09 April 2007

The Orphaned Spirit :: Community Photo Project #3

by Joshua Longbrake.

Looking at his disciples, he said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. ~Luke 6:20-21

When I got home last night from spending Easter with my family up in Scottsdale, I received the following photograph and letter.
Dear Friends,
Let me first say how incredibly grateful I am to you for the Polaroids you so graciously gave to the kids at New Hope Orphanage in Uganda. When I first thought of the idea of having you participate, I guessed that maybe 10 people would take time to go out , spend at least $11, then go to the post office and pay to have it shipped to me in Indiana, all in a weeks time. Amazingly, I received 90 pack total. That's 900 Polaroids. Amazing and ridiculous. I cannot express my thanks enough.

A short story. Just for you. (And you. Oh and you, I suppose.)

When my friend Ben and I first went out to the kids to take and give them Polaroids, they looked at us with confusion and a little apprehension, as one would expect. Here were a couple very, very pale guys taking their picture but then handing them a square with nothing on it...yet.

Then their eyes began to light up as the photograph did the same. It was a joy to see. They started to bum rush us for photos. Not good. They also started to wrestle for photos from other kids. Also not something we want to encourage. So I yelled out " Abort! Abort!" and we ran away. I'm sure it looked very, very respectable.

We ended up going class to class in the school and giving them to each child. It was a huge success, and it was all because of you. The leadership of the orphanage thanks you deeply for your contribution. You made lots of kids (and a lot of adults as well) very happy. Numerous parents came up to us with their little kids and asked for photos. One woman went absolutely crazy when she saw it developing. It was an amazing moment in my life.

So again, thank you.

I would like to apologize, though. I know that I promised 1 Polaroid for every pack sent to me, and numerous people sent multiple packs. But I have only enough to send 1 Polaroid per person because we gave the rest away to all of the kids. I do hope you understand (and I think you will). The kids wanted them, and I couldn't justify not giving the photos away, since that was the point. If you are upset with me and you feel you have been wronged then please write me and I will try to make amends. I never want to go back on my word, but this is a rare case.

Feel free to scan the Polaroid and post it on the internet for the world to see. You have contributed a great deal and made many, many kids very happy.

May God guide your steps and guard your heart, as He has mine.

Best,
Joshua Longbrake

To see all of the Polaroids and to read stories about their time in Uganda click here. Other photographs of Joshua Longbrake can be found at http://towritewithlight.blogspot.com/

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