Posts Tagged ‘World Vision’

True North Helping Hands and I

Well, I turn 41 in just a few days and I will have the pleasure of spending it in Ensenada, Mexico shooting photos for a ministry group that helps build schools for displaced indigenous people. True North Helping Hands. Unfortunately my family will not be there with me. Last year, I was in Uganda on my 40th birthday and Hannah was there with me… not this time. It seems to be the trend that the older you get the less important birthdays are. What once was, “YEAH! I’M OLDER!” becomes, “yeah… I’m old… er.”I still believe that my 40′s are going to be the best years of my life… and of course I’ll stand firm on that… until I turn 50.Yet, one thing I know, I’m living a wonderful life. I have a beautiful family and I know they give more than I can ever know.So, if you think about it, lift my family up in prayer while we are apart.I hope to have some images to share with you soon from my trip to the Dominican Republic with World Vision. They have posted some of them on their Child Ambassador website HERE.peace.johno~

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Dominican Republic

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Well, here we go again.

It’s time to pack my bags again. This time I’m off to the Dominican Republic with World Vision. My wonderful family has allowed me to share my gift of photography with others and I’m very grateful for them allowing this… Especially my son Adam who will be turning FIVE on March 21st.This map represent where I’ve been and where I’m going. I thought about putting a, where I would like to go… but, I didn’t.It’s funny… When I was a child, my mother would always say, “If it be the Lords will, we’ll see you later.” Or, “I’m planing on seeing you if it be the Lords will.” I suppose she has this Bible verse on her mind when she says it…

13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”James 4:13-15

I find it funny that I think of this only when I have big travels but shouldn’t this include everyday? It’s almost like only praying to God for the BIG things and thinking He wants little or nothing of the small things in our lives. How arrogant we can be somethings.So, having grown older and wiser I would like to say, “If it is the Lord’s will,I will do this or that on the map this year and everything in between”LORD, I don’t know where this is going or how it all works out but lead me Lord into the path that never fails.I hope to be able to blog while on my trip, but I know that it’s not always possible to do so.Now I’m off to pack and gather the few things I need before the 19th.peace.johno~

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Don’t you wish you could?

Not long ago I wrote about getting the right ingredients in your photography to help make a successful image. But, that’s not true for every shot. There are some things you cannot plan. Instead, they just happen. When you do take that shot, you might not even know what you have until you take the time to look closer. Photos can change your life and maybe… no one else’s.I remember a story told to me a while back about a man who was visiting a museum. He sat on a red cushioned bench in front of a masterpiece that covered the ivory painted walls. There was very little clutter to distract him from the brushstrokes of the creation that captured him for hours. One painting… hours of awe and enjoyment… as he gazed at the creator’s detail in every brush stroke of color.After hours of enjoyment, another man, in a gray flannel shirt, worked his way though the museum and found himself next to the man on the red cushioned bench. The man in gray, who just arrived, stared a few seconds at the painting. His body screaming impatience, his converse tapping and shifting, said to the man on the red cushioned bench, “Well, I don’t see anything… Do you?” The man on the bench who had been living every brushstroke for the last few hours said to the impatient fellow, “Don’t you wish you could see something?”Some my photographs are like that… I see something wonderful and no one else does and I want you to know… that it’s OK. It’s art… story… it’s personal. One of my favorite photographs of ALL TIME is the one above. I will tell you right now, it is a bigger story to me than the image you see and that’s OK. I didn’t know what I was doing at the time I shot this picture, other than I was taking a picture of a child on a dirt path. Since then, I’ve found some wonderful connection to this photo that really encourages me to help make a difference in the lives of children all over the world.Many details pour from this image and challenge me to think different about the world I live in and I discovered them weeks after I took the picture. Details you may or may not see.It’s the Chicago Bulls shirt and pink flowered shorts. I don’t know if this is a boy or a girl and it doesn’t matter… It’s the determination and resilience of this child to move forward on this dirt path… despite a very traumatic injury to their right knee. It’s the large smile and the look that is locked on to its target. It’s bare feet. It’s a dirt path that leads to a blurred figure of another child in the distance. There’s always another one, but the one I see is the one I can help. Help this one then you can help the next one.How many details can you find?Two years ago I started partnering with World Vision to make a difference in the lives of children all over the world. World Vision has opened my eyes to things globally and locally. This photo is a reminder to me to make a difference “one child at a time,” everyday. Our family choses to do this through sponsorship of a child through World Vision.I love sharing this photo… I used it as one of my limited prints to raise money for my mission back to Africa… It wasn’t a big hit at all. As a matter of fact, it failed miserably as a fundraiser. It’s a nice picture but the story and the details are what make this a masterpiece… to me.I wish you could see it… Don’t you wish you could?peace.johno~

