Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Passing The Torch In Togo

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 6400, ƒ/5.6, 1/100
Storytellers Abroad participant Brian Funderburke listens to instructor Pat Davison as he works with Brian and the team in advising how to handle the story.

Sharon Sedzro was born 3 months premature, and weighed less than 4lb (2kg). The doctors told her mother that she would only live if they relied on God. She lived and was later the catalyst that brought about a children's camp ministry that missionaries from the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism had tried to start over ten years earlier. Storyteller Brian Funderburke shares the story of Madame Sedzro, Sharon Sedzro, and Judy Bowen, and how God worked in their lives to restart a children's camp ministry that is impacting hundreds of Togolese children.



We still have openings for the Honduras Multimedia Workshop taking place this October 29th to November 5th. Deadline to apply is August 30, 2016. 

Click here to learn more. Get your money in now to hold your spot.



Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 5600, ƒ/5.6, 1/100
Brian was able to sit with all three instructors, Jeff Raymond, Pat Davison and myself to work through his plan for his story. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Removing AIDS Stigma In Togo

Nikon D5, Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8G, ISO 100, ƒ/1.8, 1/800
Hannah Saxe, one of the Storytellers Abroad participant, has her fan club walking through the village of Adeti-Kope,Togo, West Africa. Hannah did her story on HIV in Togo.

Brenda Mastin is a nurse at the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism hospital in Tsiko, Togo. Over the last few years she and other Togolese colleagues have formed the organization ALMA which is french for "friend indeed". They are an HIV/AIDS ministry of education, compassion and support. Their main operation is to educate the local churches to show compassion to HIV/AIDS patients as well as giving them support through counseling and medication. They hope to open their own center for chronic disease care near the hospital. In this video Storyteller Hannah Saxe tells the story of ALMA and their work in Togo.


Here is Hannah having prayer with an HIV patient and the subject Brenda before they did the interview.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 2000, ƒ/8, 1/100

We still have openings for the Honduras Multimedia Workshop taking place this October 29th to November 5th. Deadline to apply is August 30, 2016. 

Click here to learn more. Get your money in now to hold your spot.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Jeremies Journey

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 160, ƒ/8, 1/100
Storytellers Abroad participant Cy Hayden is working here with Jeremie, his subject by recording voice over. This is the first time I have seen the subject do their own voice over. Jeremie was more comfortable answering the questions in French and then having us translate them into English. 

Jeremie, who is a Chaplin at the Hopital Baptiste Biblique and a local pastor in Togo. Jeremie almost lost his pregnant wife due to a coma because of a sickle cell crisis. His son then developed hydrocephalus a month after his birth. Through multiple miracles, God healed both of them.



We still have openings for the Honduras Multimedia Workshop taking place this October 29th to November 5th. Deadline to apply is August 30, 2016.

Click here to learn more. Get your money in now to hold your spot.



Saturday, August 20, 2016

One Test Short. One Dream Reached.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 3600, ƒ/4, 1/100
Storytellers Abroad participant, Alison Waller, is surrounded by children in a church service as she is capturing her story on Gnoyi.

Waller produced this story of Gnoyi's dream to become a part of the Togolese medical community. Gnoyi failed his high school diploma test. Without his high school diploma he never would have been able to be a part of the medical community. With the help of Hôpital Baptiste Biblique he was able to raise the funds and find the courage to retake the high school diploma test.

“With the added education I will be respected more, and people will have confidence in what I say so I will be able to approach my patients in a way that they will have confidence in what I say and I will be able to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and they will listen because of their respect and confidence in me. I will do it though humbly and I will give glory to God.”




Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 3200, ƒ/4, 1/100
Here you can see Waller shooting some footage of her subject leading in church.

We still have openings for the Honduras Multimedia Workshop taking place this October 29th to November 5th. Deadline to apply is August 30, 2016. 

Click here to learn more. Get your money in now to hold your spot.



