Picture This

by James Holt

The clock says 4 a.m. when the buzzer goes off. Thirteen-year-old Delaney C. gets dressed and meets her dad in the living room. Groggily, they grab their camera equipment, climb in the car and head out on a dark road.

After an hour of driving, they reach the Atlantic Ocean just as the sky starts to lighten. On an overlook above the coast, Delaney and her dad set up their cameras and wait for the sun to peek over the horizon. Then click, click, click, their cameras capture the sunrise as colors spill across the ocean and sky.

“Seeing her creativity in photography inspires me,” Delaney’s dad says. “She can be in the same place as me but catch a totally different image I did not see.”

Camera Flashes and Well Splashes
Delaney and her dad, Steve, have a shared love for photography—and a shared love for serving others. Not long ago, Steve donated some of his photographs to help decorate a women’s shelter.

Delaney has also used photography to help people. After reading about the A.C.T.S.! (A Call to Serve) Challenge last summer in Clubhouse, she knew exactly how she wanted to serve her world.

One day at church, Delaney saw some baby bottles filled with dirty water. The bottles were part of a display about the need for clean water in Africa.

“Seeing the dirty water in the baby bottles really upset me,” Delaney says. “I wanted to help fix this problem.”

With her parents’ help, Delaney set up an online auction to sell her photography and raise money for a clean water ministry called The Water Project. At first they had a disappointing response. But as word of Delaney’s project spread, more and more people wanted to donate.

“We exceeded our goal,” Delaney says. “We raised $229!”

Delaney gave all the money to The Water Project, which used it to help fix a well by a school in Emulundu, Kenya. Without that well, the closest water source—which isn’t even clean— would be far across a dangerous sugar plantation. So the well doesn’t just keep the students and teachers healthy, it keeps them safe.

“I am just amazed how effortlessly she wants to serve those in need,” Delaney’s dad says.

Delaney would have loved to visit the school herself, but she’s more than happy to help from a distance.

“There’s Scripture that says where your treasure is, your heart is also,” Delaney says. “When I send money that helps people, it’s like I’m sending a piece of myself even if I can’t be there.”

Focused Future
Delaney and her dad still take pictures together. She plans to sell more of her photography to help pay for a missions trip she hopes to go on in the future.

“I like spending lots of time with my dad and I like to serve,” Delaney says. “I want to follow in his footsteps.”

Just like Delaney’s dad inspired her to use her photography to serve others, she hopes that her example will inspire other kids to serve as well.

“You can use your talents to serve God,” she says. “No matter what your age you can be creative and find a new way to serve God that no one’s thought of before.”

Girl and her dad with cameras

Hanging Out With Dad
Delaney and her dad connect through photography. Look for an interest you can share with your dad.

-- Does he enjoy working out? Ask him to take you to the gym. Or maybe you could bike or run together.
-- Does he enjoy watching the news? Ask which recent story interests him most and why he thinks it’s important.
-- Does he lead a Bible study? Ask him what he’s teaching and what he is learning about God.
-- Does he enjoy books? Grab a copy of what he’s currently reading and discuss it with him.
-- Does he enjoy traveling? Ask him about the most interesting places he’s been. Then plan a weekend trip together.
-- Does he enjoy the outdoors? Ask him to take you on a hike and show you what he knows about his favorite wilderness activities.
-- Does he enjoy astronomy? Plan a time to stay up late, go outside the city and look at the stars.
-- Does he enjoy history? Watch a documentary together and ask him for help with your homework in the future.

This story first appeared in the June 2014 issue of Clubhouse magazine; used by permission. Photos © Delaney C.