Madagascar: Not a cartoon.

Some rules have exceptions. Especially rules you create.

I had every intention on having 10 great photographs to document my recent trip to Madagascar. But, I came across a huge problem. I can’t narrow my photos down to 10. I tried. It was physically painful to do. I started getting sweaty palms and anxious. I actually had to walk around my office to calm down a bit.

I know, I know, they are only photos, right? Wrong.

If you’ve ever created something – a drawing, a photograph, a song, a painting, a sculpture, a bonsai tree, a finger painting, whatever – you get attached to it. I love photography and more importantly, I love my photography. My photos are a documentary on where I’ve been and beautiful moments I’ve captured. These are things I have been truly blessed to experience. Being on the mission field is both an obligation and a privilege. I don’t have great physical abilities and I have a very limited number of spiritual gifts. But, I do have the ability to share pieces of the world with others through photography. I’ve come to realize that photography is a form of worshipping God. What better way is there to praise the Creator than to preserve His creation with images?

Back to my story. I wanted 10 photos. I had 600 to go through. I went through a refining process where I label each photo on a scale of 1-3 stars. 1s get filed away, 2s get edited, 3s get some special attention and some of those make it in to a frame. My challenge was to narrow down 600 photos to just 10 that accomplished the following things: 1) communicated beauty, 2) shared culture and 3) told a story.

This trip was special. It was the most remote location I have visited. But, despite its distance from big city life, the city of Mananjary had a thriving Gospel-centered movement going on. My team and I had a chance to share the Gospel with over 50 people, sit across from a village king, get beat at basketball by barefoot teenagers, dine with a pastor who was healed after 10 years of sickness, pray for a grandmother who lost four family members in six months and swim in the Indian Ocean.

After all those experiences 10 photos wasn’t going to happen. But, these are my rules and I can break them (after all, this is my blog.) So, I submit to you my favorite 10 20 photos from my recent trip to Madagascar, Africa.

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Madagascar is a beautiful (and real) place filled with mountains, rain forests and beaches. And no cartoon animals.

There are rice patties everywhere which provide sustenance and money.

There are rice patties everywhere which provide sustenance and money.

We encountered a tradition where the wedding attendants all walk together to the church.

We encountered a tradition where the wedding attendants all walk together to the church.

On the side of the road, these children accompanied their mother who was selling straw bags and hats.

On the side of the road, these children accompanied their mother who was selling straw bags and hats.

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This woman was selling peanuts on the side of the main highway near a scenic overlook.

This woman was selling peanuts on the side of the main highway near a scenic overlook.

The children were curious and fun.

The children were curious and fun.

This woman was reading her Bible on the side of the road and chatted with us for a few minutes.

This woman was reading her Bible on the side of the road and chatted with us for a few minutes.

A herder is walking his zebu on the beach to graze.

A herder is walking his zebu on the beach to graze.

I found these kids along a canal on the way to a village.

I found these kids along a canal on the way to a village.

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This military worker was enjoying some relaxation outside the government office.

This military worker was enjoying some relaxation outside the government office.

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Fishermen are preparing for the day in Mananjary.

Fishermen are preparing for the day in Mananjary.

An inside view of a burned down hospital. I had a blast shooting this dilapidated building.

An inside view of a burned down hospital. I had a blast shooting this dilapidated building.

While visiting the hut of the king of this village, many curious onlookers eavesdropped.

While visiting the hut of the king of this village, many curious onlookers eavesdropped.

These two followed me everywhere and were always ready for a photo.

These two followed me everywhere and were always ready for a photo.

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This little guy melted my heart as I walked by. He just wanted to see what the Americans were up to.

This little guy melted my heart as I walked by. He just wanted to see what the Americans were up to.

This is the village king. At 83, he's the oldest in his village. He started calling me his brother-in-law!

This is the village king. At 83, he’s the oldest in his village. He started calling me his brother-in-law!

 

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2 thoughts on “Madagascar: Not a cartoon.

  1. Sandra Gail Williamson says:

    Oh Jason beautiful photos one day I want to see ALL your mission photos you need to make a book I know the PR person at the book ctr we could sell it!!!!! Love you… So very proud of you and what you do!!!

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Andy says:

    Great photos, bro! Looking through them, I was like “hey I remember that place, but my pictures don’t look nearly as good!” Thanks for sharing

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