We have been blessed to photograph the work of Adventures in Life in Mexico over the past 4 years. This photo was taken in the main marketplace in Oaxaca, with the owner of the world famous NIEVES OAXAQUEÑAS CHAGÜITA. Our friend Crystal (Multi Cultural Cooking Network) posted a nice little article about the work Dave Miller and Adventures in Life Ministry has been doing in Mexico, you can read the article HERE.
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.
Please keep our friend and fellow Mission Focused photographer Cyndy in your prayers. She recently broke her wrist fighting off lions, tigers and polar bears in the arctic tundra…well, it wasn’t that dramatic but she did need surgery this week. Pray for healing and a speedy recovery so she can get back to serving Him with her gifts.
Calicinto Ranch’s annual Barcelo Classic Golf Tournament was held this year at the beautiful Legends course in Temecula. The Barcelo family has been a faithful sponsor for each of the last seven tournaments. Participating in the Tournament is a way to support The Ranch in their effort to break the cycle that youth walk in when their parents are in prison. Barna Research reports that 7 out of 10 children of prisoners follow their parents into incarceration. There are over 70,000 children of prisoners in Southern California, over 2 million in our nation! Calicinto Ranch is lovingly showing the children of prisoners that they don’t have to be like their parents.
Red Robin donated the yummy lunches for all the golfers as a result of Any Jones and her team. The Red Robin team also contributed to the tournament by entering a foursome of golfers which included Andrew Mulz, Don Clark, Paul Bankston, Kenny Hom. The Red Robin team additionally sponsored a hole and participated in the Ball Release, even to the extent of donating the winning money to Calicinto Ranch instead of keeping it. When making a choice on where to dine out consider Red Robin to thanks them for their generous donation to Calicinto Ranch.
The support from the Law Enforcement group was particularly inspiring. Their foursome included Capt. Gregory Peck, Retired Chief Gary Dominguez, Capt. Glen Dominguez and Officer Kevin Poulter. These are men who truly understand the significance of what the Ranch can do to help stop children from following in their parents footsteps.
The day included a putting contest, the longest drive, and a closest to the pin contest.
The Helicopter ball release was a creative way for people to donate money to The Ranch. 1000 balls were dropped from the Helicopter and if the ball you paid for was the closes to the pin you would receive half the money from the pool and The Ranch would receive the other half.
The day concluded with a delicious dinner gala, a silent auction, many door prize drawings, the announcement of the golf tournament winners and most importantly a glimpse into how consequential Calicinto Ranch is in the lives of at risk youth who have been able to attend a life changing camp.
For more information or to help support Calicinto Ranch click HERE
To follow them on Facebook click HERE
To see more photos from the day click HERE
Our friend and fellow photographer Dr. Jim has been taking photos at Horizon North County for quite some time now. I had the pleasure of meeting him a few years back and since then, I’ve helped him photograph several different events at Horizon. He has helped MISSION focused photograph several events over the years as well.
Photography can be a very solitary art at times. It’s not uncommon to hear about photographers waiting days, weeks and even years… for the perfect photo. Much of that time in the middle of nowhere all by themselves.
With a little extra effort, it can be a time of community and sharing, where photographers come together and learn from each other. This sharing of the creative process is in my opinion healthy, and beneficial. There’s nothing like getting up in front of your fellow photographers and explaining why and how you took a certain photo.Last week I went to Horizon’s Annual Fall Festival with Cyndy and Danie, to help Dr. Jim take photos of this years festivities. I think I have been to the last 3 or 4 of these, it’s always a great time and a wonderful alternative for young families who don’t want their kids roaming the neighborhood at night. There’s tons of fun activities for big and little kids along with chairs, coffee and entertainment for the folks.
These are just a few of the photos that we took. You can learn more about Horizon North County HERE. Enjoy.
Today friends, family, ministry partners and supporters of Adventures in Life will be coming together to help celebrate 20 years of ministry in Mexico.
We would like to wish our friends Dave & Chelle Miller and Adventures in Life many blessings and God’s speed for 20 more years of fruitful ministry in Mexico!
Sleepless San Diego 2012 was another great success! Thanks to everyone who slept out to help raise awareness
To see a few photos from the event, please check out our Facebook page HERE…don’t forget to”Like” us 🙂
More photos soon…
Tonite, a whole bunch of folks will be sleeping out under the stars at Liberty Station to raise awareness and money for the homeless in San Diego. This will be the 6th Annual Sleepless event that the SD Rescue Mission has done.
MISSION focused has been part of this great event since it began. If you would like more information about the SD Rescue Mission you can go HERE. If you live in San Diego and want to do something fun to help the homeless in San Diego…come down to Liberty Station.
