Thursday, November 19, 2009

Africa Stories

Recently, I helped pull together some of the content of this site Please read about some of the things I've gotten to experience and enjoy during the last couple of months. I've written a few of the stories and some of the photos are mine, but for security reasons I can't tell you. If you what to know shoot me a message and I'll let you know in an email.

If you would like the free printed tabloid version click here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

the loss

This is dedicated to a friend who just experienced a great loss. Remember this friend, the family and myself as I try to be a friend through it all.

sadness overwhelms
as it surrounds me
pain is all i feel
from deep inside me
my heart is heavy
within me

here is my cry
listen as i scream
without a word
the world does not hear

deep is the doubt
believe for me
longing to know
have faith for me
anger is all i have
love for me

here is my cry
listen as i scream
without a word
the world does not hear

i am lost in myself
guide me
i know you are there
show me
i turn within
heal me

here is my cry
listen as i scream
without a word
the world does not hear

God you are always near
you know my heart
you know my pain
love me always

carry me

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The song

Friends of mine reminded me of this song yesterday and I want to share it. It encourages me that even now I am being constantly molded. 


By: Joel Hemphill


He's still working on me to make me what I ought to be.
It took Him just a week to make the moon and stars,
The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars.
How loving and patient He must be, He's still working on me.

1. There really ought to be a sign upon the heart,
Don't judge her yet, there's an unfinished part.
But I'll be perfect just according to His plan
Fashioned by the Master's loving hands.


2. In the mirror of His Word reflections that I see
Make me wonder why He never gave up on me.
He loves me as I am and helps me when I pray
Remember He's the Potter, I'm the clay.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

The teaching

Recently, I visited a township called Freedom Park outside the city of Rustenburg, South Africa. A township is a poor neighborhood of shack homes (made of tin) or small brick houses (government provided). Some have running water and electricity some don't. Freedom Park doesn't.

Thousands of people live in Freedom Park. And the vast majority of them are migrant workers from other African countries.

My friends Mary and Lesley work in some of the many schools that the children of these migrant workers attend. They teach True Love Waits, life orientation (basic life skills) to the students. They also teach a Bible study during an after school program.

Lesley and Mary playing games
with the students during an after school program.

*Photos and edits by JAL, shot with Nikon D90

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The soccer match

Soccer is a big deal, at least here in South Africa. And it's an even bigger deal because the World Cup is coming here in 2010. Part of my job right now is to visit some of the cities with World Cup stadiums. While visiting we document the lives of the South Africans that live surrounding the stadiums. In the city of Rustenburg I actually got to go to a game. The Platinum Stars (the local team) played the Kaiser Chiefs. The Chiefs won. But hanging out with the fans was great. Such energy and zeal.

Me and fellow media worker, Stacie.

The Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace.
A community owned stadium, the only one in South Africa.

With our hosts, Lesley (left) and Mary (center).

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The glass blowing

I, along with two friends of mine, Mary Beth and Lusy, went to a glass shop and got to make our own glass paperweights. It was a cute shop and a very community type outing. We all enjoyed the time out and being amongst other people. The picture above is a man showing us how to make the decorations and mold in which to pour the hot, melted glass.

a shot of the studio and show room. i tried to take a panorama...

My friend, Mary Beth before she gave birth,
putting in the finishing decorations on the melted glass.

Lucy concentrating on her work of art.

A glass blowing demonstration.

The actual blowing.

*taken by JAL with a Sony Ericsson camera phone

Monday, September 07, 2009

The East London (South Africa) beach

Not too long ago, I took a trip to East London, South Africa. It's a cute little city right on the eastern coast. I got to go to the beach in July. But, was wearing a thick winter jacket because of the cold. So cold. Below is what I saw. It is really a beautiful place.

My friend, Roxie on the boardwalk looking out to the ocean.

*Photos and edits by JAL, shot with Nikon D90

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Samburu

The Samburu people are starving.

They are located just above the equator in eastern Africa.

The Samburu people live in the highland forests of Kenya, at almost 7,800 feet above sea level. An ongoing drought and post-election violence in 2008 gravely disrupted the area's food supply, contributing to the starvation of animals and people.

