Not pictured in this photograph are Kathi’s parents who were on this trip as well. They had served as missionaries to Liberia and stayed there during the war years for as long as they could. To celebrate their return, Kathi planned a surprise party.
So many friends from the past showed up to greet them. It had been decades since they had seen each other, yet their memories were clear. It was so uplifting to see the joy on their faces as they embraced and recollected stories from the past.
What struck me the most, though, were the photos that some people pulled out of purses and wallets. Faded snapshots, many creased and torn. Most of the people attending the party lived through the war years in Liberia. Many had fled their homes and been separated from family. Some never saw their loved ones again. These photographs augmented their memories and were the only tangible reminders they had of parents, spouses, children, or siblings.
They had no digital version of these prints, nor were there any postings on social media. These washed-out photographs were all they had.
A couple of our team members took photos of the photographs and uploaded them to a laptop. They restored faded colors, eliminated scratches, and sharpened images before printing new copies of the photos. The joy and gratitude people expressed at having new prints had me choking back tears.