to those who cry out | dental and medical trip | zahle, lebanon

a month ago today i boarded a plane destined for the middle east and an experience i will not soon forget. with my cameras, passport, and clouded expectations...i arrived in the city of beirut, on the coast of lebanon. the reason for my trip was to help document the work that is currently happening in this country - medical workers from the states traveling to the heart of the syrian refugee crisis in order to serve a swelling need. as the turmoil continues in syria, the needs grow for a multitude of displaced men, women, and children. over the past year, a team of doctors and dentists with hearts of service and the hope of the Gospel compelling them, have mobilized. i joined on the second of what we hope and pray is an ongoing trip back to the heart of the storm. what an opportunity it was to witness the light and hope we were able to bring in the name of Jesus, through the tangible service of much needed health services. if you would like to know more about how you might get involved, below is some information.

email the missions team at: missions@crossroads-bible.org

give online at: https://mygiving.secure.force.com/GXDonateNow?id=a0Ui000000XZgPoEAL

'let us not become weary in doing good' galatians 6:9

our english Christmas holiday

don't get me wrong, i love living in michigan. ever since i moved here in 2003, i have seen my affection for this state grow...the people, the lakes, the arts and culture. so much to celebrate in the high five state.

but i would be lying if i didn't say that i often miss the mountains of my youth. i cherish the memories that have stood the test of time. i am grateful for the childhood i experienced, and the wildness of the pacific northwest that has a piece of my heart.

and so, a few years ago we began the hopeful planning of a holiday with our family high in the cascade mountains. this past Christmas, that dream became a reality and the whole english clan descended upon leavenworth, washington's bavarian village. and what at trip it was! here is just a taste of our time in the emerald city and among the towering pines of the evergreen state*

drew + rebecca | wedding | amway grand plaza hotel | grand rapids, mi

here it is...my final wedding of 2016. and what an awesome couple to spend it with! drew and rebecca were married on saturday in grand rapids surrounded by friends and family, and it was beautiful!

when i have the chance to sit down with couples and chat about their wedding day, we often talk about scheduling and how they envision their wedding day playing out. usually the topic of a first look comes up and i really make a point of trying not to influence a couple's thoughts prior to them making a decision one way or the other. there are certainly good reasons for both a first look or waiting to see each other until the moment the bride walks down the aisle.. i say all of this, because for these two...a first look was absolutely perfect. when both the bride and groom cry seeing each other for the first time, you know it was a special and powerful moment, made even more special because of the intimate privacy they were able to share.

and the wedding day was truly full of those moments! from the early morning stylings in the salon to the late night sky lanterns being lit, it was a stunning day* thank you d&r for helping me to finish out my shooting season on a high note! may God bless you you two in your marriage - it was a gift to be a witness for your wedding!

much love,

- npe