Our friends at Adventures in Life Ministry are celebrating 20 years of ministry in Mexico. We are truly blessed to have been able to photograph what God is doing through AIL in Ensenada and Oaxaca. In the next few months we will be sharing a few of our favorite photos from the last 3 years that we have been photographing for Adventures in Life. You can learn more about the work of Adventures in Life by going HERE. Enjoy!
Our 2nd trip to Oaxaca in July of 2010 for AIL Kids Summer Camp at Pastor Chable’s farm in Zimatlan, Oaxaca.
The above photo was taken as we were waiting for a bus so we could make our way to Tlacolula from the city…I remember hearing Dave say,” jump on the nicest bus”…which we did. In the mean time we passed up 4 or 5 buses and ended up waiting another 30 minutes. I was fine, but the gals apparently had to go to the bathroom. The nice bus ride was 40 minutes to our destination….
This was taken in San Felipe Guila, about an hour away from the city of Oaxaca. We were there with the Medical Team. The folks there loved the photos, we took over 70 portraits in 2 days….of families, kids and different combinations of friends and family. What a great time
The men had just finished eating at one of Dave’s favorite roadside eating establishments, Taqueria El Rodeo, across the street from the main bus station in Oaxaca City (if you ever find yourself in the area you must go eat there)…and we were walking back to Casa Arnel when we bumped into these guys. The world famous Tuna de la Urse, one of the best roaming minstrels in Mexico and beyond… They travel all around the world competing and winning. They played for us and then the men got to pose with them! Great food and great music!
Happy 20 years of ministry to Adventures in Life! We hope yall have at least another 20! Praise God!!
2010 AIL Summer Camp at Pastor Chable’s farm (Zimatlan, Oaxaca Mexico)
3 years ago I made my first trip to Oaxaca with Dave Miller and Adventures in Life. I have known Dave for quite some time and I have many friends who have been very involved with AIL over the years. I almost made it Ensenada 15 years ago, give or take a few years, with AIL but it didn’t happen.
Terry in action at 2010 AIL Summer Camp
Understanding that God’s timing is perfect, I finally made it in February of 2010. It was on that trip that I began talking with Dave about bringing more photographers to Oaxaca in order to photograph the work that AIL was doing and to take portraits of kids and families in Oaxaca.
If you have ever been on a mission trip, one thing you will notice is that everyone serving seems to have a camera. What you see is someone taking a photo, usually of kids, and then they show the image on the screen of the camera and that’s it. The folks you are serving never see the photos ever again. Our goal as a ministry is to fix this problem. The Summer of 2010, Terry Schwartz came to Oaxaca with me to photograph AIL Summer Camp at Pastor Chable’s farm. We brought with us 2 HP printers so each student that came to camp could take home a photo of the whole camp and a picture of themselves. The photo above is of our “command center” that week.
Cyndy has been to Oaxaca several times, like Terry, to take portraits and to photograph the work of AIL in Oaxaca.
Some of the students looking at their photos from this summers camp in Oaxaca.
One of the biggest blessings for us is knowing that we were the first photographers to take some of these students portraits! It’s something that I can never forget or take for granted. We live in a world here in the U.S. where everyone has a camera, whether its a traditional camera or a phone with one. And to think that someone has never had their photo taken?
I took this gal’s photo in 2010. She is from San Pedro Amatlan, a small town several hours in the mountains above the city of Oaxaca. Cyndy and I visited this town with AIL’s Medical Team in March, where we had the chance to photograph families while we were there.
I recognized her from camp and I asked her if she was coming to camp in July. She was not able to make it. I also asked her if she still had the photo we took of her in 2010. She smiled and said “yes.” We took the photo above of her with some of her family…we left this and other photos we took before we headed down the mountain that evening.
These are some of the portraits we have had the privilege of taking over the past 3 years in Ensenada and Oaxaca…
This Summer was a blessing for us as a ministry. Since we started taking portraits of students at camp in 2010, we have been able to take portraits several different times on numerous trips to Oaxaca with Adventures in Life, in a half dozen locations around Oaxaca and in Ensenada with Dios es Amor Church this summer! Praise God!
2012 AIL Summer Camp
It is our desire to help ministries like Adventures in Life by documenting in photographs the work they are doing, and help AIL and the local church in areas like Oaxaca and Ensenada extend their reach into the community through photography.
