Missions, Photography and Dignity

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Esther has done photography for charity:water and TOM's Shoes and others like them. In this first video, she discusses her motivation and goals for the photographs that she takes and, more importantly, the drive to use her gifting to honor God by loving His people.


Esther saw that some organizations do people a disservice by using pity-inducing photographs. In your personal ministry context, what traps must you avoid that might diminish someone's dignity, even while offering them useful help?
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Follow this link and spend a few minutes looking at some of Esther's photographs. 

How does she put the dignity of people on display, even though they are clearly impoverished and in need of help?
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How does our society, even our churches, foster this idea that people in poverty are somewhere beneath us and we are somewhere beneath celebrity pastors? How can we get believers to get to a right understanding of all of humanity's place under God?
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Because of her work, Esther has joined mission trips in third world locations all over the world. She has noticed a trend involving missionaries and their cameras, and in this video she offers a great suggestion for missions photography.


Have you also noticed this trend, either in your own local ministry, on the mission field or on Facebook, of people elevating their own experience (like making memories with pictures) over the person they have supposedly come to serve?
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In your own ministry context, what will it mean for you to treat those you serve like people and not projects?
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Whether we are the one taking photographs or giving hugs, whether we are helping Ugandans find clean water or handing out canned food to the local poor, all Christian charity must follow the Greatest Commandment in the dignity it affords to those we serve.