written by Tamara Neely – “When I think about how uncomfortable I have often felt doing street evangelism, God reminds me that he gave me gifts and talents to bless the world with,” said Rob Darby. He and Lydia Calssen from YWAM Restenäs, Sweden wanted to bring a positive view to a city near their base whose reputation is ugly and boring, so they planned a photography exhibition.
“The amazing thing about this photo project,” said Rob, “was how God used our cameras as tools to open doors into the hearts of people whom we might never speak with otherwise.” They simply walked around the city and asked people if they could take their picture. One man they photographed had been wandering around the city in a desperate attempt to find peace from his depression and anxiety. When they understood this, the YWAMers stopped what they were doing and talked with him for a while. In the end he let them pray for him.
They also met a couple under a graffiti-covered tunnel. The YWAMers were not sure if they were Goths, Punks, Emos, or Satanists. Oddly enough, neither were they. Regardless, they talked together for over an hour.
Ultimately, the YWAMers displayed 16 large, framed photos and 30 smaller ones in a small café owned and operated by the local churches. The couple from the tunnel came to the exhibition, where they shared coffee and cake and continued their conversation.
Rob and Lydia have both tried to stay connected with the people they met. When they are in the city and see these people, they stop to say hello. Rob reported, “These remain some of the most real conversations I have had in a very long time. When I use my passion for photography, the world will be my oyster, and I will find valuable pearls in the people I meet.”
For more information on training at Restenas, visit: www.ywamrestenas.se