Today MISSION focused has the honor and blessing of photographing Military Families in San Diego. It’s a small way we can say “Thank You” to the brave men and women who serve our country in the U.S. Armed Forces by offering free family portraits. It’s gonna be a great day!
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.
The 12th Annual Rock Women’s Retreat was up at Calvary Chapel’s Retreat Center, Murrieta Hot Springs. From all counts it was a great success and more importantly, God was there and His Spirit was moving!
Debbie Alsdorf was this year’s speaker
Take a look at a few photos that Raquel took and we think you will be blessed. Stefanie Kelly lead the women in praise and worship
After Eden played a special concert of worship on Saturday night.Raquel did a great job. We are so thankful for her and her heart to serve. If you see her make sure you thank her for all the great photos she took. Praise God!
If you want to see more of Raquel’s photos from the weekend, please visit the photo gallery HERE.
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!!
The Guelaguetza, aka Los Lunes del Cerro (Mondays on the Hill) happens the last 2 Mondays of July in the streets of Oaxaca City, and in surrounding towns and villages throughout the State of Oaxaca. It’s a celebration of everything that is Oaxaca. It’s a wash of color, sound, smell and taste that makes the culture in Oaxaca so unique.
If you ever get a chance to visit, you really must come during the Guelaguetza.
It was a long day…you can see a few more photos from the parade on our Facebook page. You can go there by pressing HERE or by clicking link to the right. More photos soon.
Long, fun day…time for some rest!
Victory Loves Preparation!
Bags are packed…ready as I will ever be. I’m heading off to Oaxaca tonight for 2 weeks of shooting with Adventures in Life Ministry. This will be my 6th trip down in 3 years, and I have learned a few things over the years.
I have learned a few things over the years…no matter how well your prepared, something will happen that will throw you off and cause you to change directions in order to “keep up!” So I basically gear up for the unexpected.
The biggest lesson of all, is that ministry in Mexico is fluid. God is in control and He knows the beginning from the end and everything in between. So if I rest in that assurance, I can go with the flow and ministry will be a lot more fun and successful.
In the end it’s not about whether I’m shooting with a Canon or Nikon camera, or if I’m using a PC or a Mac.
It’s about using the gifts that He has given me to the best of my ability.
So I prepare as best as I can, and I bring what gear I think I will need and use, and then I do my best to shoot what God shows me in a manner that brings Him the most Glory!
All Glory to God!
This is Dave and Chelle Miller. Dave is a blessed man to be able to minister alongside his lovely wife this summer in Mexico.
The volunteers and campers, arriving for a week of fun, fellowship & Jesus.
Terry is in Ensenada now, photographing what God is doing there with Adventures in Life. He will be taking photos for Pastor Jesus Vera’s church, Dios es Amor, and taking photos of the kids who will be coming to camp this week. The following is the first report from Terry, chronicling his journey to Ensenada on Saturday, July 7th.
The trip down and the first day in Ensenada were both challenging and uneventful all in one go of it, if that makes sense.
At noon I had got everything in order and was ready to hit the road, and so I hit it hard. As I approached the border I jumped off the freeway to secure insurance and a few pesos. But alas as I walked into the first insurance office and dropped my registration on the counter, I was soon told that they could not fully insure my lovely little car. Not full insurance just cover any other cars or persons. At the next insurance office the same story; I was about to give up and head home, I was not going to take El Bandito de Amor across the border without coverage. I stopped in BajaMex and they agreed to cover me. This kept me from slinking home in abject failure and disgrace.
I arrived safe and sound about three hours late, but in time for dinner, call me anything but late for dinner. After meeting the rest of the team, we had a lovely dinner prepared by the Pastors family.
I met Pastor Jesus Vera and his lovely wife Mirtha, of the Dios es Amor Church, who will be sponsoring the camp. Tomorrow, Sunday, I will take portraits of Church members before heading off to camp to immortalize the children on film or in the modern vernacular, on Flash cards.
Keep us in your prayers, GOD bless you.
Dave and Chelle, along with the folks from First Baptist Church, Salinas.
This week those serving with Adventures in Life will be remodeling the kitchen at Dios es Amor (God is Love Church), and they will be hosting a camp for 100 kids, 80 who do not go to the church. This is the beginning of a great summer season of ministry for Adventures in Life. MISSION focused is blessed to be serving alongside Dave and AIL.
Photopeeps are going to the Del Mar Fair
Sunday, June 24th
We are meeting up at Rock North County after 10am service.
Come join us for church first then off to the fair…
or you can meet us there.
Bring your camera and appetite for fun, fotos & food!!
Leave a message if your interested in joining us 🙂
MISSION focused will be in Oaxaca this summer, photographing the work of Adventures in Life. While we are there, we will take a few hours to photograph the beautiful pageantry of the Guelaguetza. Looking forward to witnessing and photographing what God is gonna do in Oaxaca this summer. Stay tuned…
Photopeeps Tonite. 7pm in Rm 353 at the Rock
All are welcome.
