More than a mission.

We took windy roads dipping through the valleys and deep into the hills.  We humbly removed our shoes, bowing in gratitude as strangers welcomed us into their homes as though we were family.  We devoured our yearly quota of sticky rice.  We worshipped, we prayed, we laughed, and we loved.  While in Thailand, I never could have imagined just how much the experience would mean to me a month later, not just as a Christian who grows stronger in her faith every single day (and is being blown. a. way by what God is revealing), but as a photographer.  I left with a heart full of gratitude, a soul that was replinished, and a deeper, true understanding of the purpose of this passion, hobby, or job we call photography.  I know it sounds so cheesy, but seeing the families of Ban Den Baptist Church cherish minature polaroid images snapped in the blink of an eye, I knew there was more to the little box that I held in my hand.  I always knew there was purpose behind it than all the pretty things, money, or fame.  There is life to it.  And gratitude.  And hope.  And the sincerest, truest form of love for both the people and the craft. And as I stood in front of several women of the p31 Hawaii group over a week ago, I felt compelled to say it:  you don't have to go all the way to Thailand to make a difference.  Start here, right this very second, exactly where you are.  Open your mind, and your heart, remove the scales from your eyes, and let the seed that is in your grow.  It's always been there, it just needs to be acknowledged.

xo

Video snippets from the mission trip to Chiang Mai with Inspire Church, Oahu.  If you'd like to see the full version of this video, check it out!

 

Thailand Preview July 2013 from Ashley Goodwin on Vimeo.

 

"If you think your talents are simply for you to make a lot of money, retire, and die, you’ve missed the point of your life. God gave you talents to benefit others, not yourself. And God gave other people talents that benefit you."-Rick Warren