We’ve been blessed with a job that takes us all around the world, documenting wonderful people in love on the happiest days of their lives. It’s also been a huge privilege to be invited to speak and teach other professionals in our industry about out knowledge of photography. These opportunities have taken us everywhere in North & South America, the Carribbean, India, Asia, Europe. In 13 years we’ve never had to book a family vacation because the destinations we travel to have allowed us to make family vacations out of our time there. Our two boys have seen more of the world in just over a decade than I did in the first 30 years of my life.
On the flip side, we’ve recently felt challenged…a calling of sorts… to question if this is really the best use of our God given resources. Could we be doing more as professionals and a family to give back in bigger ways than just a great life experience in a pretty location? With that on our hearts, Dave and I prayed for opportunities to serve as a family. Within weeks, God answered our prayers.
An email arrived from our friends Melonie and Albert Tam saying… “I would like to ask you about a missions trip idea…just to see if God has any plans for us to do some ministry together in the future??”. Mel & Albert work at an International Christian School in Taiwan called Morrison Academy. Though it’s labelled a “Christian” school, only a small percentage of the kids there know Christ. Many of the local Taiwanese kids attend Morrison for the high level of English and academic achievement in preparation for North American Universities. For the Tams, THIS is their mission field… their hearts hope that these kids will not only succeed at school, but understand that a relationship with Jesus is where true fulfilment lies. Their idea was for us to come and share our story of how we became wedding photographers, an a-typical career choice particularly for your typical Asian kids, and how we live out our faith in our work.
In addition to sharing our story with the kids throughout the week, we taught photography classes, photographed the staff families, shot senior photos for the graduating class, and spoke to parents about raising kids with technology. It made my heart burst with joy to see our boys serve as well by running a ball hockey clinic for the younger kids, complete with a mini pep talk at the end about how hockey relates to a life with Jesus.
Another request we received was to photograph the orphanage Taiwan Xi En, meaning “hope” and “grace”. These words were truly what we witnessed during our short time there. My heart fell in love with each of these babies in a way I never expected. And to see them being loved and cared for by the workers and staff at Xi En was truly a testament of God’s call for us to care for the orphans. These images are posted separately so please take some time to witness their beautiful faces here: blog post of Taiwan Xi En Orphanage