Monday, July 30, 2012

My Rock

STORY BEHIND THE PHOTO: Picture Praise, 7/30/12
This picture was taken while my husband I were house-sitting for family friends who live right on the beach at Pointe Aux Cannoniers – a popular destination in Mauritius for many tourists from all over the world. As holiday makers were going out on 30 feet catamarans daily to pass the view of the spectacular Coin de Mire Island, I sat in the garden and gazed on this rock in the ocean.

In the midst of uncertainty and turmoil in my heart around the yearly re-application of our work permit – God whispered words of security into my mind. Indeed, He is our Rock and our Fortress. He will lead and guide us for His Name’s sake. Even if the authorities refuse us permission to stay on this little island – God will continue to build His Kingdom. I realized anew that whenever we are faced with troubled waters, the Mighty Hand of God will sustain His own. There is safety and security in His Presence.

photographer: Cecile Sander, Indian Ocean Island.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Who Sees Me?

STORY BEHIND THE PHOTO: Picture Praise, 7/23/12

I took this photo as the sun was coming up along the shore of the Arabian Gulf.  It made me think of the loneliness of Hagar, her sense of the unfairness of Abram sending her and her son away, and then her amazement that Abram’s God would look down on her and rescue her. She named God El-roi, “the God who sees me.”  God knew Hagar’s plight and watched over her.

In the same way, we can pray for God to hear and see the many women born into Islam, without any chance of learning about Jesus, God’s Kinsman-Redeemer. Surely God watches over them too, and is ready to reveal Himself to any who truly seek Him.  

photographer: Sue DeVries, Cypress.

Monday, July 16, 2012

For Now: A Glass, Darkly

 STORY BEHIND THE PHOTO: Picture Praise, 7/16/12

My husband took this picture last fall while taking part in a famine-relief outreach to Samburu, Kenya.  We live in the western highlands of Kenya and have not been affected by the drought that has caused famine in so many parts of Africa's Horn. 

We have always been involved in development work in our area.  Relief work was not something we were well acquainted with. But after a successful harvest in our area, it was in our hearts to get involved in the relief efforts.  My husband partnered with several organizations to take a semi-truck full of maize to Samburu.  He came back feeling a bit discouraged as he knew that what they had done was not a long-term solution. 

As he shared the pictures with me, this one stood out.  This young girl is waiting for food to be unloaded so that she can take some back to her family.  The verse that struck me was "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known" (I Corinthians 13:12, KJV). 

I particularly like the King James Translation as it talks about a seeing through a glass darkly. 
It's like holding up a thick stained glass and seeing how everything is tinted and distorted.  I realize that there are things on this earth that will never make sense to me.  How fitting that this verse would be placed at the end of one of the most famous writings ever on the topic of love.  I know that God loves each of these precious children who suffer around the world.  And when I can't make sense of it, I take comfort in knowing that right now I am just seeing that poor reflection through the dark glass.

photographer: Michelle Kiprop's husband, Kenya. Michelle is a Family Nurse Practitioner serving with Empowering Lives International in Eldoret, Kenya.

Monday, July 9, 2012

To Russia with Love

STORY BEHIND THE PHOTO: Picture Praise, 7/9/12

This picture was taken in Tikhvin, Russia, of the church within The Great Monastery of Our Lady. The monastery houses a famous icon which is supposed to have healing power, and many make pilgrimages to see it. In most Russian Orthodox churches, the Bible is read in Old Church Slavonic, which means that most who call themselves Orthodox do not have a relationship with Christ. I pray that God will send the breath of His Spirit into the dry bones of this church, that her people will come to life!

photographer:  Anonymous, St. Petersburg, Russia.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Cute Shoes

STORY BEHIND THE PHOTO: Picture Praise, 7/2/12

I took the photo of the felt shoes in Pushkin, Russia, during a Russian festival called Maslanitsa, which celebrates the beginning of spring, and is observed by eating as many blini (crepes) as one can hold! Although these traditional felt shoes were too costly to allow me to shod my own feet with them, they reminded me of the verse in Isaiah 52:7:

"How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, 'Your God reigns!''

May there be many beautiful feet proclaiming God's reign in Russia!

photographer: Anonymous, St. Petersburg, Russia.


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