Jack praying for Faris Hassan after delivering a laptop for him and his family. They are refugees from Iraq and have been in the US less than 5 months.Faris with his wife and kids.
Jesus Geeks is a non-profit ministry that provides quality computer services for those who can’t afford it. They also take old computers and repair & refurbish them…then they donate them to families who don’t have computers. Sunday I had the chance to follow Jack, leader of Jesus Geeks ministry, as he delivered 2 laptop computers to families in need. In the case of Faris, they are Muslims, but Jesus Geeks don’t discriminate…the family needed a computer and they delivered.
The ministry is about serving Jesus with their gifts. They have learned to be culturally sensitive with families who don’t know Jesus…but when Jack asked if he could pray for them they gladly accepted. After praying, Jack closed the prayer by praying ” in the name of Isa Jesus. Amen.” Jack said Isa is the name Muslims use for Jesus. Very cool.
Jack helping set up the laptop for another family from Ethiopia.
Kids are kids, no matter where your from. The computer isn’t quite ready for play, but the kids don’t care…
Gabrawhout with his wife and 6 kids. They have been in the US for less than 8 months. While Jack was setting up the computer, I spent much of my time photographing their middle boy, on the left between his big brother and sister. He was so much fun, wanting to pose for me whenever I wasn’t taking photos of Jack in action…Praise God for the work God is doing through Jack and the Jesus Geeks ministry. If you want more info about the Jesus Geeks ministry, you can go HERE.
tecnologia’ desafiada = technology challenged
This was the theme for today in Oaxaca. It shouldn’t have been so.
I was able to get some work done but my computer was acting up, more than ususal for those who know how messed up my computer is…but it works, that’s what matters. Thankfully there have been no issues with my camera so while I couldn’t do much editing and posting most of the day, I was able to keep shooting. This is home base…where I work when I’m not running around taking photos of the men this week. That’s the computer in question, currently working….to the left, a Toshiba laptop donated by someone from the Rock to the Jesus Geeks, who in turn washed and waxed it and donated it to Americo and Norma, to be used at the training center thats being worked on this week and for use by the local church. This week the men are using it to check in with family back in the states.The machine that Adventures in Life and Harvesting Hope have to drill wells with needed some work done on the drive shafts. Some of the men who were in Oaxaca in January with Harvesting Hope took back to the States the drive shaft, to have a new one machined. Sean brought it with him when he came to Oaxaca this week. When Dave and Chable’ started to put the drive shaft together, it was just a hair too thick. Thankfully, there is a metal machine shop that has a metal lathe in order to adjust the drive shaft to make it work. The photo above is of the machinist working on the drive shaft.Dave and some of the guys from Harvesting Hope came to this same shop 2 weeks ago and they were amazed at how many old classic machines they had, and that they still worked.
One of the machines was an old Lodge & Davis Machine Tool Company of Cincinnati, Ohio. I did a little searching online and saw an old Lodge & Davis machine, reportedly from the 1890’s, that looked newer than the machine above.I know that in the States, most metal lathe machines are computer controlled…but the machinist in Tlacolula got the job done old school style with a good caliper, a good eye and the human touch.
I started to think tonight, with my computer now cooperating… Canon recently unveiled their new flagship EOS 1DX and Nikon just announcing the new D800 & D800E…do we need more technology and more megapixels? I’m using and still loving my EOS 5D. Not too long ago I was walking through church when this kid I know walked up to me and saw my camera on my shoulder. He said something like “ohhhh, is that the 5D Mark II!?” I said nope, I’m rolling with the original 5D. He immediately lost interest and walked away….
Really! I felt like smacking the kid up side the head! Is that what it’s come down to. Unless you have the latest and greatest camera, you don’t matter or you can’t take great photos….just so there is no question, the answer is NO!
That old Toshiba lap top will be a blessing to the local church and to Americo & Norma. And as hard as it might be, I will strive to serve Jesus and take photos that honor Him with my viejo(old) 5D.
Praise God for old technology!
