For the first-ever Biola Magazine Photo Contest, we asked readers to submit original images that capture the spirit of Biola’s mission to impact the world for Christ. Our hope was to spotlight the creative and diverse ways that Biola students and alumni are putting their biblically centered education into action around the world.
More than 400 submissions came flooding in during the month-long contest — impressing us both in their number and quality. There were shots of bustling cities where you work and serve, shots of mission trips that have brought you to forgotten corners of the world, shots of God’s creativity and majesty on display in nature, and shots of all sorts of people and places that have played important roles in your lives. As we scrolled through the submissions, it was a tremendous glimpse into the ways that God is using Biola graduates and students for his worldwide purposes.
A panel of five judges evaluated the photos based on artistic merits, uniqueness and adherence to the theme. The panel included professional photographer Davis Barber, photography professor Kurt Simonson, journalism professor Tamara Welter and magazine staffers Brian Miller and Jason Newell.
Here, we present three winners, 10 honorable mentions and several more that narrowly missed the cut. (To view the winners and honorable mentions in their best quality, make sure you get a print copy of the magazine. You can pick it up at one of the several racks around campus or e-mail us at biolamag at biola dot edu to request that a copy be mailed to you.)
“Asante Sana” – Laurel Dailey (’05)
A photographer often moonlights as a storyteller of sorts, and all “one picture/thousand words” axioms aside, this image is very much part of a larger story. The crux of which involves a group of women in Nairobi, Kenya, who use their talents to craft jewelry for a non-governmental organization called Asante Sana. Led by fellow alumna Ruth Mansi (’06), these women have created a cycle of dignity, empowerment and generosity, wherein people in the United States purchase the jewelry they make and 80 percent of the profit benefits orphans in Ethiopia. I was lucky enough to be involved in this process by providing imagery for Asante Sana’s Web site and store. To hear more stories or see more photos, visit www.asante-sana.com.
“Woman” – Matt Provo (’06)
Taken in South Africa, on behalf of “Cultivate Charitable Foundation,” this photo shows a glimpse into the life of an amazing woman. She is 84 years old, full of energy, and her entire purpose in life centers around taking care of her family and loving God, no matter what. Although she is old, with weathered skin, she is passionate about life, and it is contagious. As one of the leaders in a refugee camp that my wife and I visited, we were able to develop a relationship with her, and have her full support as we begin to become more involved in the life of the community. To find out more, go to www.cultivateinc.org.
“From Death to Life” – Adrienne Fox (’08)
In creating this photo, I wanted to visually illustrate the impact we as Christians have on the world around us. As regenerate believers, we have crossed over from death to life. As followers of Christ, we are to let our light shine before men. In my photo, the illuminated flowers represent our new life in Christ. The surrounding brush and dark sky represent the world that is around us, dark and in death as a result of sin. As we impact the world for Christ, we serve as lights to the world and stand as living examples of the grace of God.
Honorable Mention: “Joab”
– Joshua Watson (’11)
Joab is a worker at Bygrace Children’s Home in Ngong, Kenya. He maintains the grounds by day and watches over the orphanage while the children sleep at night. He and his fellow workers have become fathers and mothers to children who don’t have any. Through their humble work the children can learn and grow in a unique, Christ-centered environment, surrounded by people who love them.
Honorable Mention: Untitled - Joshua Seale (’08)
Taken on Lake Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, summer 2009. This child is having a moment of fun that stands in contrast to the malnourishment, starvation and suffering of the refugee camp he comes from. He and some other children were playing in these boats just off shore. This photo captures a moment of both the joy and reality of his situation. See more at www.joshua-seale.com.
Honorable Mention: Untitled – Trevor Smith (’11)
This child had an extreme case of keloids, which is a hyper inflammatory reaction to trauma on the skin. He apparently had been burned with water as a small child and these scars formed. I was lucky enough to capture his picture and share his story through my camera while on a medical missions trip. The photo was taken in the town of Bombo, Uganda, Africa, in July 2009.
Honorable Mention: Untitled – Joshua Watson (’11)
During a medical mission trip to Gulu, Uganda, with RockHarbor Church, Jason Haught bandages a young boy who had a major head injury. Jason, who has a disability, used his hands to impact the world for Christ.
Honorable Mention: Untitled – Laurel Dailey (’05)
Engendered out of a love of community and collaboration, this shot is but one of many examples of what happens when a group of individuals who, ballasted by a shared faith, combine talents. We find joy in the world around us and seek to share that perspective in the art we create, whether it’s through photography or spontaneous adventures — or in this case, both.
Honorable Mention: “Hope Reigns” – Kyle Lundquist (‘11)
Honorable Mention: “Ruhengeri Church” – Luke Payne (’07)
This is the front of an evangelical church in Ruhengeri, Rwanda, where I was blessed to share in worship. Located in the heart of an area heavily affected by genocide, this church is a gospel outpost: impacting the world for Christ in a place with great need for healing and reconciliation. Though as worn as the country and the people, its cross is bold and its doors are open.
