What do you get when you combine 43 hyper-energetic elementary boys, 30 enthusiastic volunteers, and a bunch of soccer balls together?
3 days filled with sun, laughter, sweat, and fun!
Boys from 5 different orphanages gathered for Jerusalem Ministries 4th annual soccer camp. Unseen Ministries is currently partnering with JM for a few media projects. I was honored to be the photographer for this event.
Starting with my favorite image. And yes, the image is not supposed to show the child’s entire face. A few of my adult business students were quick to point out I had cut the boys eyes off. As if I didn’t know…way to ruin the moment guys!
The 3 main goals of the camp:
2. Increase confidence in the children
The boys were so proud of their brand new uniforms. They felt like real soccer players.
Even though it was 90 degrees, the boys were still so competitive.
At times, I would get distracted by my competitive spirit that I would forget to capture a goal or important moment from cheering and jumping up and down for the teams.
Those red cheeks are so squeezable!
Smiles during a group activity.
It was pretty incredible to see the 30 volunteers selflessly pour so much love and affection into these boys. The boys were soaking all the genuine love that many of them lack due to absent parents.
Here’s just a few of the volunteers bringing joy to these boys.
The TRUST activity:
One student stands elevated facing backwards from his team members. He must trust his teammates to catch him while free falling into their arms.
It created for some pretty fun images.
The team members ask, “Do you trust us?”
The student standing says, “I trust you!”
Check out this 2 minute video of the trust falls.
By the end of the second day, he officially rejected me from taking his picture too much.Even when I wasn’t taking his picture, I’d notice he’d always refuse any attention or love I would try to give him.
I’ve never been rejected by a 10 year old before, but let me tell you it burns.
BUT, did that stop me from loving him any less?
Nope, it made me want to pour that much more love into him. No matter what he did or how many times he refused me, it made me try that much harder. Even though he may not have understood why a complete stranger who couldn’t speak his language love him, I know in his core he was screaming for my love and affection.
This reminded me of our Father’s furious love for us. Know matter what we do or how we feel, it will never change the Father’s love for us even if we feel like we don’t deserve it or even try to reject it.
So, did it work you ask? Yup. The last day he finally cracked and let me hold and love on him after swimming. Score for me!!
Can’t you see why I couldn’t resist photographing this little boy??
These smiles make my job so delightful.
The clouds were pretty epic all 3 days.
The last day we took the boys swimming in the afternoon. Their favorite activity? Splashing and dunking the teachers.
The winning team was awarded soccer balls, new sneakers, and a delicious Korean BBQ dinner with the coaches.
The orphanage director of Jerusalem Ministries, John-Michael and his fiance, Sky. Blessings to you guys and your marriage next month!
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