Liberia

At the time of this writing, I am flying somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, praying through the turbulence in hopes that this post will eventually make my Blog. [If you are reading this, then my prayers were answered. I am listening to “Awakening” by Chris Tomlin; an anthem for my time in Liberia, “You and You alone awake my soul.”]

Of all the places in the world for God to take me, Liberia, Africa is a place that I never expected. [The turbulence is really rocking our plane at the moment. We are only a couple of hours into our eleven hour flight to Atlanta. The flight attendants have been called overhead to return to their seats.] Liberia is a country only ten years removed from a fourteen year long civil war. I don’t know as much about the war as I would like, and will definitely be doing my reading on that upon arriving in the States.

Prayer has had a lot to do with my first Missions Trip. Man does not live on bread alone, and that is something I never took too seriously before. I am still processing the trip, even after having great conversations with fellow team members, and journaling often. [I am replaying “Awakening,” because it moves something deep inside of me.]

After landing in Liberia we drove to where we would be staying in Monrovia. The sun was setting over Africa. We were driving past a rust-covered water tower when it struck me that this was not a photograph during a Missions Sunday at church, and this was not a movie I was watching on a screen. The air was heavy and distinctly different. The light grew faint as I was lulled to sleep in the car.

During the first week, our team worked to build relationships with children at an orphanage through both having fun, and through practical things such as repainting their walls and providing mattresses and mosquito nets.

The first day we arrived the children were ecstatic. We were greeted almost immediately with hugs, and the most beautiful smiles I have ever seen. I was floored. With all of my baggage, I couldn’t begin to comprehend how these children, who had no parents, were able to smile so broadly. I asked myself “How can these children smile and sing when they have nothing?” Without hesitation, God asked me “You mean ‘How can they smile and sing when all they have is Me?’” I had no answer.

Children have an amazing ability to draw out joy from people- even people who are so broken, burdened, and baggage-heavy. It was healing and humbling to be with them, and I am pumped just thinking about the trip next year.

Despite being plagued the entire trip with the Big “Why” Questions (Why was I born with so much, when so many have little to none? Why haven’t I obtained the contentment that these children have?), I have miraculously been able to find peace in God’s Sovereignty. His Sovereignty is something I have wrestled with intensely for over two years, but I finally felt a glimpse of comfort in it. Being able to almost completely unplug from my cell phone, emails, and internet has proved tremendously necessary for my faith, and even my health.