MISSION focused is now a non profit 501 (c) 3, registered with the State of California and the IRS. If you would like to support the work that we are doing in Oaxaca and in San Diego, it would be a blessing to us. At this point in time we are not set up for credit card donations, so for now you can send a check payable to “MISSION focused” to the following address: MISSION focused ~ 8030 La Mesa Blvd #326 La Mesa CA, 91942
If you are a photographer, and have a desire to use your gifts for God’s Glory and to serve others, we would love to talk with you about future trips we are planning….
All Glory to God!
The word Guelaguetza comes from the Zapotec language and is usually interpreted as the “reciprocal exchanges of gifts and services”. Traditionally when there was an occasion for celebration such as a wedding, or a feast day, the people attending the party will bring items necessary for the celebration like food or alcoholic beverages. Each person’s offering, or “guelaguetza” allows the party to take place and becomes part of a reciprocal exchange and is one of the ways social ties are reinforced and preserved through time.
The state of Oaxaca is home to 16 different ethno linguistic groups and is incredibly diverse. For the Guelaguetza festival, members of these groups gather wearing their traditional clothing and perform folk dances that are particular to their village.
The Guelaguetza celebration dates back to way before the Spanish and continues as a defining characteristic of Oaxacan culture. Its origins and traditions come from a earth-based religious celebrations that worship the corn god. In contemporary Oaxaca, indigenous communities from within the state gather at the Guelaguetza to present their native culture, mainly in the form of music, costumes, dances, and food. It is the most famous indigenous gathering of its kind in Mexico.
For the 80th year in a row, delegations from communities all over Oaxaca unite in the capital to showcase their traditional clothing and music with parades, and dance performances. The Parades are held on the last two Saturdays and the performances in the amphitheater take on place the last two Mondays in July. Although the celebration is now an important tourist attraction, it also retains deep cultural importance for the peoples of Oaxaca and is important for the continuing survival of these cultures.
To see more photos go to MISSION focused Facebook page
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
As I sat getting a manicure & pedicure contemplating all the things I needed to accomplish before I left on my trip to Oaxaca my mind wandered to a few days earlier when I was on the beach with my Niece and her son. He is so adorable and at this beautiful age of wonderment and discovery.
My mind jumps back to my trip, not the things I still have to do but to the people I am going to see. The contrast between the opportunities of the children living in the US and those living in villages in Mexico are staggering. This is the fifth time I have travel to Oaxaca and the surrounding areas. This time I will be taking photos of Adventures In Life’s Kids Camp.
Just think about the lists you have made with your kids this summer of the things they want to do: Swimming at the beach, Riding Bikes Together, Going To Sea World, Disneyland and Legoland, Camping, A Road Trip, or Maybe A Vacation Flying Somewhere. Most kids in Mexico could never even dream of these thing, they don’t own a bike, their families don’t even own a car, they don’t take vacations, many don’t even have running water or electricity in their homes.
And here I was getting a manicure & pedicure, something I struggle with every time I am going on a mission trip. Why am I so blessed when other have so little? I still can’t answer that question; but I do know “that to whom much is give much is required” Luke 12:48
My prayer is that just by being in Oaxaca I can help make a child’s time at camp more fun and be an encouragement to those who give of their lives in service to the Mexican people.
If you would like to help buy ink and paper so we can give each child at camp a photo of themselves to take home with them please mail a check to MISSION focused 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #326 La Mesa, CA 91942 We are a 501c and will send you a tax deducible receipt.
If you would like to help support AIL Ministry in Oaxaca Click HERE
Like us on FACE BOOK
MISSION focused teamed up with Adventures in Life 3 years ago this Summer, we took photos of AIL Summer Camp. That’s where we first began taking portraits of the kids at camp and printing onsite so they could take the photo home with them.
Too often on missions trips the folks who are serving, take tons of photos but they rarely leave any. Most of the time, after taking the photo, they show the photo on the small screen of the camera and that’s it! I have been guilty of this myself.
It is our desire to use the gift of photography to bless others and bring honor and glory to Jesus. One way we can do this is by taking the portraits of the kids and printing them for them.
Adventures in Life Summer Camp 2010
The kids receiving their photos
Terry Schwartz was down in Ensenada earlier this month taking portraits of the kids who came to the Dios Es Amor Summer Camp. These are just a few of the kid portraits he took. I am sure Terry was blessed just as much, if not more, as the kids were.
If you want to join us on one of these missions trips as a photographer, let us know. We love to share the blessings.
You can see all the portraits that Terry took at our Smugmug site HERE.
Dave Miller, in orange, is coming to town next week. The photo above was taken in the middle of Oaxaca City’s main market at the world famous NIEVES OAXAQUEÑAS CHAGÜITA .
I first met Dave back in the mid 90’s, after my good friend Grady Martine and Dave co-founded Adventures in Life Ministry.
