The jet-lag is long gone, the bags unpacked, the images are key-worded, categorized and complete with basic edits...

And now the real work begins.

Wait...The images are shot, isn't the work done?

No, it has only just begun.

The focus now turns to lay-outs, graphic design, writing...and the task of narrowing down what the core of our message is all about. One can't even imagine all the road-bumps along the way. Computers dying and being out of commission for 5 weeks, one of the members of the team who is working on the project being in another foreign country for 4 weeks, trying to find the free, yes free, way to compile copious amounts of work among the various members of the team. As time passes and we get farther away from our time in Thailand, the fear of losing passion and momentum sets in. Life at home continues on and makes its demands.

Why do we choose to do this?

To expend our own resources for a project that no one asked us to do...no one but God.

We do it because God entrusted us with a vision, a piece of His heart that He wants revealed to the world. It's our responsibility and privilege to put our hands to this task and see it through to completion.

When in Thailand I came across a verse in Proverbs that took on a whole new meaning and we are applying it to this project. "The slothful man roasts not that which he took in hunting,; but the substance of a diligent man is precious." Proverbs 12.:27. We can go out and shoot the images, but not until we come home and prepare them to impact an audience and take them out into the world do they become precious. We must be stewards of the images that God gives us the opportunity to see and capture.

So computers are repaired, time is managed to the best of our ability, sleep is sacrificed for writing, the search for free networking options are explored. And through it all, God not only maintains the passion, but builds and deepens it. How could He more clearly stamp His approval on the project? We move ahead, making progress, carrying in our hands a precious story to be told.

- Hannah Brandau




"Thailand was amazing. God worked in miraculous ways. We arrived home tired, but safe and sound. Thanks for your prayers."

I could post that. It would be an appropriate, albeit ridiculously short, summary. It's all true. We are safe. God worked in ways totally outside of my realm of expectation, and He opened up a new understanding of His character. And your prayers made this possible.

But there is more.

Thailand was amazing.
Yes. It was. But it was no conventional missions trip, which makes it difficult to summarize. I have very few stories of my own to share, but then we did not go for the experience, or for the ministry and impact of the trip itself. We went to document God's story of redemptive love in the lives of the girls. This was accomplished, and I have much of that story to share as opportunities arise.

I come away with absolute confidence that our purpose was accomplished. I didn't take as many images as I expected to, but I know that every time I held the camera, I was supposed to hold it, and every time I put it down to hug a girl or to hold a hand, I was supposed to put it down. I look back on those three weeks in Thailand with absolutely no regrets. I know that I was in the center of God's will and in tune with His Spirit in every step I took.

God worked in amazing ways.
God worked in my heart, revealing new aspects of His character. God taught me about love as I observed these precious girls pour their love out on every person around them. I saw God's very present hand of protection as He changed our plans time and again. We never made it to a mountain village, even though we planned to go on three different occasions. We hardly shot anything in Bangkok, which turned out to be another form of protection. God had other plans for our eyes, our time, and our hearts. As amazing as it may seem, we came away from shooting the Bangkok's Red District with a greater understanding of God's holiness, love, and purity.

We arrived home safe and sound.
Well, sort of. I flew straight to Dallas for a photojournalism conference and Hannah had 3 days at home before leaving for a month of language school in Guatemala. We have long-since given up the idea of "settling back into normal life," since our normality looks like crazy schedules and "random" encounters, all with a commitment to impact others for the cause of Christ, regardless of our location or situation.

So... what happens now?

As amazing as the actual trip was, our work is far from being finished. Please continue your prayers as we work on sorting images, writing text, and working with our designer on layouts for the book itself. Pray that we would be faithful to finish the work we have begun. Pray that we would be sensitive to God's Spirit as we work on text and layouts. Pray that God would give us favor with the ministry, and that this project would see publication. Pray that we can accurately capture and communicate God's work in the girls' lives.

Thank you for partnering with us.

Sarah


Well, I just got an email from Hannah and Sarah. They included an audio clip reporting their current status from the airport.

They sound, well, exhausted. Full. Battle frayed.

We need to pray for these girls.

Often times when we have seen hard things, have witnessed heart breaking struggles, even in the midst of God's love there is a wearing down of the spirit. It's the moment of realizing how small you are, how really impossible it is to make a difference on the scale that is needed. And recovering from this oftentimes takes a lot of prayer and rest.

This is what we need to be praying for the girls [another prayer found in The Valley of Vision]:

"Lord Jesus, Great High Priest,
O what blessedness accompanies devotion,
when under all the trials that weary Sarah and Hanna,
the cares that corrode them,
the ear that disturb them,
the infirmities that oppress them,
They can come to you in their need
and feel peace beyond understanding.
The grace that restores is necessary to preserve,
lead, guard, supply, help them.
Here, your saints encourage their hope,
they were once poor and are now rich,
bound and are now free,
tried and now are victorious.
Every new duty calls for more grace than
Hannah and Sarah now posses,
but not more than is found in thee,
the divine Treasury in whom all fullness dwells.
To thee may they repair for grace made upon grace,
until every void made by sin is replenished
and they are filled with all thy fullness.
May their desires be enlarged
and their hopes be emboldened,
that they may honor thee
by their entire dependency
and the greatness of their expectation.
Do thou be with them, and prepare them for all
the smiles of prosperity, the frowns of adversity,
the losses of substance, the death of friends,
the days of darkness, the changes of life,
and the last great change of all.
May Hannah and Sara find thy grace sufficient,
for all of their needs. video


Hey Everyone,

Thank you again for all of your precious prayers on behalf of Hannah and Sarah. We have two more days of prayer for the girls as they come home from Thailand on the 25th.

Pray that the Lord will grant them mercies as they pack. Pray that He will strengthen them for saying goodbeye to the precious friends and saints that they have met. Pray that He would encourage their hearts and enable them to adapt back home quickly - that they can tell the stories of these girls in a way that will challenge and inspire the rest of us.

Blessings.



Ending well is always a challenge. You are tired. Oftentimes spiritually on a high but physically down. You look forward to resting but dread leaving at the same time. Its that moment when a distance runner turns that last bend in the race. The finish line is in sight. The crowd is cheering. You could fall over for exhaustion...

But. Not. Yet.

Pray that Hannah and Sarah would be given divine strength and power to finish this project strong. They have 3 days left on the project, and I'm sure they are packing up and finishing all the loose ends they need to come back with an incredible story.

Thank you for all your prayers. You truly are impacting the long term battle with human trafficking by your prayers.

The last wall paper for the Restoring Grace Project is here! Click here to download!


Before Hannah left, we sat down for a few minutes to talk about what her goals were for Restoring Grace. Check out this 2min clip as Hannah explains the purpose for Restoring Grace, and why it's important to be witnesses to this testimony of the miraculous workings of God.

Be sure to pray for protection for the girls, as they have been in the mountains of Thailand where girls are often kidnapped from their homes and forced into the sex slave trade. Pray that Hannah and Sarah would experience divine protection from the enemy who would do anything to harm them and their mission. Pray that Jesus and His angels would surround them and keep them as they complete this journey with Him.

video


Oftentimes, artistic crews tend to be a burden to their subjects, rather than a blessing. Hannah and Sarah's fervent prayer and desire is that they are able to help, assist, and bless House of Grace, and the brave women whose lives are being transformed by the power and love of God.

Pray that God will give them the grace to carry their camera's on their backs and do dishes. Pray that they can hold a camera in one hand and a child in the other. Pray that on appropriate occasions, they can put their camera down and worship and pray with the girls.

Pray that their camera's will be a bridge and a blessing.