So I'm back in Rwanda with Visiting Orphans. We are hanging out with orphans in a couple of new places and in a couple of orphanages we visited on my last trip. It has been a great experience to be back. The key words are "be back". When you go on such a trip, you pray that you can make an impact and do something to make a difference or at least plant a seed that someone else can reap the fruit from. Today I witnessed... make that experienced... the reason why I "Go" and then "Go Again". In 2011 I visited the Noel Orphanage near Gisenyi, Rwanda with Visiting Orphans and met a 15 year old blind boy named Jean da la Corixb. On that trip he challenged my intent when going onto the mission field and it has made me a better person. At least I pray it has.

Today, we returned to Noel. Less than a minute after getting off the bus, I noticed Jean coming to the bus. As he came closer, I said his name, hugged him, and said my name in his ear. His response was indescribable. To say the least, it was one of joy, tears and love. It was an emotional moment that I knew would be special. It also proved the importance of "Going Again". We always struggle with thoughts of how to go on the mission field, why we go or even worse, being asked by someone who has never been called to GO, "Why do you go to Africa? Can't you help someone in the United States?" Imagine the dismay when you tell them you're going back second time. I no long have to defend the reasons why I GO and then GO AGAIN. I only have to say Jean da la Corixb.

James 1:27


Haiti Help Portrait Mission Trip

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you know that I'm in Haiti with Frazer UMC on a Help Portrait Mission Trip. I'm with a great team of people and two other very talented photographers, Nick Drollette and Lori Mercer. We are here creating portraits of families and individuals who live in an exclusively all deaf community. It has been amazing! We have photographed over 60 portraits in two days and plan to capture 70 more on Saturday. The families are so appreciative and happy to have their photos taken. The families currently live in a community in Port-au-Prince next to the most dangerous slum in the world Cité Soleil. The residents will have an opportunity to move to a new community soon in Leveque, Haiti about 25 minutes away. At the new location, the families will be able to own the houses and property in only three years of paying rent/morgage. The new location will have better access to heathcare, education and spiritual support. That is where we come in. We are taking the portraits and will be bringing them home to be processed and framed. In December another team will be traveling back to Haiti to give the families the portraits for Christmas to take to their new homes when they are completed. In most cases, if not all, this will be the first photo they have ever owned. For me this has been an amazing experience and I pray I can be involved again. Here are a few shots from the first two days

(Note: My editor wasn't available so this post was written with out a safety net.)