Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It's Konner's birthday!

Today is my brother's birthday! Yes, that means we are very excited and today we will be partying all day. So, I hope your day is filled with excitement too.

Konner at Clearwater Beach

Konner at San Jaun 
(I know this image was in a previous post, 
but it deserves to go up again.)

Konner at an orphanage with me in Malaysia, 2008.
(He's a master with the Rubic's cube. I think he has one cube that's 7x7 instead of the normal 3x3.)

He's praying about going back on the Southeast Asia CI trip again this year as well. 

As I've mentioned why in more detail in my recent post. I've put this up for auction to raise support for the members of this year's team. All the proceeds will go straight to the SEA 2010 team. Bid on this framed (black frame), display-ready image of Donner Lake by clicking here. If you click back a few post you will actually see several more post about the ministry opportuninty I'm referring too. 

Signing off for today. God bless your socks off,

Capture. Create. Discover.
Something Amazing!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What is behind each face?

There is one thing every face here has in common...'s not that they are orphaned...'s not that they are old...'s not that they are young...'s not that they are poor...'s not that they are small...'s not that they are persevering...'s not that they are friendly...'s not that their soup is good...

(I love this upcoming series. This little girl and her brother were so cute and playful.)'s not that they are cute...'s not that they are playful...'s not that they are shy...
(This is what cute brothers are for, right? Hiding behind!)'s not that they are skilled... is that each one was created by and loved of Jesus Christ my Lord.

 "Why, even the hairs of your head
 are all numbered.
 Fear not; 
you are of more value than many sparrows."
~Luke 12:7

I've putt this up for auction to raise support for the members of this year's team. All the proceeds will go straight to the SEA 2010 team. Bid on this framed (black frame), display-ready image of Donner Lake by clicking here.

For more information about how you can go on this trip yourself please click here. It is my prayer that you will consider going yourself on this wonderful opportunity to be changed forever. 

Signing off for today. God bless your socks off,

Capture. Create. Discover.
Something Amazing!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Second-to-last post about this...maybe!

I know I blogged about this all last week pretty much and you might be ready for a change of pace. But I can't help still being excited about it. There were so many stories and images from the month that I just wish I had time to share them all with you. But for now I just wanted to share with you some simple images to give you all another small look into the lives of those we loved and worked with over those four and a half weeks.

Every orphanage we went to there was the same uncertainty that had to be overcome. It's cool to watch the transformation love has on even the most cautious or shy individuals.

I remember Ryan Shrum (pictured above) taking some of the first steps to get these "brave" three to come out and just maybe throw around the frisbee with us. Let's just say that kids didn't decide that they wanted to hang with us as soon as we got out of our taxis. But after a while there were no less than 25 local children and young adults out there with us. 

After while they started to throw the frisbee back and forth with us. It was a good sign! 

Soon lots of neighborhood kids joined us for an awesome game of tag around the playground.

Digital cameras are awesome icebreakers! The ability we now have to capture a moment and immediately show the child you are making friends with is a powerful and beautiful thing! If you go not only will you want to make sure you have lots of memory cards, but you will find that it will come in handy for making friends too.

Here is a quick testimony that one of the members of the 2008 team sent me and I would love it if you all would read it too.

"Most people hop on a plane and travel half way across the world to “make a difference”, to “change the world”. I want to suggest the opposite happens. I lived in rural Ontario Canada, living in the stream of life, going on my merry way; till Asia. I was the one changed, THEY made the difference. I went there empty, they told me stories, they filled my scrapbook, they cried and waved goodbye. I went bringing Jesus, but I left them knowing my Jesus so much better. I went bringing the Gospel, and they made a life and death decision to follow Him. They showed me Jesus in ways I cannot even begin to describe to you. They’ve watched their families murdered for being a follower of Jesus Christ, and I’m scared to give a tract to a lady at the grocery?

You tell me who needed changing!

I challenge you to take on this next group of believers going over to SouthEast Asia in 2010. Pray for them. That their lives would be changed, because only then can God do a work.
~Katrina Taylor

Small detail to mention, if you go on the trip you too will get a cool shirt like this! lol. (I think the image credit goes to Andrew Jorgensen for this image. Edited by myself of course. In other words I did I all could to help out the way I look. Sorry, it's all I could do.) :D
I wish I could go back again this year, but I can't. I already have two weddings booked that I'm going to be photographing over the period of the trip. I'll admit I'm looking forward to those a lot too . . . but I will miss being on this trip. I will miss doing what I can to help. That's why I'm doing all I can to spread the word about this awesome ministry that has blessed me and so many others immeasurably.