Hunger is a very real problem all through the drought stricken Rift Valley region of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Thanks to the generous gifts of SBers to the World Hunger Fund, local workers are able to plan hunger relief projects to help alleviate some of the suffering. God is blessing these efforts. Pray for good rains this next season.

They are traditional warriors.

For more on how to help visit

*photos taken and edited by JAL, taken with Nikon D90. Video by DM.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Mug and Bean

Some days I've just got to get out of the house. Right now my bedroom also seconds as my office and the four walls really do close in.

Kristen, Ethan and I decided to spend the morning at a local coffee shop. We worked hard and ate good food. Kristen had a bottomless cup of coffee. (for those of you who don't know, there are no free refills here, so a bottomless cup of coffee is the "promise land").

*all photos by KNS, editing done by JAL, shot with Nikon D90

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Ode to Kristen

This is dedicated to my flatmate, teammate, friend and all around awesome person Kristen Nicole Sayres.

Kristen has left for almost two months.
She is traveling around America for work.
This is her packing.

Ode to Kristen

by Me

You have left. Gone.

For so long

I walk by your door

And you are gone.

I wait to hear

You shout DANCE

I DANCE in your memory

You are gone.

I miss your music

Oh so loud

There is silence

Because you are gone.

I am here

Waiting for your return

I am alone

You are gone.

Hurry home Kristen. Hope America is fun and stress free.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The light

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

John 8:12 (New International Version)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The new baby

This is Kylie Elizabeth. I lived across the street from her parents in West Africa and am now just down the road from them again. I spent a couple of hours with Kyle and her mom Mary Beth today. Enjoyed every minute. She has beautiful deep blue eyes and a very expressive face!

The equator

A few months ago I took a drive into central Kenya. On my way, I passed over the equator as it runs through Kenya.

Now I have stood over the equator on two continents, Africa and South America.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The new friends

Another self-portrait. This one at my friend Stacie's flat (apartment). We ate pizza. Talked. Listened to music. All good fun.

This is Stacie. She is a new friend.
Like me she's lived in Africa for a while.
We have fun.

Made some new friends. They are spending a couple of months
working in South Africa. They just get younger and younger.
Maybe it's me that's getting older!

You HandsOn guys will do a great job. See you in a couple of months!

Monday, August 17, 2009

The workers

The media team. At least part of it. We worked together today.

Well, worked and played and danced and sang and cooked and ate.

And I took a self-portrait.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The heart beats

The heart beats
by me

The pain rips my heart.
Beat-by-beat it takes it apart piece-by-piece.
The ripping leaves pain.
The pain that rips my heart.

Each rip reminds me of the anger.
The anger tries to consume.
I hurt. the anger hurts.
The pain that rips my heart.

I fight it. this pain. This anger.
With what is left of my heart.
Beat-by-beat my heart grows smaller.
The pain that rips my heart.

The heart limply beats on.
One beat after the next.
Looking for safe harbor from
The pain that rips my heart.

The pain dulls.
Doubt covers it like fog.
Choking confidence. Hiding desire. Fading dreams.
The pain that rips my heart.

Weakly beating on.
Searching for calm to rebuild.
Forget the pain. The anger. The hurt.
The pain that rips my heart.

The heart beats on.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Children

I want to share the story of some children I met traveling throughout Zambia. This story is similar to millions of other children in southern Africa. Their parents are dying or have died from HIV/AIDS. 1.1 million Zambians have the disease. Some of the children pictured here, where born with it and will not see middle-age.

This young girl has HIV/AIDS and is the caretaker of her family.

This girl lives with her other siblings.
At least one member of her family has AIDS.

Malnutrition does not stop this girl from smiling.

Their caregiver has the disease.

His mom is taking intravenous drugs to extend her life.

The Zambian nation is one of the leading countries in fighting the spread of AIDS, lowering the death rate, aiding in the longevity of life and HIV/AIDS education. Still, 56,000 Zambians died from HIV/AIDS.