Newark Mission Trip 2010

  • Lessons Learned

I had to leave Newark early. Yep, this was only a 48 our trip from me but it was so so SO worth it. I was snapping pictures left and right because I want to remember why I love serving here, why I love this ministry and how the Lord is transforming this city that most have forgotten about.  It’s incredible to see faces that I was watched grow up that last 3 years.  Our first year babies are now in middle school and some kids have even graduated! Safe Haven as a ministry has changed as well, all for the good.  There is more help, more staff and more structure to the program. It’s amazing to see.  Every year the Lord sends more help so that the ministry can continue to grow and Danny and Kimberly can continue to grow their beautiful family! #4 is on the way!


I have learned to much from this place.  I seen a church congregation that resembles heaven like no other,  I’ve  seen what it looks like to truly love broken people like Jesus did,  I’ve seen restoration and redemption and I’ve learned to have an eternal perspective. I’ve also learned that I really love THINGS. My computers, my camera, I love decorating, I love clothes, I love my car and the list goes on.  There is nothing wrong with these “things” but there is something wrong if I’m not using them for the Lord, if I’m not using them with eternity in mind. These THINGS in my life mean nothing if they don’t have a purpose.  Everything I own, everything I have accomplished, every dream I’ve ever dreamed can crumble and disappear.  I’m actually quite certain that there will be days when my wonderful mac will crash, my camera will die and my blog won’t load.  It’s temporary. All of it.  But it becomes significant when it’s used to glorify the Lord.  My business, my future marriage, my friendships, even my things become filled with purpose when they are used to grow God’s family. I never want to forget that and I’m reminded of it so so much in Newark.


I realize this is a big risk to share the Gospel on the blog.  It’s blurring the lines between business and personal life to the extreme but to be honest, I really could care less.  This is the core of who I am. It’s what I live for and the only reason I have a business and a desire to be creative in the first place is because the Lord Jesus gave it to me.  So I would be doing Him a huge disservice to not give Him a shout-out every now and then:)


Enjoy a little glimpse of my 48 hour mission trip! … and be sure to watch the White Boy Rap at the end!


Morning coffee run to Vic’s! I don’t even like coffee…but it smells amazing!

I love seeing snow up there, it covers up the dirty-ness and makes everything seem spotless.  There are so many  great analogies that could go along with snow and have to do with the Gospel.

Aw, goodmorning Blaine, you look so awake!

Katie Grace.

Bible verse performers. Nate, you’re ahead.

I love this one.  It’s probably a favorite and I don’t really know why… it just seems emotional. Does anyone get what I’m saying? Maybe it’s just me!

How CUTE is this little guy?!

Dear God, Can I have beautiful, clear skin like this one day? Thanks.

aw, sweet Trinity.

Mmm hmmm. This little diva loveees to model.

hahaha Just had to throw this one in here! Look how thrilled the little guy to the left is!

Love the light in this one!

The little guy on the right kept saying (in a brazilian accent), “I’m Dr. Suess! I’m Dr. Suess!” Precious. Love the dimples.

Another fav.

White Boy Rap: Shaun and Dave and some others recorded this song in Safe Haven’s studio in a matter of hours, pretty impressive! So I threw this video together so we could show it to the kids! They loved it seeing white boys rap. ha!

Untitled from Katelyn James on Vimeo.

20 Comments Personal
  1. ericamay reply

    katelyn, you are a girl after my own heart. this couldn’t be more relevant to the conversations and struggles i’ve been having in my own life recently. everything we have, everything we work for and everything we think we deserve is temporary. and it’s not from us, it’s from the One who is so good to us and so richly blesses us with talents like photography, or an eye for design, or the ability to love precious little children. thanks for sharing your heart. :)

  2. Michael reply

    These are awesome…I didn’t know Kevin had a kid…that looks like his kid. What camera did you shoot that video on? The Marks II??

  3. Brendan reply

    Katelyn, the pictures are awesome.. as usual. And the video is sooo good. Stark, that rap was sick

  4. Emily W. reply

    These pictures are amazing, Katelyn! I love seeing how God is working in Newark in huge, huge ways. Those kids are absolutely precious!

    side note: The video isn’t loading for me. :(

  5. em reply

    Oh my gosh i love the video!! HILARIOUS!! these pictures are always some of my favorite to look at. Love you!

