Two Girls, One Camera

She knew that she was here for such a time as this. (Esther 4:14)

A little bit about us. 

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Hey there! I’m Tami, mom of Anna, the 16-year-old half of this equation that carries the camera and takes the beautiful photos you see here.

Me? I write.

There was a time not so long ago when I’d have called you crazy if you’d told me I would go to Africa in 2014, or frankly, ever. Africa sounded hard, and honestly I just wasn’t willing to do hard. I don’t know what made Africa seem so scary to me, I’m not really one to run from hard normally, but for some reason the thought of going to Africa to do missions work really was frightening to me. I remember praying as a child and telling God I’d happily do anything He asked of me, but I always followed it with a quick “but Jesus, if you could please not send me to Africa, I’d really appreciate that.”

In late 2013, I reconnected with David Whetstone, a childhood friend who started an organization called Mentor Leaders. As he began to share his story with me, and his vision for the people of Gbentchal, Togo, I instantly knew that – like it or not – I had to go. I came to know the Lord at a very early age in my life, but the day I set foot on African soil was the day my relationship with God changed. I don’t know why it is that I had to go all the way to Africa to learn the lessons I did. I got home, having promised those who supported us that I’d share every minute of our trip with them through my writing, and I found it just about impossible to put any of it into words. Anna began to post her photos, and I realized that sometimes a picture is worth more than a thousand words, and nothing I could say could possibly have a bigger impact.

So here we are, sharing a piece of our hearts with you, both of us just attempting to use the gifts God has given us. Two Girls, One Camera is starting out as a blog about a mom and daughter that God sent to visit a remote village in northern Togo West Africa, and how He changed our lives as a result of it. That’s not all this blog will eventually be about, but for now, it’s become such a part of who we are that we can’t help but share what God is doing. Thank you for taking the time to spend a few minutes with us!

1965521_612669155512263_4235033461716688178_o Hi, I’m Anna. A sixteen year old girl with a camera.

When I first heard that my mother wanted us to go to Africa I thought she was a little nuts. I mean, not that I hadn’t thought about it, I just had never really had a desire to go. If I’m being completely honest, at first I wasn’t really “in it for God.” I thought it would be a good opportunity to get some great pictures and really hadn’t thought it would effect me in the way that it did.. I was nervous, for more than one reason. I mean what if something happened to me? “What if” became my strongest adversary in the weeks leading up to our trip. It wasn’t until I got in the plane to head to Lome, Togo that I realized my fear was deeper than I first thought. It wasn’t that I was scared of anything like getting a sickness, or our plane crashing, or anything like that. I was afraid because of the change that I knew would take place in myself. I was afraid I would come back as someone different than who I was. My perspective changed when I realized that it wasn’t about me. I had seen people in this part of the world on the Discovery Channel and studied about them in history books, but the odd thing is, you don’t actually get that they’re real, beautiful people until you meet them face to face. Going there, I had the mentality without even realizing it, that I was going to go help some kids in Africa. The life changing truth was, instead, that they taught me more than I could ever have taught them.

If you go on a missions trip, or have ever gone on one, and you mention ANYTHING about it on Facebook, you know that you get a variety of responses – one being “this trip is going to change your life!” It’s true, just not in the way you expect. When I got home, I had people ask me “what was the ONE moment that you had in Africa that just really touched you?” I didn’t know how to answer. I’m going to tell you a not-so-secret something that I didn’t even realize until I got back: change doesn’t happen fast, it’s the slow scraping away of everything you thought you knew about God, and the building up of experience after experience until everything comes crashing down, and the collateral damage is beautifully irreversible. Brick by brick, God picks up the things that made you who you were, and He builds something a whole lot better in its place.

When I got back, I realized why I love taking pictures. For me, it’s almost an emotional outlet of sorts. I don’t want to just take a picture because something may look beautiful, I want to portray the emotion of the moment. A picture truly is worth a thousand words.

**please be sure to scroll back to the top, find the “blog” tab, and begin reading…thank you so much for visiting our site!**

4 thoughts on “Two Girls, One Camera

    • Thank you so much! Be sure to scroll to the very top and click on “blog” to read our other daily posts. This one will stay on the front, but there’ll be much more. 😉

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  1. OMG, my grandfather was Frank Phillip. Nantz, a lawyer and judge, married to Virginia Battin. He died in 1950, I believe, so it was a long time ago. I do recall he went to the U. of MInn. Law School.
    I rarely in my lifetime have seen the name “Nantz” (except for Jim Nantz, the sports announcer, to whom I wrote but never got a reply). Does my grandfather’s name have any meaning to your family tree? Thank you……

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