Over the last few years I’ve had the privilege of capturing thousands of moments for VisionTrust, but there are a handful that I keep extra close to my heart. The photos above are ones I always come back to—not because of the composition, actually there’s quite a bit I would change—but because of the mark that moment left on me.
I led a team of college students to Zimbabwe in 2014 to support VisionTrust’s Local Heroes at a camp they host for student leaders each summer. My team was in charge of games one afternoon, so they brought out balls and hula hoops and jump ropes. Hundreds of kids were running wild in a field just behind where these images were taken. As I was standing to the side snapping photos of the organized chaos, one of the volunteer cooks tapped on my shoulder and asked if they could snag a jump rope…
I had met these three women earlier in the week when they greeted us with singing and dancing—their feet had flown too fast for me to keep up. They would volunteer each week to cook a giant caldron of fortified porridge for the children and mothers in our million meals program. And during camp, not only did they cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner over a hot fire, but they also volunteered to spend the night at the school with the children. To me, these sweet women became an image of sacrifice and joy—laughing and joking easily with the team, each other, and the children no matter what the activity.
At VisionTrust we always talk about the work our Local Heroes are doing around the world. But for those who have never met them, it can be difficult to visualize.
I loved the moment captured above because it was a simple and beautiful representation of the Kingdom of God on earth. When I see these photos, I’m reminded of the sacrificial love and unbridled joy of these women and so many others like them. I hope these images give you a glimpse of the amazing individuals we’re blessed to partner with.