Liberia1 by kentmastdigital
liberia2 by kentmastdigital
liberia3 by kentmastdigital
liberia3.5 by kentmastdigital
liberia4 by kentmastdigital
liberia5 by kentmastdigital
liberia6 by kentmastdigital
liberia7 by kentmastdigital
liberia8 by kentmastdigital
liberia9 by kentmastdigital
liberia10 by kentmastdigital
liberia11 by kentmastdigital
liberia12 by kentmastdigital
liberia13 by kentmastdigital
liberia14 by kentmastdigital
liberia15 by kentmastdigital
liberia16 by kentmastdigital
liberia17 by kentmastdigital
liberia18 by kentmastdigital
liberia19 by kentmastdigital
liberia20 by kentmastdigital
liberia21 by kentmastdigital
liberia22 by kentmastdigital
liberia23 by kentmastdigital
liberia24 by kentmastdigital
liberia25 by kentmastdigital
liberia26 by kentmastdigital
liberia27 by kentmastdigital
liberia28 by kentmastdigital
liberia29 by kentmastdigital
liberia30 by kentmastdigital
liberia31 by kentmastdigital
liberia32 by kentmastdigital
liberia33 by kentmastdigital
liberia34 by kentmastdigital
liberia35 by kentmastdigital
liberia36 by kentmastdigital
liberia37 by kentmastdigital
liberia38 by kentmastdigital
liberia39 by kentmastdigital
liberia40 by kentmastdigital
liberia41 by kentmastdigital
liberia42 by kentmastdigital
liberia43 by kentmastdigital
liberia44 by kentmastdigital
liberia45 by kentmastdigital
liberia46 by kentmastdigital
liberia47 by kentmastdigital
liberia48 by kentmastdigital
liberia49 by kentmastdigital
liberia50 by kentmastdigital
liberia51 by kentmastdigital
liberia52 by kentmastdigital
liberia53 by kentmastdigital
liberia54 by kentmastdigital
liberia55 by kentmastdigital
liberia56 by kentmastdigital
liberia57 by kentmastdigital
liberia58 by kentmastdigital
liberia59 by kentmastdigital
liberia60 by kentmastdigital
liberia61 by kentmastdigital
liberia62 by kentmastdigital
liberia63 by kentmastdigital
liberia64 by kentmastdigital
liberia65 by kentmastdigital
liberia67 by kentmastdigital
liberia68 by kentmastdigital
liberia69 by kentmastdigital
liberia70 by kentmastdigital
liberia71 by kentmastdigital
liberia72 by kentmastdigital
liberia73 by kentmastdigital
liberia74 by kentmastdigital
liberia76 by kentmastdigital
liberia77 by kentmastdigital
liberia78 by kentmastdigital
liberia79 by kentmastdigital
liberia80 by kentmastdigital
liberia82 by kentmastdigital
liberia83 by kentmastdigital
liberia84 by kentmastdigital
liberia85 by kentmastdigital
liberia86 by kentmastdigital
liberia87 by kentmastdigital
liberia88 by kentmastdigital
liberia89 by kentmastdigital
liberia90 by kentmastdigital
liberia91 by kentmastdigital
liberia92 by kentmastdigital
liberia93 by kentmastdigital
liberia94 by kentmastdigital
liberia95 by kentmastdigital
liberia96 by kentmastdigital
liberia97 by kentmastdigital
liberia98 by kentmastdigital
liberia99 by kentmastdigital
liberia100 by kentmastdigital
liberia101 by kentmastdigital
liberia102 by kentmastdigital
liberia103 by kentmastdigital
liberia104 by kentmastdigital
liberia105 by kentmastdigital
liberia106 by kentmastdigital
liberia107 by kentmastdigital
liberia108 by kentmastdigital
liberia109 by kentmastdigital
liberia110 by kentmastdigital
liberia111 by kentmastdigital
liberia112 by kentmastdigital
liberia113 by kentmastdigital
liberia114 by kentmastdigital
liberia115 by kentmastdigital
liberia116 by kentmastdigital
liberia117 by kentmastdigital
liberia118 by kentmastdigital
liberia120 by kentmastdigital
liberia121 by kentmastdigital
liberia122 by kentmastdigital
liberia123 by kentmastdigital
liberia124 by kentmastdigital
liberia125 by kentmastdigital
liberia126 by kentmastdigital
liberia127 by kentmastdigital
liberia128 by kentmastdigital
liberia129 by kentmastdigital
liberia130 by kentmastdigital
liberia131 by kentmastdigital
liberia132 by kentmastdigital
liberia133 by kentmastdigital
liberia134 by kentmastdigital
liberia135 by kentmastdigital
liberia136 by kentmastdigital
liberia137 by kentmastdigital
liberia138 by kentmastdigital
liberia139 by kentmastdigital
liberia140 by kentmastdigital
liberia141 by kentmastdigital
liberia142 by kentmastdigital
liberia143 by kentmastdigital
liberia144 by kentmastdigital
liberia145 by kentmastdigital
liberia146 by kentmastdigital
liberia147 by kentmastdigital
liberia148 by kentmastdigital
liberia149 by kentmastdigital
liberia150 by kentmastdigital
liberia151 by kentmastdigital
liberia152 by kentmastdigital
liberia153 by kentmastdigital
liberia154 by kentmastdigital
liberia155 by kentmastdigital
liberia156 by kentmastdigital
liberia157 by kentmastdigital
liberia158 by kentmastdigital
liberia159 by kentmastdigital
liberia160 by kentmastdigital
liberia161 by kentmastdigital
liberia162 by kentmastdigital
liberia163 by kentmastdigital
liberia164 by kentmastdigital
liberia165 by kentmastdigital
liberia166 by kentmastdigital
liberia167 by kentmastdigital
liberia168 by kentmastdigital
liberia169 by kentmastdigital
liberia170 by kentmastdigital
liberia171 by kentmastdigital
liberia172 by kentmastdigital
liberia173 by kentmastdigital
liberia174 by kentmastdigital
liberia175 by kentmastdigital
liberia176 by kentmastdigital
liberia177 by kentmastdigital
liberia178 by kentmastdigital
liberia179 by kentmastdigital
liberia180 by kentmastdigital
liberia181 by kentmastdigital
liberia182 by kentmastdigital
liberia183 by kentmastdigital
liberia184 by kentmastdigital
liberia185 by kentmastdigital
liberia186 by kentmastdigital
liberia187 by kentmastdigital
liberia189 by kentmastdigital
liberia190 by kentmastdigital
liberia191 by kentmastdigital
liberia192 by kentmastdigital
liberia193 by kentmastdigital
liberia194 by kentmastdigital
liberia195 by kentmastdigital
liberia196 by kentmastdigital
liberia197 by kentmastdigital
liberia198 by kentmastdigital
liberia199 by kentmastdigital
liberia200 by kentmastdigital
liberia201 by kentmastdigital
liberia202 by kentmastdigital
liberia203 by kentmastdigital
liberia204 by kentmastdigital
liberia205 by kentmastdigital
liberia206 by kentmastdigital
liberia207 by kentmastdigital
liberia208 by kentmastdigital
liberia209 by kentmastdigital
liberia210 by kentmastdigital
liberia211 by kentmastdigital
liberia212 by kentmastdigital
liberia213 by kentmastdigital
liberia214 by kentmastdigital
liberia215 by kentmastdigital
liberia216 by kentmastdigital
liberia218 by kentmastdigital
liberia219 by kentmastdigital
liberia220 by kentmastdigital
liberia221 by kentmastdigital
liberia222 by kentmastdigital
liberia223 by kentmastdigital
liberia224 by kentmastdigital

