Nine years ago, Silent Images’ first chapter was written while I was sitting under the shade of a large tree evading the scorching sun of South Sudan. The first page began with Proverbs 31:8, “Speak up for those who can not speak for themselves, for the rights of all the destitute.”
For the past nine years, you all have added pages and pages to this story.
Your giving, praying and volunteering have provided a book full of stories. These stories have assisted hundreds of ministries to tell the stories of thousands of people in order to mobilize tens of thousands to give, go and pray!
Every once and a while I have to remind myself to pause, smile, and joyfully rest in the work God is doing. This afternoon is one of those days for me.
With a busy summer behind me and a long 20-day project in Myanmar awaiting, I sit in this quiet space to simply reflect on the pages written. There are hundreds of pages to our story, but I thought it would be appropriate to list out the nine pages for which I am most grateful. So here it goes…
1. For everyone who listened to me dream in 2006 and did not laugh at my crazy idea.
2. For all the donors, especially those who began giving nine years ago to a mission that was only in my head. Many of those donors are still giving today! This would still only be an idea if it were not for you.
3. For the board of directors who quickly came around me and put structure and strategy to the mission.
4. For our first client, Persecution Project, in South Sudan who entrusted this young ministry with their story.
5. For nine years of incredible staff and interns who have walked into our doors and bought into the mission. They have selflessly given of themselves in order to elevate other ministries. They have worked diligently behind the scenes creating beautiful pieces of art with no desire for recognition. They have been great stewards of their talent of using a camera, and I am confident, God has and is smiling down saying, “Well done good and faithful servant.”
6. For this year that has been filled with serving the George W. Bush and DeBoer Foundations in Myanmar, seeing one of our stories turn into a Disney film, and celebrating weddings and babies in the office.
7. For the more than 500 ministries who have invited us to tell their story.
8. For a beautiful and patient wife who still encourages me to continue to dream up more ideas. I love you, Andrea.
9. For the thousands of people who have shared your intimate stories with us. Your courage has inspired tens of thousands of people to give, go and pray. For some of you, your story is literally the only thing you still own. Thank you for entrusting us with it. May we continue to handle your stories with dignity and care because “Story Matters.”