  6. Emily W. reply

    scratch that last comment- video loaded! loved it! :)

  7. deebs reply

    kk, these are great! steph w the baby is too too cute <3 so glad the newark trip has continued for several years now! so awesome. and shaun, that was legit, im impressed!

  8. Cati reply

    Aw, these pictures are amazing!!! Definitely made my day all that much brighter! :) I loved your phrase… “Dear God, can I please have beautiful, clear skin like this one day? Thanks.” I pray that every day, I think! :) I also LOVED the dimple picture!!! SO CUTE!

  9. Julianna reply

    Pictures are so beautiful, you definitely captured the life in those kids. And the video……… is amazing. Absolutely love it.

  10. Rachel Clarke reply

    LOVE this post. So amazing – I love how many photographers are women/men of faith. It’s so refreshing.

  11. Melody reply

    Aww Katelyn, this is wonderful what you are doing in Newark…the photos are great the emotion that is shown in them is so genuine…thank you for sharing this, its just what I needed to boost my spirits….

  12. Kevin reply

    awesome pics and words. We are blessed.

  13. Laura reply

    Katelyn, These pictures are amazing! Especially the dimpled Dr. Suess… I’ve struggled with the same issues- loving “stuff” too much! The best lesson was when our house burnt down. God said “Hey- look at me, up here… your family, friends, being a good person, spreading the word about Jesus, etc. they are what’s important!” Stuff suddenly became insignificant- I bought new clothes (people donated new clothes also) church friends brought us food almost every day for weeks and weeks, friends gathered at the rubble that used to be our home just to be with us, some days there would be boxes full of toothbrushes, deodorant, food, shampoo, clothes, etc. just because they were God’s people doing what they were supposed to be doing. This has been one of the most important lessons in my life! I am so happy to see you guys doing this for these kids- keep it up! :)

  14. elizabeth r reply

    awesome pictures and i LOVE the video hahahaha you guys are hilarious!

  15. Mandy reply

    Aw Katelyn, what a good post :) It’s so awesome to see what’s going on in Newark right now…wish I was there! I’m so glad that you were able to go and capture some of those awesome moments and sweet kids! Also, that video was Awesome!!! Hahaha…you guys have some serious skills! :)

  16. gayle reply

    Jesus must surely be so taken with you.
    Your courage in Christ is one of your best qualities.

  17. Naomi Figueroa reply

    Wow, gorgeous photos, and I LOVE your sharing from the heart! (I, too, have blurred the lines between business and personal at times.)
    I’ve thought a lot about the creative side of ourselves as humans, and I really believe that expressing any creativity is truly glorifying to God. God is creative, and we were created in his image, so part of that means we are creative beings, too. Expressing that honors Him and brings glory to Him.
    And I’m so glad I found you through Jasmine’s tweet! Will definitely be keeping up with your work…and it’s nice to see somebody on the East Coast for once! :)
    Keep up the inspiring work!

  18. Brooke Huley reply

    You rock, Katelyn! GREAT post, & photos!

  19. Laura reply

    this post was wonderful. this was my favorite line,” There is nothing wrong with these “things” but there is something wrong if I’m not using them for the Lord, if I’m not using them with eternity in mind. These THINGS in my life mean nothing if they don’t have a purpose.” I always seem to notice my love for stuff after some retreat or church event, but I never really know what to do with that nagging feeling. I can’t get rid of everything, nor could I just stop buying things. That line really put into perspective what God wants me to do with those thoughts that he keeps bringing to my head. I love all of the photos in the post too. Your work is fantastic. I live a little more than an hour south of Newark in PA. Where are you located? It sure would be awesome to meet a Christian photographer like yourself that’s somewhat close to where I live.

  20. Finally an Update!!! « …In Newark reply

    […] About a month ago, a team of around 40 students from Christopher Newport University (in Newport News, VA) came up to spend their spring break serving others in Newark!  I was a bit skeptical at first, thinking that having that many people here would make our program chaotic and, as a result, do more against us than for us.  My skepticism was almost immediately put to rest, as I began to meet all the college students and experience how willing they were to serve and do whatever it took to help.    All of us here at Safe Haven decided it would be a great idea if we planned a “spirit week” of sorts for the CNU team to take control of, and take control they did!  That week ended up being my and the ministry’s best week since I’ve been here.  The team was fantastic, and the kids all adored them!  It was a great week, and the group left a lasting impact on all of us, staff and kids alike.  Some professional photos can be found here: […]

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