harnessing the power of photography for good

Posts tagged “Love

Anniversary Blessings to the Millers!

MISSION focused would like to say to Dave & Chelle Miller “Happy Wedding Anniversary!”

It has been a blessing for us to get to know them and work alongside them in ministry….May God continue to deepen and strengthen your love for Him and each other today as you celebrate 33 years of marriage today!

We Love Y’all!


Oaxaca 2012:: Building Relationships

I’ve had the blessing to travel multiple times to photograph with Adventures in Life in Oaxaca, Mexico and each time I have learned something new about the people of Oaxaca that has blessed me and encouraged my faith.  One of the biggest lessons I have learned is the need to build relationships and earn trust with the folks I am photographing.  While Adventures in Life is technically an organisation that takes folks on “short term missions” to Mexico, at the heart of AIL is a desire to make a long term lasting impact in the lives of the people they minister to and with.

The only way that happens is by making and sustaining long term relationships.

Dave Miller recently shared a conversation he had with a big church in the US that was wanting to minister in Oaxaca.  They had heard about Dave and the work that AIL was doing in Oaxaca, and wanted Dave to introduce them (the big US church) to his friends and contacts in Oaxaca.

Dave understands and really thinks like a Mexican when it comes to ministry and how things “get done” in Mexico.  It something he has learned over the years through trial and error and much observation, and he really wants to share the Love of Christ with his friends in Mexico.  Because of that, he is quick to listen and slow to move when it comes to groups coming to Oaxaca and wanting to work with him.  Or in the case of the big US church, they just wanted his contacts and didn’t want to “work or partner” with him.

Dave has had other big US churches come and want to work with him, but he has had to say no, because they wanted to “do things their way” not taking into account what the local church or long term missionaries wanted or needed.  He had to take a pass on working with those churches.  That’s what he had to do as well with the latest big US church that wanted to meet his contacts.

At this point you might think its a pride thing and that Dave didn’t want to share his futbol with anyone, but that’s not the case.  Dave really eats, drinks, and breathes Mexico!  He spends half the year ministering in Mexico and working with local churches and missionaries.  Much of that time is spent building new relationships and deepening old existing ones.  These relationships have come over time, as he has ministered alongside local missionaries and churches.  Dave Miller, with Pastor Chable’s Family

Having sweat, bled, cried, prayed and lived with them over the years, he has earned their trust and respect.  Something Dave has come to cherish and guard.  The folks he is ministering with, are his friends and he has become part of their family.  This isn’t just ministry contacts they, the big US churches, want him to introduce them to, it really is his family.

Don’t know about y’all, but family really is sacred.  Not something you mess with.  When you meet family, and become family, it’s an honor that you don’t take lightly.  Especially since it’s not something that comes easily or quickly, even with the family of Christ, both in Mexico or in the US.

In the end, it really is all about our relationship with Christ and with each other, as we seek to share Christ with those who don’t know Him yet.

Respect the family!

Dave shares a little more about the idea of family and relaltionships at his blog Notes from Dave, you can read more HERE.

If you want to come experience Oaxaca first hand, feel free to contact Dave at info@ailministry.org


Oaxaca 2012:: Rounding Third….

Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

(Matthew 5:1-12 ESV)

This morning Dave shared from Matthew 5, the Beatitudes.

It reminded me of something I heard and never forgot.  I was a young christian and going to Emmanuel Faith Community Church in Escondido, Doc Strauss said “there are lots of people who say they love God, but very few truly love Jesus.”  He was talking about having a passionate personal relationship with Jesus.  Being fully surrendered to the One who I owe everything to.  All that I have is His.

Dave shared how much of Mexico is culturally religious and in much the same way many Americans fall into the same category.  As followers of Christ, are we looking at the Beatitudes as a check list for our faith?  As if we will gain eternal life if we get all our boxes checked off before God calls us home.  Christians have been told that they need to “do things” for the kingdom in order to become more like Christ.  We pray before meals, go to church, attend Bible study, read our Bible…and somewhere along the way we were told we should evangelize and go on mission.  Romans 6 tells us that obedience leads to righteousness.

Dave really hit it home when he said that we need to have obedience with purpose.

Today is Thursday and in less than 2 days we will be on our way back to the states.  Are we really serving Christ out of a deep passionate desire to honor Him with our whole life?  Or are we here because it’s what christians are supposed to do? Where are you going?

The great thing about our relationship with Christ is that while God demands perfection from us, He sees us covered by the blood of the Lamb.  By God’s Grace, we are given the Holy Spirit to help us along the way on this process of sanctification, becoming more like Jesus each day.

I love the photo above.  It reminds me of what our relationship with God is like…

As I watched this scene unfold, I couldn’t hear what he was saying to his son, but it didn’t matter.  I know what was being conveyed by his body language an the fathers smile…what I saw was a picture of God reminding me that He is there for me.  Though I may mess up or fall on my face, He is there to gently remind me that His Grace is sufficient.  I don’t have to “try” so hard.  Obedience with purpose.