Monday, July 20, 2009

new location

so, due to creative differences, i am now parting ways with blogger. it served well for a time, but it's now time for a different chapter in the life of everywhere is somewhere we must go.

the next chapter begins here:

thanks for following.

Monday, June 15, 2009

i'm a .com

So, in an attempt to summarize the last few years' work into a sort of digital portfolio/library, I would like to introduce you to I figured before proceeding on to whatever ventures are next, it would be worthwhile to summarize some of the people, places, and issues I have been brought into contact with thus far.

And I must mention that this website wouldn't be functioning had it not been for the in-depth coding know-how of B.Alderman & Co. Technologies.

Thanks for reading/viewing.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Alas, I Still Love Washington (State).

On Friday, the 27th of March, I flew home from Copenhagen to Seattle. It is abrupt sort of adjustment to go from one continent to another in such a (relatively) short amount of time. To go from one place that is so highly unfamiliar, and the next day to be sitting in one of the most familiar places imaginable, such as my family’s kitchen table on 9th avenue, is something bizarre.

It looks like I will now be relatively stationary, at least for the time being. I am hoping to look for opportunities in which I can share the Sex + Money project around Ellensburg, as well as the general Northwestern region of the United States. Therefore, if you are interested in working with me to set something up in your area, please do feel free to let me know (you can find my email in my profile.)

Specifically regarding the book: If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Sex + Money: A Global Search For Human Worth, there is a “buy it now” link to the right hand side of this blog where you can make an order through your computer. If you would like to buy it in person, you can try to locate me in Ellensburg, WA. It shouldn’t be very difficult as our community is fairly small in size. Or you can find me at future events. Any of these are viable options, should you choose to pursue them.

A lot of plans are still up in the air, but one hope I have in the near future is to begin studying in University. I desire to take the time to make a prayerful decision on where I can best pursue the seeds and ideas God has dropped in my heart. As specifics become clear I hope to keep you updated.

Thank you for the interest you have shown in this project – even from the beginnings of the photogenX track in South Africa in September of 2007. I began this trip trusting that if God was the maker of the heavens and the earth and the trees and my heart, He could somehow provide for my needs, even if I couldn’t see how. Through your generosity, I was able to work with this project, and learn more of what it means to speak up for “the least of these.”

Probably the main reason why I began the photogenX track in the first place was that I felt a strong tug on my heart to begin using my art (in whatever medium) to portray what God is doing in the world and/or what He is desiring to bring about in order to heal our broken and needy world. If this trip has shown me one thing, it’s that there is much more to be said for the needs of humans around the globe, especially the broken and destitute. Therefore, in whatever way I continue to walk, I desire to use the arts as a means of speaking truth regarding the issues we face in our world today. The body of Christ has a hope to offer the world, if we will only be willing.

The last two years' work with photogenX are not the finality of the hope we have to offer. I have much more to learn, but I'll proceed onwards from here...

Monday, April 6, 2009

a copenhagen finale.

On Thursday, the 19th of March, Koala and I, along with former (but still at heart) photogenXer, Anna Nielsen, arrived into Copenhagen Central Station, and proceeded soon thereafter to the hip and culturally diverse district of Copenhagen, known as Nørrebro (though spoken you will find the pronunciation of this name to be worlds apart from what you would think on paper.) This is where Koala and I would be based for a bit more than a week that we spent in Denmark’s capital city, thanks to København Kulturcenter (Copenhagen’s Culture Center,) who gave us a place to lay our heads.

You just saw three uses of parenthesis in the previous paragraph.

The first event we were a part of was a “Documentary Night” put on by the Culture Center. Here, an international group of young adults get together once a month to discuss and learn about different issues – this particular week the focus was human trafficking, so Koala and I shared a bit towards the beginning of the meeting, and our speaking was followed by a documentary about human trafficking in Copenhagen titled, “When the Moon is Dark.” The film was highly informative, and followed a couple stories of Nigerian women who had been trafficked to Denmark for prostitution.

(one of koala's photo's displayed in cafe retro)

On Sunday the 22nd, Anna had arranged for us to put on a photography exhibition in Café Retro, a local coffee shop that is entirely non-profit. The entirety of their profits are given to support various humanitarian projects in developing nations – currently they’re working to help an organization in Sewa Ashram, India. To our delight, we were able to display nearly all of our 20 display photos in what proved to be fairly constrained quarters. However, it’s surprising what you can do with string, thumbtacks, and a small fence. Café Retro was a good environment for us to share our materials with people, as well as for us to hear from them of their thoughts on the current state of human trafficking, particularly in Europe. Public opinion seems to be shifting. Though there is much ground to be made, people seem to be growing increasingly aware of the ways in which human trafficking is taking place in our societies, and the ways (large and small) that we can be a part of choosing something different.

Through some of the connections we made at the Copenhagen Culture Center, we were able to connect with a discipleship program that is currently in the developing stages. “Identity and Discipleship (I.D.)” is similar to something like a YWAM DTS, but it is more focused on integrating its students into the local church setting. The main leader/teacher/organizer of this program is a fellow American, Stephen, who has been living in Copenhagen for quite some time now. We were glad to share with their groups during a couple of their class times, but Koala and I both felt very blessed to be able to hear and take part in some of their teaching and discussions. Stephen and the students challenged us in how they are learning to relate to God not just in an individual way, but also through their surroundings – including their environments and the people around them. This sort of holistic Christ following, though a challenge, is something that becomes beautiful in learning to enact.

On Thursday, the 26th, I escorted Koala to the airport, to bid him farewell, for now. It was an odd feeling, saying goodbye to a friend I have known, and lived closely with, for the last 18 months. Truthfully, it didn’t really feel like I was saying goodbye; I do feel I’ll see him at some point in the future. I hope this is the case.

Koala has since returned to the University of the Nations campus, in Kona, Hawaii, to begin the Introduction to Biblical Counseling (IBC) course for the spring quarter. In July, he plans to return briefly to South Korea, before continuing onwards to visit his parents, who are currently working in Vietnam. In September, he plans to resume his studies of Economics and Accounting at his previous university in South Korea, though now he feels as though he has a bit more direction with these studies. His desire is to one day use his skills with economics in order to help develop more sustainable living in developing nations, amongst other things.

So, for now we have completed what we originally set out to do with the three-month tour or Scandinavia, taking our publication and the message it bears to a large variety of places – from anarchist café’s in Iceland, to Lutheran State Churches in Sweden. Still, the work of exterminating human trafficking has a long way to travel, but I do believe that a significant amount of seeds have been sown.

“For as the rain comes down,
and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

Isaiah 55:10-11 (New King James Version)

I believe what we have sown with this tour will flourish, because ultimately, what we have sown in the book, in the photography, and in the stories, is from Him - the Lord. We often felt worn thin and weary, but as a whole, we can say the tour was a positive experience. We are reminded that the Lord is moving.

pardon me.

In a previous post, "pinetrees, smokestacks, and holy water," from the time in Finland, i made a joke.

I said:

"there are no cars in finland. the most common form of transportation is sled-dog mushing."

This was what some like to call a "JK," meaning, "just kidding." After arriving home, and hearing from some friends and family members, I figured I should restore a proper understanding of the nation of Finland. They have cars and drive them when necessary. I actually only saw one sled-dog-musher in my entire time in the country.

Sorry for the potential confusion and/or heartache I may have induced through this statement.