Thursday, August 18, 2016

Freedom From the Fetish - Martouka’s Story

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 5600, ƒ/8, 1/100
Storytellers Abroad participant Hannah Teramura works with the voice over for her video.

Teramura tells the story of Martouka. After years of growing up in fetish worship, Martouka Anani fell deathly sick and remembered the gospel he had heard as a child. Even though his parents disowned him from walking away from the fetish religion, he pursued Jesus and devoted his life to sharing the good news with others.

Now he is a pastor of a thriving church and a teacher at the Bible Institute, training up other pastors to step into teaching roles to transform Togo for Jesus. This is his story – please watch and consider support the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism's mission to impact more lives and expand the multiplication of churches in Togo, West Africa.



Here is Hannah on the far right enjoy some fun with some of the other workshop participants.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 160, ƒ/8, 1/100
We still have openings for the Honduras Multimedia Workshop taking place this October 29th to November 5th. Deadline to apply is August 30, 2016. 

Click here to learn more. Get your money in now to hold your spot.



Because of God’s Love - Djamila’s Story

Nikon D5, Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8G, ISO 100, ƒ/1.8, 1/1250
Storyteller's Abroad participant Kathryn Shoaf tells the story about a young woman named Djamila. She is the daughter of an Islamic soldier, but found herself torn between two opposing worlds - the familiar traditions of Islam and the unknown Christian faith that her mother had claimed. With guidance from two ABWE teachers, she discovered the life changing love of Christ.


Kathryn was stretched during her time in Togo. She was learning how to use visuals when there are no visuals when someone talks about something that happens in the past. She also learned more about how to sequence the story to keep you more on the edge of your seat.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 1600, ƒ/8, 1/100
Before the class all went their separate ways to interview their subjects we did a practice interview where they saw what it will be like interviewing someone in French wth a translator helping. Kathryn has the headphones on in this photo.

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 160, ƒ/8, 1/100
While we work hard while in Togo, West Africa you can see we also had fun as a group.

We still have openings for the Honduras Multimedia Workshop taking place this October 29th to November 5th. Deadline to apply is August 30, 2016. Click here to learn more. Get your money in now to hold your spot.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Trials in Togo

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, ISO 800, ƒ/4, 1/4000
All the girls jumped into the back of the pickup to ride into the village. On the far left front is Liz Ortiz. This was Liz's second trip with Storytellers Abroad Missions Multimedia Workshop. She first joined us in Romania.

Liz did a story on Gaglo who was there when the missionaries first came to Togo. He helped build the hospital and has seen first hand how the hospital has made an impact on the Togolese. Over 32 churches have been planted because of the hospital. Gaglo not only works as a physician assistant, but is also a pastor for one of the church plants.


We still have openings for the Honduras Multimedia Workshop taking place this October 29th to November 5th. Deadline to apply is August 30, 2016. Click here to learn more.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Forgiveness and Starting Over - Nyakpo’s Story

Nikon D5, Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8G, ISO 100, ƒ/1.8, 1/800
This is Stacey Schuett, one of the participants in the Storytellers Abroad Missions Multimedia Workshop we held in Togo, West Africa.

Storyteller Stacey Schuett has been telling the story of Nyakpo, who was born into a royal African family and raised by his grandmother. After his grandmothers passing and a series of difficult trials, Nyakpo came to know the Lord. He is now a teacher for the Bible Baptist Schools of Togo and highly involved in youth ministry.

Watch Stacey's story. Leave your feedback here in comments.


We still have openings for the Honduras Multimedia Workshop taking place this October 29th to November 5th. Deadline to apply is August 30, 2016. Click here to learn more.


Nikon D5, Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4 DG Art, ISO 560, ƒ/1.4, 1/100
This is photo of Stacey in Togo editing her package.

Teaching Women Reaching Togo – Storytellers Abroad Missions Multimedia Workshop

photo by Jeff Raymond
A week ago today I was stuck in the Accra, Ghana airport waiting for Delta Airlines computer system to get back online so that we could return home after a week in Tsiko, Togo, West Africa.

