News Articles

Photographers capture missions, national attention

RICHMOND, Va. (BP) — Rahima* barely makes a living begging on the busy streets of Bangladesh. As Rahima and her two young daughters sat down on the edge of the sidewalk to eat a bag of cooked rice and vegetables, photographer Joanna B. Pinneo sees a story unfolding before her eyes and takes the shot.

Each year IMB releases a special collection of their images taken during the past year. Many of those images compel Southern Baptists to give and go on missions to help relieve suffering through sharing the love of Christ. This article includes links to images and audio comments from photographers who covered the stories overseas.

This year, IMB’s CommissionStories magazine also was recognized by Pictures of the Year International as a finalist in their Best Publication Division/Best Magazine category. National Geographic received top honors in that category for Best Use of Photography by a Magazine. German Geo and the International Mission Board were the category’s finalists. For more information about the award go to http://www.poyi.org/71/35/index.php.

The following includes more details behind IMB’s photographs. Click here to see full collection.

Begging for a better life

Through Pinneo’s lens she was able to share Rahima’s story.

See the image here.
Listen to Pinneo’s comments here.

Rahima and her family are forced to make a living in the best and most respectable way they can. This life of mere survival is not Rahima’s choice. Her hope and dream is that her two daughters will have a better education and environment than she has had and become “good women.” Rahima said, “I do not have any dream for myself. I only have dream and hope for my children.”

The Light of Hope Learning Center seeks to give girls an opportunity to expand their horizons and to make a living for themselves. The school, started by Southern Baptist worker Geri Hennerman,* lifts the girls up spiritually and provides them an education and handicraft skills. The teachers approach each girl as a whole person, treating them with respect, love and care. (See related stories from BP’s May 14, 2013, edition).

Hennerman said, “The stories, pictures and video have gotten many people more involved in all the Lord is doing here. We have heard from individuals, churches and groups via email and have also received numerous financial gifts.”

Because of this, pre-teen girls like Rahima’s 9-year-old daughter Minara are able to attend the school five days a week.

View a video update about the center and hear the Hennermans expressing their thanks to Southern Baptists for their support here. To get in touch with the Light of Hope Learning Center directors about how you or your church can get involved, email [email protected]

Ongoing need

Another visual story includes a Syrian child taking a nap in a rented home in northern Lebanon, where there are no official, government-backed refugee camps.

See the image here.
Listen to photographer Joseph Rose’s comments here.

Roughly half of the some 2 million refugees resulting from the Syrian civil war are children. (Read more at commissionstories.com/speakup). Southern Baptists have an ongoing relief ministry among Syrian refugees in four countries where they have fled. Contribute to the distribution of food packets, hygiene kits and temporary shelters at imb.org/syrianrefugees and designate “Syria relief” in the comment line.

Swath of destruction

A child runs along the rocky shore at Gibitngil Island, seemingly oblivious to the destruction caused to her community by Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013. Behind her are the ruined structures of a small beach resort that provided a valuable tourism income for the tiny community.

Gibitngil Island, like many communities that suffered almost total destruction, remained unreached by relief efforts for days because of its inaccessibility. Baptist Global Response (BGR) partnered with local IMB personnel to make assessment trips to many of these more isolated parts of northern Cebu Island to make plans for immediate and long-term assistance.

See the image click here.
Listen to photographer Hugh Johnson’s comments here.

For an update on related relief efforts, click here. To donate to Southern Baptists’ Typhoon Haiyan Relief fund, click here.

The selections IMB submitted were presented in memory of photographer Don Rutledge, who died in February 2013 at age 82.

Traveling throughout the United States and to more than 140 countries for more than 40 years, Rutledge captured many moments of humanity and ministry in hundreds of classic photographs taken for the Home (now North American) Mission Board and later for the Foreign (now International) Mission Board. For many mission photographers, Rutledge revolutionized missions storytelling and influenced several generations of Christian communicators. His images helped millions of inspired viewers to understand, pray for and participate in missions.
*Name changed. Story compiled by IMB. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

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