Name: Audrey Williams
College: Taylor Univesity
Audrey Williams came on an outreach for two weeks last July and impacted Miriam, myself, and several groups of women with the story she told. With a humble heart, a willingness to share and a passion for photography, Audrey tells about her time with the MF Site from a slightly different angle.
//Through the Nikon-Glass//
As a photographer, my experience is often much different from those around me, owing to the fact that much of what I see is through the scope of my camera lens. It would be my privilege to share with you what I experienced through my lens this past summer (2012) in the Dominican Republic at Student’s International’s Micro-finance Site.
-- Ask any photographer. They’ll tell you how crucial “the focus” is in an image. It determines the central subject of the photo and often reflects the centrality of a person, emotion, place, etc.--essentially what you want your image to reveal. The focus of the Micro-finance Site was never blurred, clouded, dim or obscure--it was Christ, through and through.
Humbly, the Micro-finance Site staff serves in nearby communities, allowing students to come alongside them in this mission at the same time teaching and equipping them to be servants of Christ, modeling an attitude of obedience. Within the ministry (bank-meetings, interviews, home-visits, etc.) the love of Christ overflows through the interaction of brothers and sisters serving one another for the glory of the Kingdom. What a joy to serve with two amazing individuals who bear the fragrance of Christ and model such love this past summer!
-- With the focus set, clarity comes next, assuming the overall clearness of the photo. Similar to focus, there should be no question as to what is happening in the image, every detail accounted for. In the Dominican Republic, this included eagerly discovering and experiencing new facets of culture and traditions in the homes of many generous Dominicans, in order that our view of the DR, micro-finance, and the work Christ is doing would register with a new crispness.
-- Now that the scene is clear and set, a photographer is keen to adjust the exposure of the image. Simply stated, exposure involves how much light the film is exposed to, revealing the scene to be captured. Likewise, I prayed daily for my rough exterior to be shed, in it’s place an exposed and obedient interior, eager to encounter light. A test of my willingness to be exposed came in the form of story telling--my own to be specific. I remember as I quietly murmured the last words of my testimony to be translated, looking up and my eyes meeting a bank-meeting full understanding eyes and a kind woman reaching for my hand. I remember the feeling of vulnerability that comes with being exposed, but what I remember most is the encouraging warmth of that sweet woman’s hand.
There are so many more photography tips I would love to share as well as reflections from my DR excursion, but I’ll conclude with those simple lessons I learned in my time at the Micro-finance Site.
Focus. Clarity. Exposure.
Christ--the focus. Discover and experience--to gain clarity and understanding of where you are. And finally exposure--both to what is being done in and around you.
The MF Site wants to continue to bring students and the poor together for the glory of God. Consider being 1 of the 106 and be a part of what God is doing here in the Dominican Republic!