LBK Young Life

  I took at few shots Monday night at the Young Life Banquet and though we’ve experienced many banquets before, it was Jimmy and I’s first one with the LBK crew.  We are thankful for the local Young Life here, and how there is a profound simplicity to all they do.  To borrow words from another YL friend from our hometown Austin, they “Keep the main thing the main thing; and that’s Jesus.”  https://www.facebook.com/LBKyounglife/...

Our First Year Back.

  June 24, 2017, we got on a plane and left Costa Rica. It was one of the saddest moments of our lives, second only to the loss of my sister and her husband. 365 days have passed and we too often have let the circumstances take more away from who we are and who we were as a family before we came back to the states. Tonight we gathered, cried, and sat out on our roof, and we talked about how we can take back our narrative, be light, have joy no matter our location, no matter how foreign this place feels, and continue on no matter how difficult things can be. And they can be very difficult.   We gave our kids permission to be sad, and took a moment to manage their grief and ours, which doesn’t happen as often as it should. But we also told them to remember who we were, and how we lived free and bold and how we must get back to that. On our roof tonight, we declared ‘enough’. Yes, we’ll have hard times, and misunderstandings and we’ll question ourselves and we’ll keep going to therapy. But enough of a narrative that whispers ‘what if’ and enough time has already been spent on being angry and losing hope. We are free to let go of all the expectations we are not meeting and likely won’t, and free to tell anger and fear to take a hike, and free to love even when we get pushed away, and free to hope for great things even when we can’t see evidence of...

Be Strong & Do Not Fear

       Traveling on the Ticabus (Tee Ka Boos) from Costa Rica is already slightly daunting. You must watch your bags closely, watch your children, your passports, and constantly check to make sure they are all still with you. Our family of 5, just a few years before we would make Costa Rica our home, traveled by bus across the border to Nicaragua to meet friends, and explore. Every adventure contains the unexpected and we were about to encounter ours.          While traveling one day by bus from Costa Rica headed back through a town called, Rivas, we were met by a North American already living in Central America. It’s unusual to see North Americans on the bus. Initially, he takes the seat across the aisle from our daughter, Libby who was 9 at the time. As we were approaching the border from Costa Rica where we all file out, get our passports stamped, and wait in the hot sun, I overheard a conversation in Spanish from this man on his phone.  We were not yet fluent, and I understood only enough to know he was speaking of children and money.   Children and money.  I thought to myself, “Not that, God.”   I just kept listening and praying in my seat.  I couldn’t be sure, but I felt a sense of danger.  If you’re like me, you might try to minimize things, and talk yourself out of any actual danger.  This is typically my default.  Could I have imagined what he said, or am I over-reacting? Did I misunderstand what I thought I heard?            The...

Sofia

  She’s the greatest sport about modeling for our class, and she has so much more to offer the world than her striking eyes and beautiful smile.  She’s actually a great student photographer.  You can learn a lot by seeing through someone else’s eyes in photography. You get to see what they see, getting a chance to view the world from their point of view. I love watching the world through Sofia’s eyes.  Here’s a few photos of how the other students see...

A Collaboration, In the Spirit of Friendship.

Help Portrait 2015 last Christmas was by far the highlight of our year. We had planned to do this all year with our students, and at just the right time found the lovely community of Calle Naranjo super close to our International School here in Costa Rica.  Xiomarra with her husband, and Nadir and his wife, Ruby,  are amazing families working to bless families in their own neighborhood.  Working with them as a liaison between our International School, I fell in love with their mission and their hearts.  They have hearts that long to see hope and restoration and opportunity come to their neighbors. This was such a great way to begin a relationship together, give out of our passion and creativity, and get to know them over Christmas music, food, games, and generous donations from the community of MBS and local Young Life. As we started out, we visited a neighborhood church to meet them in person for the first time.  They were so welcoming to me, and invited me in where I listened to a talk, and sang songs with them for over an hour in a modest concrete floor room that they rent behind someone’s home in the barrio.  After calling me to the front of the congregation to explain what we were suggesting, I quickly switched my brain to Spanish, and did the best I could.  At the end, each person in the church gave me a hug and kiss and then we proceeded to scout locations together. Photo releases were translated to Spanish; clothes and gifts were collected for weeks prior by MBS National...