We are happy to share an experience, one that left an indelible mark on our hearts.

This year, on the El Crucero Medical/Dental trip in September, we added a couple of options for the 3 villages and clinic that we visited last year. First, we added dental check ups and fluoride treatments. Many people of all ages were treated and we have made decisions to expand these treatments as well as education for next year.

Secondly, we had noticed how interested people were in the photos that we had taken the first year with various phones and iPads, so we decided we would set up a portable portrait studio and give the people their own framed family portraits via a portable printer. You see, no one has a phone in these villages due to the costs, and most have never had a picture of themselves or their family members.

From the first day, the people lined up and waited their turn to pose in the "studio". As I looked through the lens, and framed each photo as best I could, I truly saw God's face in the many faces of these villagers. I felt like I really saw them all for the first time, all as the beautiful children of God and as my brothers and sisters in Christ. Men posed with their families. Fathers and Mothers with their children. A man with his father for the first picture either had ever had of themselves. And many, many beautiful children, whose parents just wanted capture a brief glimpse of their childhood and keep it forever.

In all, over 300 pictures were taken and given out, the people were so happy to receive this gift that was almost never even considered. But the real gift, was the look on their faces, and the connection that we all felt in truly loving them as God's Children.

We made a photo CD entitled: The Families of El Crucero, and we plan on continuing this small ministry and updating their photos every year as we return.

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