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A book review of “The Hole in Our Gospel” by Richard Sterns

“The Hole in Our Gospel” by Richard Sterns
a short book review

Recently I received a complementary copy of “The Hole in Our Gospel” to review for BookSneeze dot com*. I was overjoyed to receive my copy and thought I would get to it sooner than later. I’m sorry I waited so long to finish this book and review it here for you.

It is the story of Richard Sterns, now president of World Vision US and his journey of “What God expects of us” as Christians today. It’s a very powerful telling of Rich’s personal life and experiences with World Vision in third world countries where he boldly asks Christians everywhere to do what the scripture says, take care of widows and orphans. This is what this book is about. There are over 2000 scriptures dedicated to poverty and justice in the Bible and Rich focuses on this insight and leads us to believe, it must be important.

Of the many stories Rich shares, I was amazed at his story about becoming president for one of the worlds largest NGO’s. It’s hard to ignore God when he is calling you. I was encouraged and wondered how I would respond if God were calling me so clearly.

It would be an error to assume that every Christian understands the difficulties of extreme poverty and justice in third world countries. Many minister and pastors fall short of this understanding. Not because they don’t care, rather, they are just uninformed. If you are looking to equip yourself with a better understanding about extreme poverty as seen through the efforts and work of Rich Sterns and World Vision, then this is a great place to start. It gives powerful stories of children in need all over the world and statistics that can sometimes be overwhelming. It has the potential to change your paradigm and ask you to live different and give different.

There are many organization that are working to make a better world for children. This book focuses on what Rich Sterns and World Vision are doing. In all it is very well done.

Keep an eye out for the launch of my new website and a contest where you could win a copy of this book.

peace.
johno~

* I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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Hannah and Zakalyia

Here's a photo of two of my kids.

peace
Johno~

Posted via email from Faith Quest Uganda

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World Vision Guatemala Trip 2010

Thank you everyone for your patience. This was a wonderful opportunity for me to partner with World Vision and their efforts to bring awareness to global relief through child sponsorship. If you would like more information about child sponsorship, please contact me or visit www.worldvision.org.

Here are a few photos from my trip. It’s not all of them and I will post some still images throughout the next few weeks. Until then, here’s a little slideshow put together by the folks at Animoto.

If you would like more information about Animoto, click the link at the bottom of the this blog page under “sponsors.”

Peace.
johno~

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A sneak peek of images to come.

I’m trying to find the best way to share my photos with you. Don’t think I’ve forgotten. I’ve found this site called “animoto” and I think I like what I see. I’m just trying to work out some details… $! Until then, here’s a 30 second clip of images to come. This is available through animoto’s “free” (but let me plaster our logo and other hot buttons everywhere) presentation tool.

Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.

Peace.
johno~

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Coming Soon!


I’ve been back from Guatemala for a few days now. Still tired and feeling a bit overwhelmed with work. I’m trudging through lots of photos to post for the World Vision team. Have patience… This isn’t my first job, nor my first love. Family and the job that pays me must be in order. I hope to have a set up by the end of the week.

Until the whole world hears.
johno~

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52 blessings 08.2010

Well, I’m not sure if this is a real blessing… but many blessings come about because of it. Traveling. Today, my oldest daughter said, “Wow, you know how many miles you will fly this year? How cool is that?” I told her she would drastically change her mind once she took the flight form Seattle to London and London to Entebbe, Uganda. It’s not that cool to fly… However, the ministry, the serving is.

This week I will be flying with World Vision to Guatemala to do some photography for their “Vision” trip. A hand full of World Vision volunteers and a couple staff members will embark on a trip of a life time to see how WV works with communities through child sponsorship.

This is an incredible opportunity for me and it’s a crazy story that lead me to this spot today.