Honorable Mention: “School Girl” – Matt Provo (’06)
Taken in South Africa, at one of the refugee camps, this photo depicts a young girl who has been given the chance to enter school instead of the sex trade, which is the fate of many of the other young girls in the camp. Through photographing/documenting her story, as well as others, we were able to help raise enough money and donations to send an entire container of items to the camp to be used for micro-enterprise opportunities as well as to help provide for some of the people’s basic needs.
Honorable Mention: “The Color Wheel” – Renee Rinehart (’02)
While visiting missionaries in New Delhi, India, my husband and I took a day trip to the Taj Mahal. I captured this group of young Indian women beautifully arrayed in vibrant colors, who timelessly strolled this defining Indian monument. A moment later they surrounded us to clamor for a picture of us!
Honorable Mention: “Serenade” – Tammi (Burgerhoudt, ’95) Dryden
I’m impacting the world for Christ by capturing precious, real-life moments of families. In a culture that desires to tear apart traditional families, I enjoy uplifting them! My clients join me in making an impact too, as part of their session fee is given to an organization that battles human trafficking. To learn about this organization, go to www.warinternational.org. My photography site can be found at www.morethanwordsphotographybytammi.com.
More Photo Contest Entries
“Untitled” by Grant Ognibene (’10)
“Perseverance” by Dali Chen Ng (’06)
In February 2009, I went to observe the Boston Marathon on Beacon Street, where the runners would pass by before reaching their final goal. The crowds standing on both sides of the curbs cheered the runners on as they endured this long and painful journey. However, when this man with the artificial legs and his two guides/friends came along, everybody cheered and applauded unprecedentedly. There wasn’t a single person there untouched by their perseverance and their friendship. I think this is a very good reminder of what our walk with Christ requires: discipline, diligence, steadfastness, and most importantly, companionship.
“Untitled” by Joshua Riordan (’10)
“Leonard Knight” by Joshua Watson (’11)
Through the work of Leonard, many have come to hear and see the name of Christ on Salvation Mountain. Now old in life, Leonard continues to build his monument to the Gospel, "God is Love."
“Untitled” by Joshua Seale (’08)
This photo was taken in the Democratic Republic of Congo this last sumner, in the war-torn Eastern Province of North-Kivu. This photo was taken at a malnutrition center where the most malnourished children were brought. There is such depth in this child's expression and is very telling of what life in Congo is like. I feel as though this picture communicates a depth and a hope that is both deep and surprising.
“New Life” by Elka Vignette (Struse) Swingle (’01)
“Untitled” by Andre Niesing (’06)
"The Shadows Prove the Sun" by Kyle Lundquist (’11)
"Great Awakening" by Kyle Lundquist (’11)
“Indian Fruit Cart” by Alison Dymale (’08)
Taken in New Delhi, India, on a Biola SMU mission trip to encourage Burmese refugees living in Delhi.
“Harvesting Beans” by Alison Dymale (’08)
While studying abroad in Latin America during my junior year at Biola, I had an opportunity to do a rural homestay with a family in a small community in Nicaragua. One afternoon, they put me on a horse and took me out to their fields where we picked these beans which we ate for dinner. The whole experience helped me to see the beauty of a simple life.
“Faustin” by Luke Payne (’07)
Faustin Ntamushobora is the executive director of Transformational Leadership in Africa and a student at Talbot. I was blessed to have an opportunity to travel with him to Kenya and Rwanda this past summer and document as he engaged in his work - literally impacting the world for Christ. This image presents him reading a local paper in downtown Nairobi, Kenya, and conveys his unremitting focus on reaching the people of his continent for Christ.
“Untitled” by Jacob Frischknecht (’12)
“Namche Bazaar by Night” by Renee Rinehart (’02)
During a trek through the Nepali Himalayas, we stopped at Namche Bazaar, the famous supply town Sir Edmund Hillary passed through on his way to summit the world's tallest peak, Mt. Everest. It was a cloudy night but I awoke after only a few hours of sleep to see this view from our lodge window. The snow-capped heights silently shouted God's majesty just as Psalm 19:1-2 says: "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge."
“The Son to Guide us Home” by David J. Turner (’03, M.A. ’09)
Suffering and trials are promised to those who follow Christ. It can feel like a confusing fog when these times descend upon us. Yet the life of Jesus Christ, who He was and what He accomplished, reminds us that these sufferings are not hopeless. Like Jesus embraced the cross, we can embrace Jesus knowing that He is faithful to refine us and lead us home to Him.
“Butterfly” by Erika Stafne (’95)
“Dandelion” by Erika Stafne (’95)