There are lists everywhere of the events that made 2016 bad. But hey, why not look at the amazing things? I find that the year was pretty awesome, and I’ve watched God do some pretty awesome things. This has been a year teeming with opportunities for portraits and adventures.
Some highlights: I called Santiago, Chile my home for 3 months, took a midnight bus to a volcano-lit Andean valley where nobody knew English, floated in lagoons in the world’s driest desert, photographed southern stars for the first time, spent Easter watching geysers at 14,000 ft in the mountains, rode atvs across Easter Island at 4am to watch stars, climbed a glacier-covered volcano in bitter wind, visited Machu Picchu twice (yeah, I don’t know how that happens), discovered the world’s best brownies at a small Chilean restaurant, went back to Northern Ireland, celebrated friends’ weddings, celebrated and photographed more weddings with some wonderful couples, began my senior year of college, skipped a week of said senior year to go to Peru again, made my way to the island of Dominica with a team from Lipscomb, and so many more wonderful things!
So much more importantly than any of these adventures are the ways God was working through them, showing my friends and me a different side of his beauty deep in the Andes and in churches with Chilean Christians. We sat and sang songs of praise at the base of Las Torres in Torres del Paine National Park deep in Patagonia and up on the roof of our Santiago apartments. Many of the people my team worked with in Ireland found a new excitement in their faith and were ready to continue the work God had begun. I spent the summer with middle school students and listened to them tell stories of hearing God’s voice and learning to follow Him, and my small group reconnected and welcomed a handful of new friends. We celebrated baptisms and shared meals and adventures and it was a marvelous 2016.
Thank you to everyone who made this year great, by letting me take your photographs, joining me in adventures, and helping fund the mission work I was able to be a part of. Through the highs and the lows of the year, I truly loved each moment captured here and I’m excited to see what 2017 has in store.
Here’s a recap of the year in pictures from January to December!