Wednesday was a full day. Getting all my gear in order and trying to realx before traveling off to Oaxaca. Went to class. We all got blessed by hearing Cyndy share a little bit about how she became a follower of Christ and what God was doing in her life. How she is excited that she can now use her love for photography and her love for short term missions as the same time, to serve Christ with her gifts.
After sharing some of our photos in class…it was time to head south, so I thought.
Cyndy and Danie took me to the Greyhound station so I could catch the shuttle to the Tijuana airport. When we got to the Broadway location somebody moved the station and didn’t tell me. I should have known this wasn’t gonna be an “easy” trip to Oaxaca.
When we got to the new Greyhound location, 1313 National Ave in the East Village area, Cyndy and Danie got all geeked up and had to go and take photos of the address, since the class homework for this week was to take photos of “13.”
I said my “good-byes” and went to get my ticket to the Tijuana airport. Time comes and I get on the wrong bus, the bus to L.A. After sitting on the bus for a few minutes, something just didn’t feel right. So I ask and they tell me I’m on the bus to L.A. I get off, go to the bathroom, and when I get out…my bus to the Tijuana airport is leaving without me! Ugh. The next shuttle didn’t leave till 1130pm, which would have gotten me in to the airport at 1215am, cutting it close.
Me sitting on the wrong bus…not realizing this fact yet!
That’s when I meet Johnny and Raul. They both work for Greyhound and had just gotten off work. They live in Tijuana and asked if I wanted a ride to the border to catch my bus. I paused to think for what seemed like an hour…praying and working out worst case scenarios in my head. What if they kill me, kidnap me or kick me out the car with all my stuff in Tijuana…I said “sure.”
We jump in the car, start flying down the freeway and along the way we pass the bus. I ask if they are gonna drop me off at the bus terminal in San Ysidro, they said they would drop me off on the other side of the border where the busses cross. At this point I have no choice but to go along for the ride.
The whole drive south I’m praying and looking start to share that I’m a child of the Most High King, on a mission from God to go to Oaxaca. Which opened me up to the question of what will I be doing in Oaxaca? Again, I start to think…do I tell them I’m a photographer and open myself up to be a target?
Why am I thinking these things? Johnny and Raul seem like nice guys, despite the fact that Johnny has an Oakland Raiders helmet hanging from his mirror! That’s when I just had to laugh and go along for the ride!
I believe God provided a way for me to go to Oaxaca so I could photograph the work He is doing through Adventure in Life in Mexico. I belive the enemy is at work trying to discourage, distract, and destroy the plans of God as followers of Christ step out in faith to minister for His sake.
Needless to say I was able to catch my bus and make my way to the Tijuana airport. I wish that was the end of this stories adventures…nope!
After getting to the airport and getting my visa, I go through the first of many checkpoints in the airport. They stop me because I have 3 laptop computers with me. “Why do you have the laptops?”
Dan and Jack, part of the Jesus Geeks Team, working at the Chick-Fil-A office in Mira Mesa
I explain that they were donated, thanks to Jack Costner and the Jesus Geeks, for missionaries in Oaxaca. I’m told you are allowed to bring 1 computer with you, and if I want to bring the extra computers I have to pay taxes, even if they are being donated. They didn’t care who was gonna get them. So I paid the taxes.
Almost on the plane…I’m sitting at the gate waiting for the plane to board, when the Volaris agents started walking around checking carry-on bags and asking folks to check them at the gate. Of course that is not gonna happen! It doesn’t matter that my carry-on roller and backpack weigh twice as much as my checked bag. The gal says something to me in Spanish, I don’t know a lot of Spanish but I gathered that she wanted me to go and check my bag. Nope. So for the next 20 minutes as they’re walking around taking bags I’m trying to lay low and hide my roller. I wish I had it on video, kinda funny. Thankfully I made it on the plane with both my bags.
My trusty Think Tank Airport International roller
On a side note, if your a photographer…Think Tank Photo have the best gear for your gear! I’m “rolling” with the Airport International ver. 1 and Shapeshifter backpack.
Now it’s 10pm in Oaxaca and I’m ready! Praise God!