Little girls excited to have Nina get the bubbles out.
Oh my goodness.... I never knew taking portraits could be so fun! We gathered at 7AM to get started. We had told them that only the first 8 needed to be there that early, but they ALL came to watch each other. It was the cutest thing!
I had a dear friend praying because I had no idea how I was going to be able to take all portraits and get them edited by noon. Ya'll, it just wasn't possible. Editing takes hours and I really wanted the ladies to look beautiful. I didn't want to rush through editing and have the portraits look less than best. I knew that good lighting would cut down on editing time so I prayed that God would help me find just the right location. I had one picked out but wasn't sure how the light would hit it in the morning. This morning, I woke up and peeked out the window.
Because it was cloudy. Yep...nary a sunbeam in sight, which meant that I could shoot those portraits anywhere I wanted and wouldn't have to worry too much about sun spots on faces.
God was way ahead of me, as usual. (Well...lots of other people are usually ahead of me too...but I digress.)
So we had fun... One woman after another came and posed for me. The others cheered them on. We had a blast! Afterwards, one woman had a birthday today, so they all sang. During the song, each woman came up and hugged her. Most of these women didn't know each other before the conference, so it was wonderful to see them interacting like that.
Tonight we had the big presentation. I haven't so much fun in a long time! They were a hoot! The translator here is a woman and is very bubbly and outgoing. When their names were called, the women would come up front to get their portrait, and the rest of the women would start clapping and cheering. Then the translator would hold up the framed print for everyone to see and they would cheer again! It was so much fun! I got lots of tight hugs, 'thank-you's,' and 'I love you's." Waaaahhh.... It was the BEST! We girls know how to have FUN!
Afterwards, one of the ladies said through the translator, "You have given us a precious gift."
As I was sitting in the last meeting of the conference, and I saw how these precious ladies cradled their pictures, it brought tears to my eyes to think that God could use something as simple as a photograph to make someone feel so loved and treasured.
Sometimes people seem to think that serving God will be a burden...something to dread and do out of obligation. But this entire week has been nothing but joy. Hard work, extreme heat, and (shudder) some bugs, but NOTHING BUT JOY! God sent me to do something that He gave me a passion to do and I am loving it!
Now for a few God stories... :)
These happened at the last place we had clinic--not here.
One of the ladies got up to share on the last night. She said that her husband had called her cell phone to tell her that he had been robbed that day. The robbers took all his money and his son was very sad because now there would not be any money for his birthday cake. She said she told her son that God would provide but she didn't know how. Then she held up the envelope she had just received along with her portrait. Inside the envelope was some money for her to take home. (All the women received a financial gift.) She was so excited because God had provided money for her son to have a birthday cake! Isn't that awesome?! God provided on the very same day that they lost the money!
Second story: I had brought a flash drive with me so that it could be taken to the photo lab to develop the pictures of the women. Well...it didn't work. The person who was driving to the lab, needed to go and I couldn't get the flash drive to load any of the pictures. We started to ask around to see if anyone knew anything about computers. Our translator there, Carlos, volunteered to help. He didn't elaborate...he just sat down and started working on it. After a few minutes, he said it wasn't working but he had a flash drive in his car that I could use. Um....who carries flash drives around and just happens to have a spare? (Maybe some of you do...but I don't.) Not any that work, anyway. ha.
I continue to be amazed and humbled by all the Honduran Christians I have met.
And last but not least... Our fearless leader, Jerry, has provided us with some rather hilarious photo ops this week. Jerry loves to entertain us with his wit and sarcasm and has made the week so much fun. We wanted to return the favor, so we made a collage of humorous pictures and presented them in a frame right after we presented the women with theirs. Mouhahahahaha.....
That photo of him trying to break down the door? It wasn't posed. He was actually doing that!