I’ve spent the last few days making this highlights video to capture as much of what went on during the trip as possibly. Enjoy!
I’ve been home from Cebu for just over two weeks now. The photos are all edited, the post-trip laundry is all done, the catch-up coffees/dinners have been had and I’m starting to feel as though I never left Scotland at all.
Except I definitely did.
I know this because although outwardly my life doesn’t really look too different – inside, everything has changed. While sharing some follow-up testimonies with Laura, one of the leaders of the team I went away with, I was able to finally sum up what I’ve been struggling to put into words; ‘I truly feel like my life was radically changed during that trip. Like I finally gave my life to Jesus in action rather than just in words.’
Like I FINALLY gave my life to Jesus in action rather than just in words.
What an amazing revelation. I am working on putting together a video of some of my footage and photographs from the trip and trying to flesh out my sparse journal entries from while I was away so that I can begin sharing some real stories here. But for now I want to share some of my favourite images from the trip and the brief highlights that they represent.
This trip was my first time travelling alone, as well as the furthest I’ve ever been from home and I can honestly say that I felt nothing but complete peace during the whole journey. For me this was a sure sign of God’s presence and the first time I have ever been so aware of people’s prayers working around me.
At our first Sunday service in Carcar I set up my camera to capture the worship and team testimonies. As soon as I did, lots of the kids came over to see what I was doing. I had so much fun showing them how the camera worked and letting them take pictures of each other. I loved being able to share with them.
When I was editing the photos from this school assembly this one really stood out to me. It was always really fun to be able to capture the interaction between the kids and team members. I love that I was able to get this exchange between the two.
If you’d like to see more of my photography then please check out my portfolio.
For a very long time I have wanted to go to another country and share God’s love and truth. Since travelling to Poland with my church in 2011, I have had a strong desire to combine travel with ministry. I have shared many times with friends that
‘I really want to just GO…’
and the next words out of my mouth would always be…
‘but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to afford it.’
Then, in January this year I was presented with an opportunity. Actually, it’s more accurate to say that I stumbled upon an opportunity. A friend of mine from the U.S. posted on Facebook that her team were looking for a photographer to go with them to the Philippines for just over 3 weeks to document their time there. Now, I am by no means the best photographer but it is something I am passionate about and I do own my own camera. So I told her I was interested, called my parents to run the idea by them and began looking at flight prices – all within the space of an hour.
With just enough money in my bank account to pay for the flights I had found, I declared to God that I would go no matter what. Once I was certain that I would be able to go, I began to tell friends. They encouraged me to try to raise some money by holding a bake sale or two in the 3 weeks before I left. So I did. I announced on Facebook what I was doing and organised a bake sale for the following week.
And that was when it began…financial blessing poured in from all around. People started giving me money – often large sums. In the few short weeks I had to fundraise, I made enough money to cover my flights and still have some left over. I can’t even begin to describe how overwhelmed I was by peoples generosity. But more than that I was overwhelmed by the understanding that God had been faithful to provide for me. He had given me my dream of travelling abroad and using my love of photography to serve him.
When I arrived in the Philippines, I realised almost immediately how wonderful His provision really is; that He blesses us abundantly so that we can pour that blessing out on others. But having spent all of my adult life worrying about my finances, I was reluctant at first to give my money away. I spent a few days wrestling with the idea but eventually God’s will prevailed and I began to share a little of the wealth he had blessed me with. Day by day my fear of being ‘poor’ on my return home decreased and my faith that God would provide for me once more increased.
Now I have a new financial goal to aim for which I will explain in more detail in another post. But I don’t doubt that if I continue to seek God and follow the path He sets before me – the money will come.
To all those who donated money towards my trip, I cannot thank you enough. Your generosity blessed me more than you will ever know. Not only did it allow me to fulfil a major goal of going on a mission trip but it paved the way for everything that God did for me while I was there. I will be updating this blog with more stories from my trip so please check back and read about just how important your donation really was.