harnessing the power of photography for good

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Do You Own A Camera?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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We Are MISSION focused

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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!

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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

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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.

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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.