Aug 10, 2015

Jesus love. Photo love. My Picture Project.


Jamie, on a mission trip with Makarios this summer, is being escorted by Makarios student Luigi who is helping her locate some of the kids she took pictures of back in 2008 while she was on a mission trip with Makarios.
A watered seed grows. A heart longs to beat alongside its maker.  A girl dreams, doubts, questions, seeks.  An eye sees and a soul perceives.  For far too long a gift given has sat only partially unwrapped - torn wrapping paper with just a corner of the box peeking through. The gift: to look through a lens and see such incredible depth and beauty, to be charmed by the slightest expression and drawn to rusty, raw backgrounds and candid, unposed moments shared.  And now, the Lord is telling that girl to use the gift as a bridge, to share the art with the subject, to share Him over the exchange of a photo.

It's like when I picked up a camera on foreign soil, a new breath filled my lungs and my mind, my heart, my eyes delighted in all that I could see through the keyhole of my camera.  For a long time this girl struggled with how to use this gift for His glory.  Photos are meant to be shared, and in this slice of time much of the sharing happens over the internet, for all to see, a display of that moment in time.  Over the years, I have posted photos of many people and things from my host culture, because I find them fascinating, interesting, vulnerably beautiful and I see Jesus everywhere I look.  


However, this girl knows He is not calling her to display these photos in particular for the world. It's much smaller and much bigger than that.  HE is not calling her to display them for the praise of man, but to share them with just one person at a time in praise of Him, the person being the subject of the photo, God in them being reflected back to my lens, and then shared back with them 4 X 6 style, but not to be contained by those constraints!   And to not just share the photo, but to pray over the person who's expression and heart it contains, to fill the blank canvas on the back with a scripture called to mind just for them, and to share Jesus - because really what the girl sees through the viewfinder is Jesus in her subject, even if the subject is not aware of Him yet or has not claimed Him yet, they are still created in His image.

Jamie taking a photo of a beautiful young lady holding the photo that Jamie took of her when she was just a girl.

This girl has known about this particular calling for almost a year now and has been dragging her feet at getting started in sharing the photos as a bridge for sharing Jesus. But then the Lord used someone from a team here recently, Jamie from Austin Ridge Church, to kindle the little spark that He had lit in me months ago.  My new friend Jamie had come on a mission trip in 2008 with Makarios and she had taken photos of many of the lovely kids that live around Makarios in Tamarindo and in the other communities. When she returned this summer on another trip, she had with her printed photos and was hoping to find the kids in them to see them again and give them their photo.

Ivi's family and grandmother laughing, reminising and staring in wonder at how Ivi went from a girl to a young woman over the slice of time between the photo and now (7 years!)



God allowed me to be a part of a few of those moments with her and I KNEW He was giving me a tangible, living, breathing example as well as encouragment to move forward.  As I watched families go bonkers over photos of their child from 2008, my heart began to swell and beat with renewed vigor about my unique calling.  Jamie and I had only just met, but when I saw her photos and then heard what she was doing with them, I knew that God had set a divine appointment with intentions to motivate the girl who knew the what but questioned the how.  I had already printed many photos and prayed about what verses to put on the back, but they had been sitting in stacks on my desk, though on the day I witnessed Jamie's photo exchange I actually had photos for one person in my purse. Coincidence? I think NOT.

So . . . . to be clear . . . this is what I know the Lord has called me to right now in this season of ministry on the mission field in a very personal way: That when I take a photo of one of my friends in the communities where Makarios serves, that I would print out the photo, pray over the person in the photo, ask the Lord to give me a verse for that person that I will put on the back of the photo, and then return to the community and give the photo to the person who is in it and share Jesus with them.




I am intentionally sharing this calling with whoever reads this for several reasons: 1) I am terrified and I need accountability (I have a million excuses to not obey God in this.) 2) I need partners in this project because I am going to run out of printer cartridges and paper for my Canon selphy and I don't want lack of resources to be one of my excuses for not following through with this.  3) Maybe there is something that the Lord has been calling you to - a whisper in your heart that has been blotted out by the noise of distraction, excuses or doubt - and you need a little encouragement to move forward. Sometimes the Lord sends a "Jamie" to stoke the flame or a Rachel as a reminder :)

I'm the girl. Photos are the vessel. Jesus is the message.

Will you pray with me that they see Him, receive Him and are blessed and encouraged?

2 comments :

  1. Beautiful! Godspeed, friends!!❤️

    ReplyDelete
  2. what a fantastic way to get into the lives of people!

    ReplyDelete

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