MISSION focused first started going to Oaxaca with AIL in 2010, to help Dave document the work that God is doing there. Since February of 2010, we have been down to Mexico with Adventures in Life several times. The photo above was from February of 2011, with Dave is Cyndy Smith, Jim Wanglund, Terry Schwartz and Brotherjoe
Wednesday, May 2nd, 7pm at the Rock Church in Rm 353
Dave Miller will be sharing stories with us about our most recent trip with Adventures in Life, along with photos that we took. This will be a chance to learn what God is doing deep in the heart of Mexico and how you might partner with MISSION focused and AIL as we continue to help them photograph the work of God in Oaxaca.
Please join us, FREE fun, all are welcome!
You can learn more about Adventures in Life Ministry HERE
If you want to see what we have been doing with AIL, please go HERE
Easter on the Ranch is a time for boys and girls who have incarcerated parents, along with their families, to enjoy a day away from their city life. The volunteers at the ranch provide for them a western experience that includes hayrides, horse rides and farm animals.
There are over 70,000 children ages 7-15 in the Southern California area that have incarcerated parents. The statistics show that these children are five times more likely to end up in prison themselves. They are seven times more likely to become involved in the juvenile justice system than their peers. And they are more likely to suffer from depression, substance abuse, disruptive behavior, eating and sleeping disorders, diminished academic performance, and feelings of abandonment, loneliness, shame, guilt, and resentment.
The kids get to color eggs and make Easter crafts. It is a time to have fun and hang out with their friends.
Calicinto Ranch does much more than just this once a year Easter celebration for these boys and girls, they also put on spring break and summer camps for them. Here the kids get to hear Bible stories and sing worship songs. They learn the six pillars of Character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship. Calicinto Ranch gives children a life changing experience in order to break the cycles of at-risk youth of incarcerated parents.
To lean more about the Ranch go HERE
To see more photos from the day go HERE
This Wednesday we will be taking Photopeeps “Old School” as we venture out to Old Town San Diego for some photo fun. We will be meeting in front of the Immaculate Conception Church in Old Town, at 645pm (link to church HERE). We will start wandering around Old Town at 715pm.
Immaculate Conception Church
Rain or shine, we will be ready to shoot and have fun! So come join us and don’t be just a fair weather photographer, that’s if it rains, and come have fun…photography is fun!
If you haven’t been to Old Town San Diego State Park, now’s your chance. It’s one of the more popular State Parks in California and it’s right in our backyard!
If you think your gonna come join us, please go to our Facebook page and let us know >>>go to the right of this post and you can get to our Facebook page>>>that way we can keep an eye out for you.
FREE Fun!!! Tomorrow, Wednesday April 11th.
Meeting in Old Town, at the church at 645pm, we hit the bricks at 715pm!
Rain or shine, we will be photographing. Bring a jacket and umbrella if it looks like rain.
Photography is fun! All are Welcome!!
I love these baby Chickens and with I could have brought them home from Oaxaca. I could not find out how they made them so colorful, but I am sure it would be illegal in the US. They would have made fun Easter gifts.The Catholic’s in Oaxaca seem to celebrate Christ’s Crucifixion more than His resurrection. They make and sell these figures of Jesus on the cross. It is sad for me to see the people worshiping Christ on the cross because they don’t seem to have the joy and hope that the Bible promises those who believe in the resurrection. Oaxaca is the second poorest state in Mexico with 57% of the children in rural areas experiencing stunted growth due to malnutrition. There are people living in houses with dirt floors, no running water and no indoor restrooms. Yet each village has a very big and elaborately decorated Church. This Easter as you attend your church, gather with family for a scrumptious meal and fill your Easter baskets, don’t forget the reason for the holiday and say a prayer for those less fortunate. “HE HAS RISEN, HE IS NOT HERE” Luke 24:6 See how Adventures in Life is helping the people of Oaxaca
It’s about that time…for everyone to head for home. Before everyone leaves, wanted to share a few photos of some of the amazing folks we had the privilege to serve alongside this week. Pastor Rolando with his family and the Adventures in Life Medical Team, in San Felipe GuilaPastor Chable’ with his wife Estella and her mom and their son Hiram. With the beautiful view of the valley of San Pedro Amatlan behind them. Team Oregon! Jolene, Fran, Arlene and Claire. Great gals from Burns, Oregon
Pastors Americo and Norma, with their children Ruth and Julian. Surrounded by the great folks on this years Medical Team.
Friday we celebrated Hermana Norma’s Birthday! Here she is with the shawl and flowers we gave her.
