When I was down in Nassau (sorry, no pictures this time. I still don’t have internet at home) there were several people inquiring my thoughts on moving down there and being a missionary at the ALC. I quickly realized that folk were just asking because that’s what 30% of the single women from my area do; move to Nassau.
Am I moving to Nassau? No. Not now, at least. One of the reasons being I have a verbal commitment to the Hood, and I intend on keeping it. I’ve spent hours pondering over this idea, knowing that if missions were pulling me away from Speculator early, I would be sent gladly, but as long as I’m single, I intend to fulfill my commitment. Another reason being, Nassau isn’t any closer to Africa than Speculator. Knowing that my heart lies (for now) in that continent, I don’t think I can make a long-term commitment to another country without first exhausting all opportunities across the Atlantic.
Note: All that being said, all of these thoughts and convictions could and probably will change if I ever get married, so don’t hold me to it. :-)
All of these thoughts on missions seem to be coming at me from every side this week (hence this post). This week at church there was an article in this week’s bulletin; it’s basically about this young pastor’s plea to serve the “least of these.” I can’t tell you for sure who wrote all the extra stuff but I can point you in a good direction. Here’s the end of the article; it pretty much hit me between the eyes and broke my heart at the same time
Pray that we would take our eyes off ourselves long enough to see the empty eyes and lonely souls, those starving for love and crying for hope. It’s one thing to tell them about Jesus and another to show them. Not until our hearts are brought to the place, by the work of the Spirit, and are broken by the sorrow and pain we see in their lives, will we become like those of whom ‘this world is not worthy.’
On top of reading this, my roommate who is moving to Africa for two years (more on her another day) gave me a brochure to read. African Inland Mission recently put together a team of missionaries who support the AIM cause and the AIM missionaries by traveling the continent capturing and telling stories. Check out their website. So upon realizing how perfect this outlet is for my gifts, it reminded me of an interview between Chris Rice and Jeremy Cowart (my favorite photographer),
Chris: I’ve been to Africa, and I’ve seen the faces, and remember the smells, and how the air felt. That quick look at the images in your book took me back there. You take people somewhere with a shot that they may have never been to before. Maybe it’s a physical place, maybe a mood. You reach into people’s souls. That’s what art does, all the different kinds of art. So you can do very important stuff with your work, and I think that’s probably why the journalistic thing is important to you.
After being a missionary, I’m still not sure what I want to do with my life. Which is ok, considering I’ll only be 24 in two weeks. At least I have the field narrowed down: the “least of these.”
I’ll leave you with a quote from another photographer, David Trood
If an image can provoke emotion and that emotion leads to action, it provides the photographer with many opportunities to touch humanity.