Again I just wanted to remind you all about the image I'm putting up for auction to raise support for the members of this year's team. All the proceeds will go straight to the SEA 2010 team. Bid on this framed and ready to hang image of Donner Lake by clicking here.

For more information about how you can go on this trip yourself please click here.

Signing off for today. God bless your socks off,

Capture. Create. Discover.
Something Amazing!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

You too can be a part!

The Southeast Asia trip is one of the most amazing trips I've ever been on in my life. I first went when I was only 17 years old and it changed and formed me in so many ways. It gave me a vision of just how big my God is and how vast is his love. I saw him as he took care of some of the poorest and yet the happiest orphans in my life. I watched him truly relied on. I saw what it looks like to have to live your life with faith in Jesus Christ and the joy that that alone can bring. I got to meet small children who have put their life on the line and trusted that God would pull through for them.

Matthew 18:2-6 says,
"And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea."

God really values those who put their whole faith and trust in him alone. Most of us here in America don't have to live that way every day. There may be a day or two out of the year that we really have to live putting all our faith in the Lord, and call on him to move on our behalf in a death or life way. It's too easy to put God on a shelf when we are comfortable at home.

The highlight of the trip was one morning we spent visiting and befriending the different street children and orphans before we going back to teach the rest of the day at the Children's Institute. It's amazing to experience a place that is so different from anything you've ever seen before. To see children napping on concrete with flies buzzing round them. And yet you are there with one purpose: to let the love of Jesus Christ shine through you as best you can. Which comes in many forms. It could be simply smiling at one child as you roll a ball back and forth across the floor. And it might be something like playing a game of duck duck goose. It might be holding a child who has a physical disability and praying with them and letting them know that they are loved. Even if you can't speak their native tongue sometimes the smallest things count the most. 

One day we went to a children's hospital (pictures in yesterday's post) where we visited children who weren't going to leave that hospital alive and tried to cheer and encourage the parents of those little ones. It was a stretching experience but one that I want to see more of my fellow Christian friends experiencing. Christ came into the world to heal the broken-hearted and to set the captives free. Participating in this will change you! I think I'll say that again. It will change you, forever!  

But so far I haven't even talked about one of the main reasons the team goes over. If you haven't heard of the Children's Institute (CI) before, I would like to encourage you to look into it. It's a ministry that works right alongside with the Institute in Basic Life Principles' Basic Seminar where young adults, parents, pastors and many others from the age of 13 up learn about biblical principles for life. The children of these parents attend the Children's Institute where they learn a lot of the same principles right along with their parents … they just have a lot more fun doing it!

They start out the night by meeting up with their small group team leaders and the rest of their team. They work on a number of crafts along with lessons that correspond to those the parents are also learning that night. Then all the teams meet together for "large group" for an energy-filled time of learning. They learn songs written just for the Children's institute and memorize scripture. And then comes the highlight of the children's night—the story. It's usually a fun and attention-getting skit that all their parents hear about for the next few weeks straight. It's great! Then it's back to small group where the teacher wraps up with a recap of the large group time, and the children finish their crafts and clean up the team station. They wrap up at the same time as the parents' session. Then the next night you do it all over again! :D It's a week-long Seminar—every evening except for Friday and then all day Saturday.

The first week the morning is spent in teacher training, preparing for the lessons you will teach the children throughout the week ahead. Every week after that, you spend your mornings in neighborhoods with local children who have almost nothing. Or visiting children who had to run for their lives from those who killed their parents just because they were Christians, doing all sorts of services that are too many to list. 

It's hard to sum up a whole month of God working and stretching and growing you beyond your own strength in just a couple blog posts. But here is what I'm hoping to do through all this:

1. Teachers: This trip is always in need of young people who are willing to serve. If you are single, 17 or older, and would like a chance to serve the Lord alongside other young Christians in a foreign country and experience three very different cultures that will stretch you to the limits, you should pray about being a part of this great opportunity. For more information and requirements please click here!

2. Support: For those of you who either can't get the time off, like me, or are unable to afford the cost of the trip, or maybe you have a family that the Lord has already called you to serve as your mission field, that's great too! Please be a part of this ministry by donating to those who will be making the sacrifice of time and money to be there. The cost for the trip is actually very affordable compared to other mission trips. Asia is very inexpensive to travel compared to traveling in the States. Yet, being gone for that long adds up and I would really like to ask all those of you who would like to be a part of this work to give a gift to this ministry. That's a big way to be a part of this trip. And it will be greatly appreciated. Donations can be made though paypal to Thomas Teh, Director of IBLP Singapore. The email address to send donations to via paypal is, and the name that will appear on the receipt is Society of Basic Life Principles.