This trip was my first Missions Trip, but it was also my first assignment as a budding journalist. I literally had a document I needed to carry around just in case I was questioned about what I was doing with all of my camera equipment.

On the trip, I learned so many things as a (photographer, Christian, human, man)
– Some of my favorite moments in shots are what is going on in the unfocused area of a photo.
– I love photographing sports.
– My sharpest and most versatile lens is absolutely the 100mm Macro L Lens. I have a 50mm and a 35mm f1.4, but I can’t rave enough about my 100mm f2.8
– Children want to be touched and held. They want your presence and attention. They don’t need you to have “it all figured out,” they just want you.
– If our God is for us, then who could stand against us?
– Liberian children may not have the most amazing teeth, but by far they have the most beautiful smiles.
– My god is much smaller than the true God.
– Alisha is a better model than Shawn. Sorry Shawn.
– In my life I have never prayed for food, shelter, or comfort.
– My heart is absolutely broken in a way that I am so thankful for.
– Never take Nyquil in River Gee.
– Speedlights are more than worth the challenge.
– We have all been given different gifts to serve with.
– Like Jeremiah, we have all been given words to speak.
– I love sitting on the sidelines and soaking in human interaction.
– Going to Africa feels a lot like falling in love. It is frustrating and it is worth it.
– Too much Fill Light in Lightroom 3 makes photos look flat and gross.
– No agenda, ideology, religion, or law will ever heal the human heart. We are all corrupt, no-one is pure, and we need Jesus Christ to transform us.
– My identity has nothing to do with what anyone thinks of me. My work does not define me. Cultural definitions of what a man should be can’t compare to what God calls men to be.
– Christians need to daily preach the true Gospel to themselves- that we are saved only by Christ. He is our salvation from beginning to end.
– African dust is insanely red.
– Some fish is not worth eating.
– Fan Milk is incredibly, edibly, delicious.
– The African breeze is a gift from God, and without coming across as animistic, I am almost positive that in some way, God Himself is in the wind.
– I live in grotesque blessing and even wealth- to the point that I question how much of it is actually a blessing.
– Having over 130 GB’s of video to edit is going to be a minor nightmare.
– Liberian Churches know how to get down.
– I really need a shower. Planes should have onboard showers.
– God continually breathes new life into us through stepping out in faith.
– I am way too competitive at the game Taboo. Sorry, Ladies.
– I am on a rice-free diet for the next year.
– Let go and let God. [I tend to hate cute, Christian, catchphrases, but I’m onboard with this one.]

click-here-ka

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s