship music.“I (Jesus) am in them and you (God) are in me. May they (Believers) experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.” John 17:23

“The angel spoke to the women: “There is nothing to fear here. I know you’re looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said. Come and look at the place where he was placed.” Matt. 28;5,6

The sun never came out for the Sunrise Service but it was still beautiful atop Mt. Helix. Seeing all the families who had walked up the hill so early in the morning to celibrate our Lord’s resurrection was a blessing.

Rock Academy Spring Fling

I enjoy shooting dances, probably because I remember how much I looked forward to getting our photos back from Prom / Homecoming. I also love that the same gal in those photos is the gal I married. I shot the Rock Academy’s Spring Fling this past friday night with Brother Joe. It was a cold night with the dance outdoors but we still had a good time with our makeshift light system and the students were fun to pose. Brother Joe shot this photo with me and the gals, not sure how I got caught on the other side of the lens but at least I was able to plug Nikon!


more photos at first kiss

No Class this Wed.

We have missed seeing many of you in class lately, and hope that you will come again. However, we would like to let you know that there will be no class this Wed. the 9th.  On the 16th we will be back in room 353, we will be discussing upcoming events for the spring and summer as well as the upcoming series of film classes. Bring 4 or 5 of your favorite photos from the past several months to share with the class. Invite a friend to join you and come have fun learning more about photography.

Hope to see you on the 16th.

Have Fun Shooting!

Photo Class Tonight


7:00 Room 353

Bring some shots to share as we explore the wonderful world of photography!

Photo Class 11/10/10…


Update:  It is starting to drizzle right now so please don’t forget to bring a jacket.  Also it can’t hurt to bring some plastic bags and rubber bands to protect your camera.  See you soon.  Blessings!

Tonight we will not be meeting at the Rock Church for our normal Wednesday night class.  Instead we will be going to Little Italy to test our photography skills and break bread together at Filippi’s.  See below for more details.  If you are new you are welcome to come out with us in fellowship and to have a little fun shooting with us.  We look forward to seeing you there.

  • Who:  All photographers and skill levels are welcome
  • Where:  Meeting in Little Italy @ the fountain near Nelson Photo
    • 1909 India St, San Diego, CA 92101
  • What:  We will be testing our photography skills here in Little Italy and will share our works at a later time.
  • When:  11/10/10 6:30pm we will meet at the fountain
  • Don’t forget your equipment:
    • Camera
    • Tripod
    • Flash if you plan on using it
    • Batteries charged and ready to go

If you have any questions please email us:  photoministry@therocksandiego.org


Jim Wanglund

Rock Photographer

Photo Class 11/03/10…

Greeting Photogs,

We will be meeting this Wednesday in Room 352 @ 7pm for our next photo lesson.

11/03 – 7-9pm – Room 352 – Framing & Composition

We wll be discussing Framing & Composition this week and hope you can join us.  We will also be talking about our next outing as well to take some photos outside the classroom.  Looking forward to seeing everyone in class and as always it is free to all.

God Bless,

Jim Wanglund

Rock Photographer

The Best Day

I’m blessed to know the love God has for his children through the love I have for my son. To be willing to sacrifice Him for our sins is a love story like no other. Hayden and I spent mothers day together at Sea World, unfortently mother’s day is Alicia’s busiest day of the year as she is a florist. Anyways it was the best day I’ve had with Hayden and just wanted to share some shots.

Welcome to the Prom

I had a great time shooting the prom with Mikey last night, he came to show the kids how to dress and class it up, suit and tie style. He made the mistake of following me and brother Joe down the rabbit trail and took us a little too seriously. The last time i got dressed up was probably my wedding 5 years ago, and then before that probably prom 12 years ago, both with the same beautiful gal! Check us out, Horizon Prom 1997.

Anyways, I shot the prom with Bro joe the previous year and we had a great time messing around with some night photography. This year’s group served as great models, finally a group who didn’t mind getting their feet wet in some instances and simply enjoyed having some memoires captured of their special night. hope y’all enjoy the shots, here were some of my favs . . .

May 2010 Calendar

Hey All,

May wallpapers are here, enjoy . . .

2560 x 1600
1024 x 768

2560 x 1600
1024 x 768

Rock Women’s Retreat

im at the womens retreat looking for raquel.  sitting in the lobby listening to the speaker as she was sharing about habits and how if were not careful, we can end up forming some habits that arent so healthy.  i was reminded of powdered creamer in the philippines.  they love the powdered creamer.  and now that i think of it, they love the instant coffeee.  the application for me was how we can sometimes think that instant coffee and powdered creamer is the bomb!  when in actuality, in my humble opinion, its a poor substitute for a freshly drawn espresso.  much in the same way, we can be lulled into thinking that life as we know it, without Christ,  is it.  that it dont get any better than we may have it.  when we know in reality that life is just beginning when we first hear the call of Christ, and come to Him.  it only gets better!

so the reminder for me is to not settle.  even in Christ, things are always better the more we spend time with Jesus.  so leave the powdered milk at the counter or the nikon, and go for the gold, the good stuff…like Canon!  Christ said He came that we might have life, life to the fullest.   John 10:10

i was planning on leaving once i met up w raquel and made sure she was doing well.  she is….but  im still here…i had dinner : )

im sitting in the coffee place here and im talking w some friends and brenda has agreed to share about the retreat experience so far….

                                      debbie alsdorf , this years retreat speaker

heeeeeyyy… i am totally blessed to be here at the rock women’s retreat!  God has allowed this amazing opportunity for women of all ages to come together and get to know each other, share eachothers’ life stories, and most importantly grow closer to our Lord and Savior. 

God has used our wonderful speaker, Debbie, to touch the lives of each woman here… and through her stories, knowledge, and the wisdom that God gave her, spoke to each woman in ways that we didn’t think could be done.

we had the opportunity to dip our feet into the natural hot springs, hang out at the coffee shop, play games, and just talk.  talk to eachother.  talk to God.

i have also had the awesome previledge to lead worship with stefanie kelly, regina pruitt, paul “brown sugar”, and jacob.

Brenda with her daughter Desi

Israel Houghton on Tavis Smiley Show

Israel Houghton was on the Tavis Smiley Show last nite, friday april 3rd.  i think this is the first time ive ever watched the show, and i only knew about Israel’s appearance because im on their email list.

Israel was sharing about his latest album, the power of one, and how it came about.  what stuck out to me is when Tavis was asking about him doing a solo project, without New Breed.  he said it had been some time since he released a solo album, and it was a good time, because it allowed himself and New Breed to stretch and try some new projects, inorder to keep things fresh.  he said that the “sound” of Israel and New Breed was pretty solid, and he was excited to add a little more “rock n roll” to his sound in this solo album.

this is a pic of israel in jamaica, during the miles ahead event in montego bay last year


Israel said something quite interesting during the interview, he was “tired of salting the salt and lighting the light.”   He said that “Gospel” means “good news” and there are people today who are hurting and needing hope…he wants to make music for them, music that offers them true hope and good news.

the Good News of Christ, in his music.  to which i say, “go brother!”