How did the idea for FFP come about?

Rovel and I

While in the Republic of Congo, I became good friends with a young man named Rovel.

Rovel and I met while he was onboard the Africa Mercy receiving surgery to replace the skin on his cheek that had been destroyed from a disease called Noma. 

What started out as a Monday night trip to visit Rovel on ward D led to a cross-town friendship that involved a 45 minute taxi ride from the ship to his home.

One of the weekend visits to Rovel’s home was accompanied by my friend Walter who spent most of his time during the visit snapping photos of the kids who lived with Rovel. 

The kids from Rovel's home
The kids from Rovel’s home

The kids loved it and with anticipation they would run up to Walter to see how the photos turned out. I’m not sure who had more fun, the kids or Walter.

The kids again from Rovel's home
The kids again from Rovel’s home

During the week we edited, printed and laminated the photos. They weren’t high quality, but they were water proof!

We took the photos back to Rovel’s family and got to experience the incredible joy of watching the kids see their photos that were printed out. 

It was clear to both of us that there was a lot more than a free photo that was given.

Walter and I than begun discussing the idea of Free Family Photos. We were sure that we wanted to take a family photo, have it printed, and return it to the family. As for all future families, we hope to get to know, record, and share their stories with you as well.

What we both hope is that the family photo is a result of a friendship.

In the case with Rovel, we both built a friendship that we’ll never forget and hopefully continue to build into. 

Free Family Photos is our little way of saying “you matter” and sharing the love that we’ve received from Christ with others.

That’s how the idea came about.



You can read more stories about Rovel at the links below:

My Blog:

Becky Johns:

Charissa Seitz:

Scott Reed:

The power plant down the road from Rovel’s home



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