Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Crying Christmas Kids

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01. Be Merry | Crying Christmas kids series | Austin, TX | December 11

I am blessed to be a part of a rich community of believers in Austin, and many of my dear friends volunteer with Young Life, an international organization that aims to form relationships with middle school and high school kids in order that they might hear about Jesus. In Austin, the handprints and traces of YL leaders can be found all across the city--from suburban schools located FAR north and FAR south of the UT campus, to low income communities in East Austin, and also through ministries like Capernaum and Young Lives.

My friend Carli started off at a school in East Austin and slowly began to develop relationships with some of the young, teen moms. These relationships grew, became richer, and I remember Carli telling me about trips to the doctor with the young moms. I remember hearing about how invested she became in their lives simply because of love. The mothers, mere high school students, became sweet friends and even sweeter younger sisters to Carli.

The relationships helped begin a Young Lives club in East Austin. Earlier this year, Carli invited me to photograph the mothers and their dear, precious babes on Halloween, with the children sporting a wide range of Halloween costumes. I really enjoyed photographing a cookie monster, a mummy and a vampire, several princesses, a ladybug and a bumblebee. Please invite me back, I asked Carli.

For their final club of the year, East Austin Young Lives held a Christmas Club on December 11th--complete with a Santa Claus, a craft decorating Christmas stockings, the classic tunes of Bing Crosby playing, and a spaghetti dinner. I had the privilege of taking photos of kids with Santa. Truly, a privilege, because I've never enjoyed photographing babes quite like this...capturing their loud reactions to the mysterious man in the red suit.

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02. The Man in the Red Suit | Austin, TX

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03. Tis the Season to be Jolly | Austin, TX

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04. All is Bright | Austin, TX