In March of 2009, I signed up with World Vision as a Child Ambassador. A CA is someone who shares the joys of child sponsorship, with churches and other organizations, on how to make a difference in a child’s life, their families and community. Our family sponsors two beautiful kids in Uganda… Zakaliya and Lucy. We wished we could sponsor more children but instead I chose to volunteer and invite other into the joy that our whole family has had.

Sharing the story of sponsorship can be hard sometimes… It’s not that people don’t care, I just think they’re afraid. Afraid of long commitments, failure, putting a face on poverty or a host of other concerns… I hear lots of things. I wish people would take a few more risks in life and just trust Jesus.

Well, I shared with my mother about sponsorship… She looked through several picture folders and fount two little boys she wanted to sponsor. She then told me that she would pray about it and get back to me. She never did. The picture folder that I receive, of WV kids, have expiration dates. This gives them a better chance and more exposure by not letting them “hang” in one spot. Well, the folders expired. She had missed the opportunity to work with these boys. She was truly upset. I told her I had just received several more folders of kids needing sponsorship and so she grabbed the folders and began to read their stories.

Carlos, jumped out at her almost immediately. They both shared the same birthday, January 4th. Not only that, but Carlos has a big family, Five sisters and three brothers. My mother also has eight other siblings. It seemed to be the perfect match. This time she filled out the paper work and became Carlos’ sponsor. So cool.

Several months later, I was having lunch with a good friend of mine, sharing goals for 2010. I told him I wanted to retire from sports photography and do more humanitarian work. I told him I should probably think about contacting World Vision since I was already working with them. I had sent and inquiry about using some of my photos from a previous mission trip… nothing. Not a call, nothing. I knew, this would be difficult. There are so many gifted photographers, I had a pity party scheduled… but I decided not to show up. I had to make a strong effort to plan something in 2010. So I began to think about when I would be thinking about connecting with WV.

Shortly after that, I received a call from the National Director for Volunteer Service. She asked me if I might be available to be their photographer and videographer for a trip to Guatemala. I have to say I was shocked. I wasn’t suppose to even begin to start thinking about this yet and here it was in my lap. I responded with a maybe and that I had to pray about it. With a little one due in December of 2009 and plans for a Uganda trip with my oldest daughter in May of 2010, I was a bit unsure.

All of a sudden it was if I had shown up to something that God was orchestrating long ago. I called my mother, who is a powerful prayer warrior, I shared with her what was going on, that I had been invited to take photos for World Vision and she told me she was just thinking about her sponsored child Carlos. It turned out that he was from Guatemala. She said she would pray about it and that was that.

A few nights later, she called and said God had put it on her heart to pay for any cost, that I would need for the trip. I told her that WV was taking care of most of the cost but she said she would send me a check… She said, “If you go or don’t go, I just feel that I need to send you this.” I told her we were taking one day at a time and much would be decided after Rebekah was born. Dawentte and I agreed that God was up to something and that we would listen to His call. I agreed to prayerfully move forward on this trip. Rebekah was born December 14 and on December 15 I had my first phone conference with the Vision team members. On that call, I learned that we would be in Ixim Achi, ADP #179904. I really thought nothing of it. I was trying to catch up with the team.

January 4th, my mothers birthday, I called, as usual, to wish her well. She asked if I had decided to go to Guatemala and I told her, Yes. I didn’t realize that it had been so long since we spoke. She was excited that I was going and then something clicked in me… I asked her to go get Carlos’ picture folder… I told her there should be a number for the Area Development he was in. She got the folder and read, “1-7-9-9-0—–4.” I couldn’t believe it. God had put something on her heart long ago and now God was sending me right smack to his home. God is on the move and I love that about Him. Tomorrow, Lord willing, I will be in Guatemala and in a few days I will meet Carlos and his whole family face to face.

So all the prep work has been done, and now I sit in this hotel room ready to travel. God is all over this. There is no other reason for my being on this trip other that He has something planned. I am looking and listening.

So traveling is a blessing and to have a place to rest in between is too.

I’m so excited to see what’s next on this journey.

Until the whole world hears.
johno~

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52 blessings 03.2010

I had the wonderful opportunity to travel with World Vision to an Area Development Project in Tijuana, Mexico the last week. It was stormy… the rain was intense and falling… sideways. It was incredible to see roads washing away moments after we crossed them. Upon arriving to the ADP, we met families. Families who have been blessed by sponsors of World Vision who in spite of the world literally falling apart around them, the met us to show us their community and serve us a wonderful ethnic meal.

