harnessing the power of photography for good

Posts tagged “Grady Martine

Adventure Friends…

The Adventures in Life 20th Celebration was a great evening to come together and thank God for the work that He has done through Adventures in Life in Mexico.  I always look forward to these gatherings because I get to see good friends in the Los Angeles area that I don’t get to see as often…So Sunday was an added bonus for me!

Grady Martine and Paul Lathrop.  I’ve known these guys for some time.  Grady was the one who God used to get a hold of me back in high school.  He and another friend Danny Mandagie, wouldn’t let me not go to Younglife…as hard as I tried, God had another plan.  I am forever thankful to both of them for dragging me to Younglife.

Paul and Grady grew up together in Pacific Grove, and Paul came to live in San Diego with Grady in between missionary stops in Columbia and Mexico.  That’s when I met Paul.

Paul and his wife Deanne, at the Adventures in Life 20th Celebration.

My good friend Ernie, with his lovely daughter Adrienne. Wife and Mom, Joy, couldn’t make it to the Celebration.

I think Ernie and I met back in 1995 or 96, when we were both leaders with Younglife in San Diego.  We used to meet together for a men’s Bible study group every Monday.  Paul was part of that men’s group, along with another friend Brett Bristol, who didn’t make the celebration on Sunday.

I don’t recall who moved up to L.A. first, but in a few years…Paul, Brett and Ernie all had moved to L.A. and started meeting with Dave Miller.  I had met Dave sometime after he and Grady started Adventures in Life.  Grady and his wife Barb had moved up to the Pasadena area when Grady began working on his Masters at Fuller Seminary.

Dave with Ernie and Adrienne at Restaurante Guelaguetza, where the 20th Celebration was held.

Ernie, Paul and Brett all became involved in some way or another with Adventures in Life over the years and I think we have all been blessed by this ministry.  I never had a chance to go to Mexico with Grady, Paul, Brett or Ernie.  Perhaps in the future.  I do know that these are friends that I will have for a lifetime!  This is another reason why I am thankful for Adventures in Life!

Here’s to another 20 years of ministry!!


Adventures in Life :: History

Adventures in Life is celebrating 20 Years of Ministry in Mexico.  Last night there was a great gathering of friends, family and ministry partners in Los Angeles at Restaurante Guelaguetz.  If you find yourself in the downtown LA area and want to try some great traditional Oaxacan food, you have to go to Restaurante Guelaguetza!

My friend Crystal Johnson put together this great video that was shown last night.  It gives you a short glimpse into how Adventures in Life started from conversations between the 2 founders Dave Miller and Grady Martine.

For more info about Adventures in Life and their ministry in Mexico please go HERE.


Join Us Wednesday for an Evening of Fun with Dave Miller

Dave Miller, Executive Director of Adventures in Life Ministry

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


God’s Time is On Time

A few years back I was visiting family in the Philippines., and on the TV they were running public service announcements with the then President Corazon Aquino, she was reminding everyone that “‘Filipino time’ is on time.”  

1987 Time Magazine Woman of the Year: President Corazon Aquino

I thought it was rather funny that it took the President of the Philippines to remind people to be on time.   In case your skin is lacking melanin(color), this may not make sense to you.  But i’ve been told by friends that they’re are other ethnic groups out there that have similar issues with timeliness.  That’s a good thing, since I have been known to have issues with being “on time.”

That’s why I subscribe to the philosophy that “when I get there, is when I get there.”  So I’m always on time!

Paul serving in Mexico with 2 Hermanas (Sisters in Christ)

This is Grady

The details are fuzzy and I may be off in my timeline., but that’s not what’s important here…

I met Grady back around in late 80’s when I was a wee lad.  He played a big role in how God called me to Himself.  Grady introduced me to Paul around the same time, when Paul came down to San Diego before heading off to the mission field in South America.  Paul spent was as a missionary in Colombia and Mexico for quite a few years.  

Paul and I kept in touch and when he was in San Diego and not in the field, we would spend many hours talking over coffee…

This is Dave

In 1992 Grady and Dave started Adventures in Life.  Dave was still a gringo back then so Paul became a key asset to AIL because of his Spanish speaking skills    I think I met Dave while visiting Grady in LA, don’t recall when exactly.

I took this photo of Ernie, his wife Joy and their daughter Adrienne this past weekend in Balboa Park.

I met Ernie back around 95/96.  Ernie, Paul, our friend Brett and I were in a men’s accountability group during this time. Fast forward a bit, next thing I know Ernie, Paul and Brett are now in LA and hanging out with Dave and helping with Adventures in Life.  I would see all these guys at least once a year when AIL would have their annual fundraiser banquet in Monrovia.

It was always my intention to get down to Mexico with Adventures in Life…and I almost made it on several occasions.  Almost…

Again, my details might not be 100% accurate but the important thing here is that God is in control and His timing is perfect!

Having spent the day with Ernie and his family, we laughed about the fact that I finally made it down to Mexico with Adventures in Life now that he, Paul and Brett (and Grady) are no longer actively involved.  Dave and I have had similar conversations recently…

I don’t confess to understand why either.  It would have made perfect sense for me to go down with Adventures in Life when all my friends were going as well.

What I do know is that it has been a blessing for me to have finally made it to Mexico!

I know that as a photographer, I was not ready back then…and that I have a better understanding now of how you can use photography to further the work of those in the mission field.

Are you using the gifts that God has given you for His glory?  Don’t wait to use your gifts for Him either.  Too many photographers think that they have to “make it” before they can do things for God.

God can use you if your heart is right with Him.

In the end it really is all about Jesus.

Be a blessing!


Oaxaca 2012 :: Adventures in Life Ministries

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.