It was a good week of capturing stories of the work being done with the help of Association of Baptists for World Evangelism missionaries. We were staying at the Hopital Baptiste Biblique guest housing while working on stories that have all been the result of the hospital.

Jeff Raymond organized the Storytellers Abroad Missions Multimedia Workshop with the help of Pat Davision and myself.

Over the next few weeks I will share some of the stories done by the students. Today I want to share what Hannah Strayer captured.

This is Hannah Strayer capturing her story. [Nikon D5, Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8G, ISO 100, ƒ/1.8, 1/640]
Hannah's story is just below here. Take a look at what she captured in just a week while in Togo.


Under the teaching of ABWE missionary, Rebekah Poteat, Abra Sakpa has been learning Bible study methods and is using them to teach between 20-25 women about the Bible. Her vision in learning and teaching the Bible is that she might teach other women to teach women to teach women so that the farthest corners of Togo might be reached with the Gospel.

We still have openings for the Honduras Multimedia Workshop taking place this October 29th to November 5th. Deadline to apply is August 30, 2016. Click here to learn more.

Friday, August 12, 2016

“Can we talk here?”

Photo by Hannah Strayer, Storytellers Abroad participant

In the words of Joan Rivers, “Can we talk here?”

First, if you lost your job and are looking for a new job go and have lunch or coffee with a successful pro. Take the time to ask them, “If you were I what would you do?”

Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens,  ISO 7200, ƒ/5.6, 1/100
Also scrape together enough money to pay for that lunch or coffee, because it will most likely be the best money you have spent in a long time.

Second, learn to listen and try and hear what people need and learn how to position yourself as the solution to their problems. Too many times new freelancers are doing all they can to tell a potential client what they do. They just talked themselves out of any work. If you talk about how you are a great square and they needed a round solution you can see how you lost the job. It is better to listen and hear they need a round object and figure out how you could be a round object.

Jeff Raymond talks through Stacey Schuett story during our Storytellers Abroad Missions Multimedia Workshop in Togo, West Africa. [Nikon D5, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens,  ISO 25600, ƒ/5.6, 1/100]
Third, if you get a call about a job opportunity–pause and think. Your objective should be get the job offer and then decide if you are interested. Don’t be the guy who before hearing all about a job is turning it down. Now all the reasons you have for turning something down may very well disappear had you just shut up and listened. There is a very good chance they may offer you more money or something else that helps address your needs, but because you are so smart and already knew why this isn’t a good fit just lost a great opportunity.

You never know who is watching. As I was shooting this another photographer was photographing me. [Nikon D5, Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8G, ISO 100, ƒ/1.8, 1/320]
Fourth, let’s just say you screwed up on anything, call that person and apologize. If you don’t know what you did wrong just call them and say I think I made a mistake with you and I don’t know what I did, but would love to learn from you so I don’t make that mistake again. Your willingness to eat some humble pie might just reopen a closed door.

Photo by Hannah Strayer, Storytellers Abroad participant
Fifth, many people could go to etiquette classes for adults. You maybe sabotaging your efforts by the way you dress to how you eat your food for example. The more you know the better you can be at shaping your brand.

Here are some key factors that prohibit professionals or an organization from achieving its potential level of success include:

  • Poor verbal and non verbal skills towards other employees or business partners
  • Rude and distracting behavior in the office and during meetings 
  • Failing to appreciate employees for their contributions and poor communication
  • Inappropriate attire and inappropriate behavior 
  • Poor manners on the phone and via email 
  • Embarrassing business and social faux pas

Let me just say my wife has educated me a great deal on some of what I call overlooked social faux pas. She has helped me so much in navigating etiquette.
Proverbs 1:1-33 ESV
The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth— Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, ...
Now we all still make mistakes, so learn from them. Hope this helps you think about your objective of finding work.
Colossians 4:5-6 ESV
Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.