Wrapping Up My December Photo Challenge

Yes, I know, I’m slacking.  January has been very busy.  I just got done working at the daycare in town all week and I’m still doing a dog sitting job until later next week.  I’m thankful for employment though!  :)  I don’t like to leave things unfinished, so without further ado, here is the conclusion of my December Photo Challenge.  I’m not sure what this year has in store for me, but I do hope to keeping shooting and sharing beautiful photos with y’all.  I hope you’re having a lovely January!  :)

December 22nd – Family

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December 23rd – Candy Cane

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December 24th – Tradition

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December 25th – The Greatest Gift

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December 26th – Boxes

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December 27th – Leftovers

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December 28th – Snowman

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December 29th – Today I…

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December 30th – Outdoor Fun

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December 31st – New Year

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Brothers and Sisters in Christ

It’s the third day into the new year and I’m still riding on a spiritual high from attending OAFC New Years! :)

Ongoing Ambassadors For Christ has been a part of my life since junior high.  I’ve really loved growing up being involved in such a wonderful organization.  Going from being a youth to one of the adult leaders has been a great experience, and the entire time I’ve been encouraged by amazing Christian fellowship and God’s Word.

Over the past year and a half or so, I’ve evolved into being the volunteer photographer for OAFC.  Since 2006 I’ve nearly always had a little point-and-shoot camera with me at OAFC events and enjoyed snapping photos during our many activities.  When I invested in a DSLR I began taking things more seriously.  I started treating OAFC like an event I was hired to shoot.  I take photos at the local weekend events in my area, but the majority of the work is done at the national Summer Training and New Years events.  I’m now able to capture the many things we do in OAFC, freeze memories so they can be enjoyed after the events when everyone is missing their friends, and provide nice images to be used on the OAFC website and our newsletter the Crier.

I really do enjoy OAFC so much and being able to help the organization by taking photos is such a privilege.

It’s been only two days since OAFC New Years ended, but I already miss everyone.  I miss my amazing team, my friends I’ve known for so long, and my friends I’m just starting to know.  I actually felt like crying when people started leaving to travel home.  You know the phrase “brothers and sisters in Christ”?  OAFC is like that.  It’s my second family.

I can’t wait to go to the local weekend events in my area and Summer Training this year.  I’m also looking forward to the work I’ll be doing with the Board of Directors and PR Committee.

I miss my brothers and sisters in Christ and I can’t wait to see them again.  :)

(I was going to put just a few of my favorite photos from the event in this blog post, but I picked out too many favorites when I sorted through the nearly 200 finished images.  You can see the rest of them in this album.)

Monday Inspiration: Ongoing Inspiration

Ongoing Ambassadors For Christ.  This is my inspiration, my pick-me-up, what keeps me grounded in my faith.

OAFC is a Recognized Service Organization of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.  (That’s quite a mouthful!)  What do we do in OAFC?  Quite a lot of things.  Basically, we are an organization that trains youth and adults in ways to share their faith with those around them.  There are several local groups across the United States.  These groups get together once a month at a Lutheran church in their area and have a “weekend”.  We do evangelism activities with the church members, train them in the methods we use, and hopefully gain a few more members for our OAFC group.  A lot of singing, Bible study, and prayer goes on at these weekends.  We go door-to-door and talk to people in the community, visit a nursing home and sing songs for them, and participate in the weekend’s church services with singing, puppet shows, dramas, etc.  We have a very busy schedule all weekend long.

This past weekend I was in Broadlands, Illinois with my local OAFC group.  I left Friday afternoon and got home Sunday evening.  I was terribly exhausted and went to bed extremely early last night.  But the physical exhaustion is definitely worth the encouragement, strengthening, and wonderful fellowship you experience at these events.  OAFC is like a second family to me.  The kids are my younger siblings, the young adults are my close friends and confidants, and the adults are my parents.

I can go to OAFC in a bad mood and come back on a spiritual high.  Having the opportunity to do Bible study, openly discuss, and be in awe of God’s Word is the most amazing thing ever.  Getting to sing songs that express the joy in my heart from having a Savior who continually forgives our sins is wonderful.  Sharing that joy and faith with fellow believers is such a privilege.  And all the while we are doing this we are reaching out to those who are lost, hurting, and unsure of their faith.  Telling of God’s love and forgiveness to those who have never heard it is a beautiful experience.

I don’t know what I would do without OAFC and all the wonderful friends I have in this organization.  This organization keeps me continually grounded in the most important inspiration in my life:  I should have paid for my own sins, but God sent His Son Jesus to die for everyone’s sins, rise from the dead, and guide us in our lives as He waits for us in Heaven.  To have a God of such grace and love who still forgives every mistake I make… it’s indescribable.

(OAFC is also where I got a lot of practice with my photography skills.  Can’t you tell? :) )