Editor’s note: What follows is excerpted from e-mails sent home during a five-week assignment in Africa and Asia for Opportunity International. The team included Ron Londen (photography and writing) and Bruce Strong (video and stills), along with Laura Reilly from Opportunity International and her daughter, Shannon. This passage deals with Ghana: week three.
“Ron?” Peter asked. “Are you . . . are you doing alright?”
“I sure am, Peter,” I replied. “I’m fine. Today is a great day.”
For a young photographer eager to forge a name for himself in the world of photojournalism, Casey Templeton’s decision to attend James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, was not obvious. While other schools have established track records for developing photographers, JMU offers only a single photojournalism class. But for Casey, the choice was clear.
“The school was fantastic for me,” he says. “I just kept feeling that God wanted to keep me there for reasons other than my t and other than my own personal goals.”
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
— James 1:2-5
The list of Sunday School prayer requests seemed endless. One friend’s cancer persists; another has developed a new case. A parent’s failing health. A teenage child’s troubled years. As I kept adding names, it became harder to accept the truth of what was, in fact, the subject of that week’s study: These are opportunities for joy.