Tonite is a sharing night, so please bring a few fresh photos that you would like to share with the class. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at email@example.com or you can leave a message and we will reply.
Victory Loves Preparation!
Join us this Wednesday as we share what’s happening this Summer with Photopeeps. We have tons of fun things planned, some new classes, photo outings and summer bbq’s…
All are welcome, with or without a camera. If you do have a camera, please bring it with you…we might take some photos in class!
Photopeeps :: May 30th, Wednesday at the Rock, 7pm in Rm 353
If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
Get your camera and lets go have fun…Photopeeps will exploring Liberty Station today, May 16th. We will be meeting in the lobby at 7pm, and walking out at 715…All are welcome!
If you want to join come on out. Any questions you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark, Trevor, Terry and brotherjoe at A Night to Remember…I think
MISSION focused joined the photographers at Eastlake Church on Friday evening for A Night to Remember. Eastlake Church brings together special needs teen-agers for “Prom Night.” A chance for them to experience what other kids their age are doing this time of year…going to the Prom.
The evenings honored guests are pampered…with make up artists and hair stylists making them look extra nice, they get their photo taken in a studio that is set up and then it’s off to the Prom in a stretch limo!
This is the 2nd year we have helped with this great event! What a blessing and honor to help with this great evening. Praise God for the folks at Eastlake Church for this wonderful event.
You can view more photos from A Night to Remember HERE
I love sitting in the front row, or 2nd row as was the case this year, of Catalyst, to get close to the action…
Catalyst is about bringing together next generation leaders to encourage, challenge and inspire them to be the leaders God has called them to be. Catalyst is also good about bringing in great worship leaders and artists. This years was no different, with artists like Gungor, All Sons and Daughters, Carlos Whitaker and Propaganda.
It was fun to see what kind of photos I could get from my seat. Especially since there was no pressure to produce. I could choose when and if I wanted to take photos. Take a look at a few of the photos that got…
All were taken with the original Canon 5d, no flash with minimal adjustments made in Lightroom. Taken with either a fixed 200 f 2.8 or a 50 f 1.8
Michael Gungor, namesake, producer and leader of the band Gungor
Photopeeps this Wednesday, 7pm at the Rock, in Rm 353. All are welcome!
This Wednesday, April 25th is gonna be a sharing time…hopefully yall have been busy shooting photos over the past few weeks.
Yall are cordially invited to come and share with us! Sharing is Caring!!
Please bring 3 to 5 photos that you have taken this month, April, that you would like to share. Be ready to talk about your photos. It’s best to bring your photos on a thumb-drive, but you can bring them on a cd or on a memory card.
This is a great time to come and learn more about us. We have some fun things planned for the summer and we will be sharing a little bit of what we have planned this Wednesday.
Photography is fun! Sharing is fun!! Sharing photos is extra fun!!
Old Town San Diego State Historic Park is the “Birthplace of California.” SD is the birthplace of California! Sweet!!I’ve been to Old Town San Diego many times over the years, my first time was when I was a wee lad in elementary school…but sadly, I have only been to Old Town 3 times over the years for the purpose of photographing this historic area.
Rock Photopeeps decided it’s time to venture out and take photos of San Diego. Might as well start at the birthplace of California! These are a few photos that I took Wednesday night. I definitely want to come down and shoot a few more photos…
At the beginning of the year I decided that as fun as it may be to visit other parts California for photo excursions, it was time to spend more time photographing in San Diego.
Love water! Great for taking fun reflection photos…
Learn something every day…I did not know that the first US flag raised in Southern California was in Old Town. Cool!
It looked like it was gonna be a cold and rainy night but it turned out to be quite lovely. The clouds gave a little more character to the sky. Overall…a fun night of photography!
Yes! a DJ Ministry
Cross Fader DJ ministry wants to share the Love of Christ with those who appreciate the sounds that come from 2 turntables, drum machines, mixers and lots of bass coming from very large speakers. At the core of Cross Fader is a group of dedicated DJ’s who love Jesus and can be seen battling and mixing in and around San Diego.
You can learn more about Cross Fader HERE.
They had their first official event as a ministry of the Rock Church not to long ago, I had some fun photographing up close and personal…unfortunately I forgot my ear plugs! huh!?
DJ’s need Jesus too!
You can see more photos from Cross Fader DJ ministry 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!!
Dave Miller, executive director of Adventures in Life (AIL), was talking with one of the men yesterday in San Felipe Guila, Oaxaca, Mexico. That’s where this years Medical Team has been ministering, today and yesterday.
He asked, “why are you guys here? Nobody comes here (to San Felipe Guila).”