I am so excited about this opportunity to help send teachers, I am putting the following image up for auction on eBay, and all proceeds will go straight to this mission trip.  This image is of Donner Lake in Tahoe, CA. It is a matted and framed 10x20" metallic print. It's a value of over $250 and I hope it will help make it possible for another teacher to go. You can place your bid here. The image in this frame is right here.

3. Prayer: I want to see people who will openly commit to praying for this team. It's a taxing trip. Two years ago when I went, over half the team got sick to one degree or another over the period of the four and a half weeks. I need people to commit to praying for those whom the team will be reaching out to. Prayer that the Lord would show himself mighty and powerful in a place where Christianity is not wide spread and in some cases is even held in hostility. It's not popular to be a Christian in Indonesia.

The simplest and best way to help could just be spreading the word: please post the link to your wall on facebook so your friends can read it. Put it in your twitter. Post your own blog about this. Spread the word! Copy and paste this link into your facebook to help spread the word.

Signing off for today. God bless your socks off,

Capture. Create. Discover.
Something Amazing!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Again, I am sharing with you few more tidbits of our trip to Southeast Asia as a team. Again, I think I will just post several images and leave what memories of have of each under the image. This are just some of the extra things we did in Singapore. Kind of a random lot of images and stories.

This was a picture that Andrew and I did the first morning we arrived in Singapore after a rough 23 hours in the air. We were so excited about the trip and all that the Lord was going to be doing we couldn't sleep in. 

It was a beautiful morning full of excitement. It had been three years since I was last in Singapore and I couldn't wait to see what the Lord had in store for us on this trip.

The rest of the team arrived a day or two after the Staff did. It's amazing how this team becomes family to you. Leaving you never wanting to say goodbye. 

We went to a day care once actually and did some large group lessons and skits for a couple hours. This  broke us out of our comfort zones for sure. But we all knew we weren't there to do easy things. God is shown  most powerful when we are weakest.  

We spread out throughout that room to help bring some form of order to an otherwise completely uncontrolled room. The staff that normally works here brought all the kids in to this huge room for us and just walked out. So, we took over! It was so good for us all. I think we were all a bit nervous too if I remember correctly. Andrew Jorgensen (Team Leader) and Laura McCloy (Song Leader) desided it would be good for the different team members to step up to the plate and take charge. It was too watch the creativity of the team as we put our heads together and figure out a game plan. 

I love this image. Out of all the pictures from that morning I think this one captured it the best. It totally made me laugh. And I knew I had it the moment I click the shutter on my camera. Between the team shirt in the background, and Kristin's face being the only thing that isn't moving around like crazy . . . yeah. it was cool! Those kids had some serious energy. And like a brave warier Kristin was right in the thick of it. 

Can't you just hear that kiddo top center dying to be heard? lol. At least I made it into one image. 

I was part of half the team that split off early and went to visit a children's hospital. So of the children we visited wouldn't never go home again. It was a sobering time but one I don't regret at all. And I felt so blessed to have the chance to go and encourage them and show them that they are valued in whatever way we could. 

Sometimes it was just making them a ballon animal, or play of game of Go Fish. 

Or make them a beat bracelet. 

Simple as our gifts were sometimes, it meant the world to them to have us spend whatever time we could with them. 

Scratchy pads were a favorite. We ended up leaving a bunch of them there for the hospital to give to other visitors. 

Trying it out and a little unsure of what's going to happen. 

And the stickers. I can still hear him, "I want this one!" 

Team devotions after we just did some ultimate frisbee. We all gathered under what shade in the beautiful botanical gardens. When you go, bring lots of water. Singapore is so hot and humid. Andrew took us all through a study of Philippians and it was outstandingly perfect for our trip.

Another children's home we got to serve at for a morning. 

When you invest in a small child's life like this. There are no words for how special it is. 

Some of us! 

We traveled to over three different countries in many different ways. My personal favorite was the bus. It meant a few hours to actually catch up on sleep and enjoy the company of your team mates. 

I know this image might seem kind of random. But first of all, if you know me at all you know I love Dr. Pepper. And that's not to be found in any of the places we went in Southeast Asia other than a couple places in Singapore. It was such a welcome site I couldn't help but to take a picture. 

The girls on the team. They are the real troopers.

Btw, I just wanted to again remind you all,  that I would love it if you could please read this upcoming Thursday's post. I have something to lay before that I want you all to be a part of. Are you game? 

Signing off for today. God bless your socks off,

Capture. Create. Discover.
Something Amazing!