My husband takes pictures. He doesn't get paid to take pictures but somehow God is using his photography and videography skills in a whole bunch of different and awesome ways.
The first time I met Jeff, his face was behind a camera. He had just turned 17, he had long hair, converse high-tops, thrift store pants and a fedora (think Indiana Jones before he existed). Back then, he developed his photos at home in his mom's guest bathroom (imagine what it looked like in there) - black and white only. When I went away to college, he would send me 'postcards' which were letters written on the back of one of his black and whites with a stamp up in the corner.
Fast forward 38 years. (What? Wait a minute. We're not even that old!)
The other day he had the opportunity to sit behind a video camera and help to film the founder of a really big and successful sporting goods company tell about how that company got started. This man has it made in the world's eyes. Jeff said it felt pretty amazing to even be in the same room listening to him talk about the beginnings of an empire.
Now go back about four weeks. Jeff was behind the camera again - this time in a little town in Ethiopia just east of the Sudanese border - Dembidollo.
This time he was taking pictures of destitute families for our newest ministry called Adoption Ministry 1:27 (James 1:27 Care for orphans and widows in their distress.). Not one of these families included both a mom and a dad. All had children on the verge of being orphaned or who were at risk.
Their faces spoke volumes.
We hope to match each of these 60 families with a family here in the United States who will sponsor them.
And the great contrast hit me. In the world's economy pyramid, Jeff has photographed those at the very top and those at the absolute bottom. A bazillionaire and those with n-o-t-h-i-n-g.
In God's eyes, they are exactly the same. But He does give us pretty specific instructions on how we're to treat and prioritize people.
Whoever is the least among you is the greatest. Luke 9:48
I tell you the truth - when you did it to one of the least of these you did it to Me. Matt. 25:40
The 'least' are those who have nothing to offer me; nothing to make me feel important or honored. Jesus prioritizes these as the greatest.
And the real proof of my faith in Christ? Serving them. Meeting their needs.
So although it was a thrill to be a part of filming a very wealthy businessman telling how he'd risen to the top (Jeff said he seemed like a nice guy too), the real honor is to try to help the blind mother who is somehow raising her child. Or the desitute widow with four hungry children.
If you would like more information on how you can become an Adoption Ministry 1:27 partner, please go to our website here: Adoption Ministry 1:27
Perhaps you or your small group could provide monthly support for a family in Ethiopia who is willing to become a foster family for orphaned children - it's only $40 per month to help the church in Ethiopia recruit, train and sustain parents within the local church to do this important job.
Or maybe you could commit to $40 per month to help meet the monthly budget to operate one of our four orphanges in Ethiopia. A contribution of any amount would be so gratefully received!
Please email j_wollen(at)hotmail(dot)com for more information or to sponsor a family.