Louisiana photographers mission to Geaux Love Africa

Local photographers mission to Geaux Love Africa
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A new mission by two Baton Rouge photographers to Geaux Love Africa is picking up popularity.

In September 2014, Nathan Dewberry and Aaron Williams traveled to Uganda, to some of the poorest villages - Nankoma, Bugiri and Buwini.

While there, they took pictures of people and printed and handed over the photos to each person. Many of the people there have never owned a picture of themselves.

During one of their trips to a school, Williams says a 62-year-old man, who appeared to be somewhat prominent in the village, walked over to him and questioned what was going on.

"Mr. Samuel. I asked him if he ever owned a photo of himself. He said 'Yes, one photo. The photo on my passport,'" Williams said.

Dewberry came up with the mission concept after a separate mission trip he'd taken to Zimbabwe. He says there, when he was taking pictures of people, they were amazed at the images on his camera screen. He says one man even asked if he could have it.

Dewberry says it took them several hours to get through the long lines of people.

"Some people would go home and change into their traditional clothes," said Dewberry. "They'd come and leave and then come back wearing something nicer. Or we'd get some kids, they'd run home and show mom and dad their picture, then mom and dad would come and take a picture as well."

The most rewarding part, he says, watching people's reaction as they held their photos.

Williams, the editor of a paper in West Baton Rouge, and Dewberry eventually connected and made plans for their September trip.

Several people sponsored some of the 1,200 pictures they took while in Africa. They are in the process of sending people the pictures they sponsored.

They also heard from several other photographers interested in helping. Right now, they are planning to take four additional photographers on their next trip, October 12-22, when they travel to Madagascar. They are also hoping to get more pictures sponsored.

"We went to a school that had 400 students. We had two hours of daylight left and I felt bad, I knew there was no way we were going to get through the line," Dewberry said.

The extra volunteers, he says, will help tremendously.

"We are out there to put a smile on people's face, but also there to tell them about who Jesus is," Williams said.

That, is the other half of their mission trip. On the back of each photo, written in native language, is the gospel and contact information for church leaders in each of the villages.

"Essentially what we're doing is passing the gospel down generation to generation, all while giving people smiles as well," Dewberry said.

You can read more on their mission, see video of their trip and more pictures at http://www.geauxloveafrica.com.

The West Baton Rouge museum is also planning to showcase pictures from the Uganda and Madagascar trips in September 2016.

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