If you look on the map, there really isn’t much there. Most of the men in the town have left to find work in the city, near the border or in the U.S. Folks leave the town, they don’t come here for vacation, or even for missions trips.
Dave and I were talking today about his question, and it really was a good question that opened itself up to further questions of how short term missions is done across the globe.
I don’t profess to know much about short term missions philosophy and methodology, but I know what I’ve seen over the years as a photographer for Miles Ahead ministries and other groups that do short term missions.
The idea of, “bang for the buck” is an interesting concept. Dave shared a story with me of an missions leader telling him that trips with AIL are “cheap” in comparison to other missions groups. That he loved what AIL is doing in Mexico and he could see that real help is happening through Adventures in Life ministries. Bang for the buck!
But…what AIL does isn’t flashy, fashionable or trendy. Not that short term missions should be any of those things, but that missions leader was looking for something with more “show,” that would look good to the church that sent the group. They wanted big extravagant events and projects that look good and project well when doing a power point presentation to the missions folks and pastors.
What I’ve witnessed over the last 3 years, in the time I’ve been coming to photograph AIL ministries, is relationship and community building. A belief that working with local churches and pastors, and long term missionaries like Pastor Rolando in San Felipe Guila, is smarter than trying to come to an area and “do something” big for big’s sake.
Pastor Rolando & his wife
Adventures in Life understands that those in the trenches know better than any missions director in the states. That bigger isn’t always better when it comes to doing short term missions. By asking those who are ministering long term in the field, and living alongside them in community, Adventures in Life can partner with and help these missionaries better reach those who don’t know Jesus yet.
Unfortunately, too many U.S. churches want the big dog and pony show that looks good on video and looks good when sharing from the pulpit.
That’s not what Adventures in Life is all about.
Photopeeps Tonite :: 7pm at the Rock in Rm 353
All are welcome. Tonite we will be wrapping up our Intro to Photo Fun Classes. But don’t fret, we will be teaching this class 2 more times before the year is done.
San Juan Capistrano trip is this Saturday, come and learn more tonite.
Sharing is Caring! Come have fun with us.
It’s time for Oaxaca…come Friday I will be on a plane, with Cyndy Smith, heading for Oaxaca, Mexico. It’s been busy the last 2 weeks and as Friday approaches, I’m looking at another busy week. Hopefully I will be able to get some time to prepare, spiritually, for my time in Oaxaca. I’m really looking forward to this trip.
2010 Adventures in Life Oaxaca Medical Team
My first trip with Adventures in Life was back when the men’s work week and medical team outreach happened at the same time. Since then, the medical team outreach was moved to March and I haven’t had the chance to join another AIL medical team trip, so this should be fun.
2010 AIL Men’s Ministry Construction Team
That trip 3 years ago has become a real special experience for me as I look back. From that trip, God began to clarify how we, Mission Focused, can use photography to help further the reach of the Gospel and help those working in the missions field.
Terry in action
Since that first trip with AIL, God has continued to show us how we can serve those that are serving in the field. One of the things we started doing is taking family portraits. Oaxaca is the second poorest state in Mexico, and family photos is a luxury item for many.
It is our hope that taking these portraits will help the local church and missionaries to reach out to their community and build relationships in order to share the Love of Christ with them. And we can leave a lasting reminder of our visit…since too often, photographers come and go and the people they are taking photos of never see a photo other than the image on the back of the camera.
Cyndy and brotherjoe (me) will be sharing photos and stories during the week, so stay tuned. We will be posting on Facebook as well, so if you haven’t, please visit our FB page and “LIKE” us while your there 🙂
Time for Photopeeps annual trek north on the Amtrak train to San Juan Capistrano’s Annual Swallows Day Parade.
If your interested in going with us please leave a message or email us at MISSION.email@example.com
Adventures in Life Ministries was started over 15 years ago by 2 friends of mine, Grady Martine and Dave Miller. The ministry continues today… their Vision is to make known the transforming power of the Gospel through short term missions in Mexico.
They do this by developing ministry partnerships to reach the heart of Mexico(their Mission).
MISSION focused has had the honor of partnering with AIL over the last 3 years to help them, through photography, to make known the transforming power of the Gospel in Mexico.
Cyndy and brotherjoe are going to Oaxaca at the end of March to continue documenting the work of AIL in Oaxaca.
Jolene, part of the Medical Team in 2010, checking a patients heart and breathing
The Medical Team will be serving in different parts of Oaxaca, partnering with local churches and missionaries, to bring basic health care, via a small mobile clinic, to folks who might not receive any medical attention at all.
You can follow the work of Adventures in Life at their website www.AILministry.org or you can visit their Facebook page HERE. You can also view videos of recent AIL ministry trips at their YouTube channel HERE.
Of course, if your curious about what MISSION focused has been doing in Oaxaca, you can look HERE.