Can’t have a birthday without a birthday cake…and fire! Janet and Raquel have already left for home…but we still had a blast celebrating Hermana Norma’s birthday without them 🙂Before I forget…It’s been a real blessing to serve alongside Cyndy Smith. She has traveled the world on many missions over the years, and she is a great addition to MISSION focused family and this week couldn’t have been possible without her. She has been a real trooper this week. Missions deep in Mexico is very different than what you may have experienced along the border towns and she has learned to be quite flexible with how things are on mission in Oaxaca.
We will be continuing to post when we get back to the states, photos and stories, so stay tuned and please visit our Facebook page for more info and photos. You can see our Facebook page HERE.
This is Elizabeth.
I first met her in July, 2010 with Adventures in Life. I was in Oaxaca, Mexico with Terry Schwartz, photographing with MISSION focused. Pastor Chable’ hosts a camp for kids during the summers at his ranch. He brings kids down from some of the surrounding towns in the mountains above Oaxaca. Many of these kids never leave their little towns, and if not for this camp, most will never leave their town.
Me and Terry were there to photograph the week of camp, and take portraits of the kids so they could take the photos home as a memento of the week. Many of the kids had never had their photo taken, or had a photo of themselves!
During the week of camp I noticed a few things about Elizabeth. She had a beautiful smile with these great dimples, but she didn’t always smile. She had maybe 2 or 3 pairs of clothes, which she rotated and mix & matched during the week. This was typical of most of the kids that came from the mountain towns. At times I would see her playing with the other kids, and other times she would be off by herself, like the photo above…
The camp was made up of kids from all parts of Oaxaca and a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds with ages ranging from 6 to 16. The age difference made things interesting when it came to spending time with them and how the counselors would counsel them, but there were no real issues to worry about.
Who do I see? Elizabeth.
I asked if she remembered me, in what little Spanish I speak, and if she still had the photo we printed for her 2 years ago. She said she still has the photo. I dont’t think she remembers me, but I remembered her. I was excited to see her and to know she is doing well in the little town of San Pedro Amatlan. I asked her if she was coming to camp this summer? She didn’t know. That makes two of us. We will see if I can make it up to camp in July.
Hopefully she will be able to add the photo above to her collection of photos. What a blessing!
2012 Adventures in Life Oaxaca Medical Team
Monday was a long day, we were originally gonna be in a small town called San Pablo, but we ended up going to San Felipe Guila. The team saw 39 patients in the clinic and we expect to see even more on Tuesday as we go back to the same town.
Please continue to pray for safety and divine appointments this week. 2 young teenage gals prayed to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior today! Praise God!!
You can see more photos at the Adventures in Life Facebook page HERE.
As some of you may know, my Aunt passed away yesterday, March 24th. You can read more HERE.
Trying to keep focused, on Jesus today…the Adventures in Life Med Team went to Mitla today before church, and while walking the ruins and surrounding buildings I stumbled upon the following mural…
Loosely translated…Mitla is the sacred city of the dead, the grave is not the end. The resurrection of Jesus…Mark 16:1-8.
There’s comfort in knowing Christ offers eternal life to those who ask…
Do you know Jesus? If not, ask us or please go HERE
This is in the courtyard of San Pablo Mitla Church. Which is part of the Mitla Archeological Ruins Site. The area is the second most important ceremonial site next to Monte Alban (Mitla is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.)
Oaxaca and Mitla are fascinating areas rich in history and culture. If you are a photographer and want to experience it firsthand…let us know. Maybe you can join us on future missions…
You can read more about what were doing this week at the Adventures in Life Facebook page HERE.
We begin the day here with a great breakfast at Casa Arnel, a quaint little hotel in the heart of Oaxaca. It took a while to get our Orange Juice, but you can’t complain when you hear the grinder going and know how fresh and good it will taste.
Today was a free day to explore the city of Oaxaca, so after a stop at the coffee shop near the Zocalo (central square) we ask a man in the restaurant how to get to The Textile Museum. He told us it was 3 streets down and 2 streets over, sounded like he knew what he was talking about. When we got to the location we ask again, the lady said it is another 3 streets down and 2 streets over. This when on and on, I think we walked in circles for hours.
We finally took a break for lunch at La Olla Restaurnte. The food was delicious. Many of us had Tlayudas, a traditional meal of beans, avocados, tomatoes, epazote (a leaf vegetable & herb), and Quesillo (Oaxaca cheese). After lunch and getting different directions we finally found the Textile Museum, it might have been an enjoyable tourist attraction if we had not walk so much to get there. But, it was basically a let down. The journey itself on the lovely cobblestones streets of Oaxaca was more enjoyable then the destination.
More updates to come, check out our Facebook page and like us: CLICK HERE