Unfortunately the rain and the roads kept many away from the center to share with us what was going on. The children who were there, enjoyed playing with us. Looking at themselves on the backs of digital cameras and laughing. What a joy it was to share with these few sponsored children.

However, it’s a conversation between a World Vision Child Ambassador and a mother of this little girl that I wanted to share about. The mother said, “Thank you for helping me take care of my daughter.” You see, a mother of a sponsored child, needs help. When was the last time you asked someone to help you take care of your kids? Have you ever asked someone, “Hey, could you watch my daughter for the weekend?” How about, “Can my son ride to camp with you?” Because you ask for help, does that make you any less of a loving parent? NO! Sponsors of children are helping parents in difficult times take care of their children, just like you and I do.

So this week, I’m thankful to all those who have sponsored a child… like this little girl.

peace.
johno~

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(RED)

redlogoToday is World AIDS day. Many groups like, ONE, (RED), World Vision and others are bringing education to the globe about AIDS/HIV.

Studies show that 30% of US citizens know little or nothing about AIDS/HIV. Even more feel detached since they don’t know anyone immediately who has AIDS, is dying from AIDS or has died from AIDS. So the question is, “What do you know about AIDS?”

I’ll not take the time here to try and explain all the ins and outs of Acquired immune deficiency syndrome, but I will say we cannot play ignorant. According to UNICEF, “some 33 million [30-36 million] people were living with HIV as of 2007; 2 million of them were children under 15 years, and about 15.5 million were women.”

An estimated “15 million [13-19 million] children under the age of 18 have lost one or both parents to AIDS.” This increases risk of school dropout, discrimination and hardships that could lead to that child’s illness and or death.

Everyday 1,000 children become infected with HIV because their mothers didn’t have the right care.

With the right care, prenatal counseling, ARV medication (Antiretroviral used to treat HIV), and Hope, we could have babies being born free of HIV even though their mothers are infected.

It takes a simple phone call to your Senator asking them to support the $7.2 billion for global HIV and AIDS program and to vote against any efforts to reduce AIDS funding. In a country that spends $20 billion a year on frozen desserts, I think we can still pick up a phone.

I called my Senators offices and let my voice be heard. It’s simple and ONE voice can make a difference.

Contact your Senator HERE

peace.
johno~

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(RED)

redlogoToday is World AIDS day. Many groups like, ONE, (RED), World Vision and others are bringing education to the globe about AIDS/HIV.

Studies show that 30% of US citizens know little or nothing about AIDS/HIV. Even more feel detached since they don’t know anyone immediately who has AIDS, is dying from AIDS or has died from AIDS. So the question is, “What do you know about AIDS?”

I’ll not take the time here to try and explain all the ins and outs of Acquired immune deficiency syndrome, but I will say we cannot play ignorant. According to UNICEF, “some 33 million [30-36 million] people were living with HIV as of 2007; 2 million of them were children under 15 years, and about 15.5 million were women.”

An estimated “15 million [13-19 million] children under the age of 18 have lost one or both parents to AIDS.” This increases risk of school dropout, discrimination and hardships that could lead to that child’s illness and or death.

Everyday 1,000 children become infected with HIV because their mothers didn’t have the right care.

With the right care, prenatal counseling, ARV medication (Antiretroviral used to treat HIV), and Hope, we could have babies being born free of HIV even though their mothers are infected.

It takes a simple phone call to your Senator asking them to support the $7.2 billion for global HIV and AIDS program and to vote against any efforts to reduce AIDS funding. In a country that spends $20 billion a year on frozen desserts, I think we can still pick up a phone.

I called my Senators offices and let my voice be heard. It’s simple and ONE voice can make a difference.

Contact your Senator HERE

peace.
johno~

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My video for the holydays.

I heard about a man killed in a human stampede on “Black Friday” in Walmart, by people trying to get the deal of the day. I’m embarrassed to be human.

Shawn McDonald song called “Greed” (which has really challenged my thoughts this Christmas), inspired me to make a video using clips of Black Friday I found on youtube. I’ll probably get sued… it’s worth the risk to help refocus the mindset in America the Christmas.

Consider giving the gift of a goat this Christmas.

Peace.
johno~

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