Sunday, April 14, 2013

12 Weeks and Counting!

Tuscaloosa Rising

                         GOAL:      $3820
                      RAISED:      $475
                         NEED:       $3345

The image above is one that I captured on my first day at "ground zero" in Tuscaloosa. There was something about this that just grabbed my attention - HARD. That is sheet metal, from a tin roof hanging in the branches. There was a house behind this tree at some point - it's hard to image that now.

Our mission is far more important than just filling empty picture frames. I know we all "get" that on some level but there are many facets to what we're doing. Lots of times, people are going to be talking. They will tell you all about the storm, all about what it was like, how they got away or how they rode it out. Our job isn't just to take a pretty picture of a family - we're lay counselors too. Listen carefully to what people are telling you. Pay attention to the people around you - not only the family in front of your lens. In prior mission trips, I've shot some amazing film of stuff that wasn't really my focus. . .that is until I listened to that still, small voice, and started paying attention.

I am in the process of working out the scheduling issues surrounding the day to day shoots. Both churches now have the flyers that were made for the two high schools, and the family sessions flyer will be going out this week. Media outlets have press releases, and we are gearing up for interviews starting later this month.

We are still working out some of the details for the fundraiser here in Cincinnati. It will be a "Southern Nights/Sweet Home Alabama"  theme and the menu will consist of southern specialties; fried chicken, collard greens, corn bread, biscuits, peach cobbler, etc. This is where we're having the silent auction, and we're already collecting some awesome items for it!

So what are the ingredients for a mission trip? It's simple really. . .follow along if you can!
  1. A calling. Put in simplest terms, a mission team is made up of people who said, "Yes" when God said, "Will you go." 
  2. A willing heart. Planning and raising funds and dreaming up fundraisers and dealing with the media and creating schedules and working with partners all take a great deal of time and sacrifice. It's impossible to sacrifice without the willing heart. 
  3. Humility. Asking people for money will absolutely give you a reality check. You could be the most confident person in the world . . .till someone tells you to change your FB status and ask your friends for $5. Many people are able to just write a check to cover their costs, but the whole idea behind sacrifice is that if it doesn't cost you something, if it doesn't pull you out of your comfort zone, then it's really not a sacrifice after all. It takes a humble spirit to ask people to give you money for a mission trip. 
  4. Confidence. Back to back, and these two don't seem together, right? I mean, how can you have confidence if you're humble? Trust me on this, if you let God work through you, it will all balance out. Team members interact with people they've never met, and especially in this circumstance, they have to earn a strangers trust remarkably quickly. Knowing who you are, and whose you are will put you in a place of spiritual confidence and give you the tools you need to deal with the folks you encounter. 
  5. Support. Every mission trip needs the support of people connected with it. Prayer support is especially important, and so is financial support. Many people do not realize that team members that a week or more off work (w/o pay usually) and often times they incur other expenses, like childcare, or have to purchase special clothing or equipment. There are fees related to every trip that are extra as well. Some people have to fly to a location to join the team and incur travel expense just to get to the place where they're going to travel to the mission location!
If you're reading this, we need your help. Simply put, it's going to cost us just under $4000 to take 10 people to Alabama. That is nothing when you really think about it. We are being housed and fed by the churches we've partnered with, and the rest of the funds are allocated for travel, and incidental expense. Anything left over would be applied toward prints for our senior packages.

If you've been blessed, and we have all been blessed in some way, would you consider giving to support us?  We are in the process of securing a 501(c)3 so that your donation can be tax deductible, but do not yet have it. We meet all the criteria for this, and fully expect approval, we just don't have it yet

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