Written by Samuel Xiao for Go Asia (May-Aug 2019)
A quote that would describe my heart towards photography is one by an American photographer named Steve McCurry. He says, “Most of my photos are grounded in people, I look for the unguarded moment, the essential soul peeking out, experience etched on a person’s face.” Photography to me has always been about people, the process of capturing raw emotions and moments. This translates into nostalgic recollections of the past, and often brings back the joy and emotions of that moment.
My first interaction with photography started when I was young when my dad would give me a digital compact camera to bring on school excursions. Being exposed to photography at such a young age, as well as advice from my dad, trained me to develop an eye for framing a picture. Currently, I’ve been doing freelance wedding photography which has been a platform for me to use this gift and passion to be a blessing to others.
Experience with OMF:
It was a challenge at the start when I first received the opportunity to film for Don and Sandy due to the lack of experience with videography. However, I took on the assignment knowing that I could use what I’ve learnt through photography and incorporate them into filming.
The entire filming experience was a meaningful and impactful one where the assignment was to capture a day in their lives. The opportunity to share and be present in the daily work and routines of Don & Sandy allowed me to witness what it means to obey the call of the Gospel. Being dislodged away from family and friends, I’ve come to hear of how they’ve settled into Singapore and the work that they are doing here at OMF as well as their local church. I’ve seen how the Gospel transcends all culture and environments and how their lives are poured out in sacrificial ways to build God’s Kingdom. It was an experience that gave me a greater understanding and appreciation of the work here at OMF Singapore. It has also given me a new perspective of the comprehensiveness and entirety of what missions is. I’ve also come to see how my gifts can be used for a greater purpose. This work that I’ve contributed would in turn be watched by many and by God’s grace, that they will be encouraged in giving their lives to missions.
Desires and Hope for Missions-Related Work
“ But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” ~ 1 Peter 2:9.
My desire and hope is to further steward and use this gift and passion for God’s purposes and Kingdom. This could play out in possible media-related mission work through OMF, as a means for mobilization and documentation of the work of missionaries. My hope is that these gifts that God has given me will serve as one of the many tools to build His Kingdom. I thank God that He has first called me into His Kingdom, and as what 1 Peter 2:9 describes, we are God’s chosen people so that we may proclaim the Gospel that has brought us from darkness into light. And my prayer request is that the work of my hands will be one that God will ultimately grow and multiply and contribute to the task that is still unfinished.