In 2003, shortly after starting Elevate Photography, McCory James, was invited on a mission trip to Nepal with Eagle Projects International. As an avid outdoorsman, volunteer and travel-junkie, he jumped at the chance to go. EPI tasked McCory with taking photos that would “tell the story of the trip and inspire people to get involved in the work that EPI does.”
The trip was life-changing; McCory got to see first-hand the plight of those living in a developing country. The need for healthy food, clothing and other necessities really moved him. Beyond tangible items, McCory saw desire for love and attention. When he visited an orphanage, he was amazed by how many of the kids, from toddlers to teenagers, wanted to hold his hand or sit on his lap simply because they craved human contact.
He also got to see how EPI’s work with their local partners transformed the lives of so many people. During his time there, McCory visited a piece of ground near the town of Pokhara that had been purchased with the help of EPI. That land has since had an orphanage built on it that largely helps rescue girls from the sex trade. EPI helps to meet people’s basic needs as a way to be show God’s love. The main goal of McCory’s trip was to take pictures, but he learned and grew so much from seeing the need of people in a poverty stricken country like Nepal. From medical clinics to working with orphanages to teaching pastors from remote villages the basics of Christian theology, their work made an immediate impact in the lives of the Nepalese. Many of them are in survival mode for much of their life and don’t really know what it means to be loved, even by their own families. EPI and their partners play a large role in fulfilling the need to be loved and cared for.
Since then, McCory has travelled with EPI to Kenya, China, India, Myanmar and Ghana. He feels very blessed that he is able to use the skills God gave him to bring awareness to those around the world that are in need. You can check out more of his photos in the “Adventure” section of Elevate’s blog.
Elevate Photography donates $50 from each wedding photography packages to one of three non-profits: Project Helping, Direct Relief and EPI. Each couple gets to choose which organization their $50 goes to.