Thursday, March 31, 2011

Continuing the story

So last I told you about the Mexico trip and talking to Trevor Johnson.  He basically said "Yes" there is definitely a use for photography on the mission field in Asia. Its just a matter making sure I have the skill necessary for the work and finding a way to pay the expenses.
That was the short of it. A little closer look showed there where many things to pray over and search out. Trevor was very good about bringing these to my attention. Things like
  • Asking for formal prayer and mentoring of the elders and church
  • Researching missions organizations to work with
  • Decide if I'm going to be full time missions or someone who goes on mission trips
  • Serving and taking on responsibility at my local church to prepare me for mission work
  • Pray and research about higher education and getting a degree 
Besides this he also mentioned that I would be of a lot more service and  worth if I could supply other media support as well as still photos. Video and web design where what he mentioned specifically, and in both areas I have very minimal knowledge at present. (pray for me as I possibly pursue those skills or others) 
Trevor also put me in contact with World Team www.worldteam.org  mobilization people who also helped me with thinking through next steps and answering questions. World Team is very ready to help people start the process of becoming a missionary. After talking with them they where ready to send me a internship application or a mid term application, neither of which am I ready to do at this point. They also asked if I would come and be the conference photographer for World Team Asia in June. This would be as the start of a two month internship. Unfortunately I have prior commitments for the month of June. 

Side note- For a while my excitement was rising so fast. It seemed like God was moving so fast! Where was I going to be in even two months? The excitement level is starting to come back down a little, but I still believe God is moving me somewhere. Pray that he brings these ideas and desires to fruition and that he will continue to press me forward (and that I will follow hard after him).

So involvement with World Team is on hold. But while the conversation was going on (a period of a few weeks) I had been contacting other missions organizations and looking for missions photographers. I Googled "Missions Photographer" and started emailing the people who's blogs came up with pictures of missions on them. I asked questions like: How do you support your self? Who do you work with? How did you start your mission work? 
Erik Annis was the guy that responded with info www.erikannis.com. And after a email or two and a phone conversation he pointed me to SWPJC (www.swpjc.org) which ended up being a very encouraging experience and helpful step towards my goals. 
South Western Baptist Theological seminary photojournalism conference in Fort Worth Texas. A gathering of photographers wanting to use there skills for Gods glory. It was awesome. If you go to the main page and clink the link for any of the speakers you find a photographer that is doing some crazy awesome stuff! Some were long established pros, and some young photographers willing to go anywhere in the world that the Lord led them to. 

photo from his web site


Side note- Check out Jeremy Cowart. www.jeremycowart.com I can't tell you about all of them. Jeremy started his career as a celebrity photographer by going to Africa on a mission trip. When he came back and posted his pictures he was contacted by a photographer agent who wanted to represent him. He has been back to Africa 5 or 6 time, went to Haiti after the earth quake, (you check out the picture on the web site the are awesome) him and a friend have started "Twitchange"  www.twitchange.com a project to raise money for the needy. Twitchange is an auction where bidders bid for a celebrity to follow them on Twitter. (After a while they decide to put Jeremy's name up for auction, and his price topped all the other celebrities!)
  

Time is running out so the conference in Texas and the rest will have to wait till next time, but I want to tell you all the ways God provided to get me there. 
photo by Jim Morris
  • He provided Erik to give me the info just in time to register (day before the dead line)
  • Aaron Sutton helped me get cheep plain tickets so I didn't have to take the train (a blessing from the Lord in my book).
  • Pastor Scott hooked me up with his old ministry in Fort Worth (Beautiful Feet ministries thefeet.org) and they in turn found me rides to and from the air port in Dallas to the seminary.    
  • Then on top of that when the  campus rooms were all filled up (plus the were $80 a night), and I thought I was going to walk to and from a hotel down the road, Donald from Beautiful Feet offered to have me stay at his apartment, AND take me back and forth each day. That was an awesome blessing and an experience in itself. 
  • Once to the conference God lead me to people that were a blessing to me in many ways which I will tell you about later.  

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