Remember when phones didn’t have cameras? What did we do?! How did we document our meals and sunsets and what our dog wore for Halloween? Pictures are fun and sometimes frivolous, but on the other hand pictures mark important moments. Baby pictures, school pictures, graduation photos, engagement pictures, wedding pictures, family pictures, vacation pictures. It’s like every important moment in life must be celebrated with pictures or else it didn’t happen.

For example: I was once met Jon Voight in an airport … but, I lost my phone that had the pictures on it. See, now you don’t believe me. No pictures, no proof.

If you’re a part of things at Restoration, you probably know that we are trying to leverage everything we have to get to know our community and to serve it well.

And while we don’t have much we will use what we have.

Serving with physical labor is our favorite approach. It’s free. It’ll cost me some chiropractic bills down the road, but it’s cheap now. We do that every Second Saturday.

We’ve done lots and lots of eating together, where everyone brings a little and it turns into a whole lot. But, we’ve been trying to think how do we leverage our other strengths to meet our community’s needs.

Then it hit us…


Annie Mayberry is a fantastic photographer and I’ve taken my fair share of portraits. So, we figured we’d open up a Free Family Photo session to the community.

We put up some posters around town and spent $20 on Facebook to advertise. We never set a goal of how many people we’d like to attract, but I thought maybe 10-20 families would show – and most of them would be a part of Restoration already.

66 families later, we closed the registrations and started a wait list. As of right now, we have another 37 families on the wait list.

I grossly underestimated how much people want pictures of themselves.

With so many families registering, we were pretty overwhelmed. We weren’t sure how we could shoot (with cameras) so many families in one day.

Then a couple of days ago we got a Facebook message about the Free Family Photos, which was not shocking. We’ve gotten a lot of messages about them. But, this one was different. It was a gal named Brandi. She sent a link to her photography page and she asked a simple question: Can I help?

She wasn’t looking to be served, but to serve. She said she is a local photographer who would love to give us a hand (for free)! And she’s good at it!

She was literally an answer to prayer.

I felt the least I could do was buy her coffee.

So this morning, Jenessa and I met with Brandi and talked about the shoot. She was happy to help and said when she first moved here she did a similar thing, trying to raise funds for a mission trip. The response then was as overwhelming as it is now. She felt our pain and she couldn’t help but to help.

Thank God for those who can’t help but to help.

It’s things like this that I just can’t understand. God just seems to provide. He just does. In the form of people, in the form of things, in the form of idea. And for some reason, I still have moments where I’m terrified that He won’t. But, He’s God and He does provide. He always does. He’s a God who can’t help but to help.