It is finally here…well for me at least because you’re at home reading this and I’m someplace else. When you read this, I will be on the ground in Rwanda with a great team from Visiting Orphans doing what I love – sharing the love of Christ through the gift of photography. It is a trip that is inspired by Jermey Cowart’s vision for Help-Portrait which is the taking of photos and giving of prints. This is something perhaps many of us take for granted – the photo on the mantel of the family or the Christmas card photo. You know the one that looks amazing but mom needs a stiff drink afterwards because of the booger on little Joey’s argyle sweater. No matter what, we tend to take them for granted. This isn’t true in most developing countries around the world. The family photo or the school photo isn’t even an option. This will be my third trip the Rwanda and each time we visit the Rwanda Genocide Memorial/museum so that the team can learn more about the Genocide that occurred in 1994. In the last section of the museum, there is a room full of snap shots and small portraits of hundreds of people who were murdered in the genocide. Every time I go into that that room, I find myself thinking about the relationship between the person in the photo and the photographer that took the image.
Shooting a portrait is an intimate moment between the subject and photographer when the image is taken and then again when the print is given to the person in the photo. It’s an exchange that is hard to explain. This is why we are here. To make that connection and basically SHARE that moment…. and to share Christ’s love for us.
I’m excited to share with you the stories of the people we will be photographing in Rwanda. Also, I look forward to sharing the photos with the people we encounter. Below are a few of the images from the first shoot we did with former prostitutes. These ladies have been blessed with a church that is helping them redeem their lives. Each one of the women gave a testimony of their transformation from being despised in the community to bringing light and hope to the same community through accepting Christ into their lives.
We are headed to the town of Gesinyi, Rwanda in the morning to photograph children from the Noel Orphanage. These children are in a sponsor program with His Chase that provides them private education. Children are still available to be sponsored. Go check them out. I hope to post more about them soon.