Where Creative Meets Practical
by Drew Arvidson
YWAM Perth Staff
As many people as there are in the world, that’s how many specific types of callings God has. He intentionally designed and takes into account our abilities, giftings and personality as He leads us in ways to make Himself known through our lives. He uses our past experiences and our present situation. With every individual on earth, there is an opportunity to co-create with God in a way that nobody else can.
Tyler Knapp, a 23-year-old from America, grew up knowing the sciences and loving art. It was only through God that the two very different passions started to collide. After his Discipleship Training School, Tyler came to YWAM Perth for our Art Evangelists School. He is now on staff with the Appropriate Technology ministry. The ministry finds practical solutions to challenges throughout the developing world — which, as you can imagine, requires a bit of creativity as well. God has a heart to meet the needs of people practically, as well as creatively display beauty that speaks of who He is.
“For me, in artwork, there’s always been a lot of practical problem solving — and that’s actually when the most beautiful moments have happened.
I’ve noticed the same thing in Appropriate Tech. You have to achieve a certain goal and you’re given certain boundaries — like, it has to cost under this amount of money, and you have to use these materials that are accessible in Nepal or Indonesia, and then you have to make this machine that will melt this plastic down into different burnable fuels. You’re given these crazy restrictive boundaries that actually push you to create in really unique ways. It’s the same way in artwork — when you give yourself boundaries and a certain amount of practicality, it actually encourages a lot of creativity.”
A huge part of finding these creative solutions despite restrictive boundaries is seeking God for answers.
What does this communion of practicality and creativity look like? Currently, the ministry is working on finding ways to recycle waste plastic into usable oils and fuels that can be used in small generators or scooters. The idea for this project met specific needs that we recognized while working in Nepal, combatting challenges like unreliability of energy with frequent power outages, as well as mass amounts of waste plastic in Kathmandu. These needs for innovation became parameters that led to an opportunity to co-create with God.
On the work site, the team stresses the importance of recognising God’s faithfulness; to intentionally start every day with prayer, remaining open to the voice, ideas and timing of God. “I think we’re all very practical people and just want to get stuff done. I find that there are many times where we try and get fast-tracked, but we miss out on the whole process. I think a huge thing in recognising that this is a work of God is actually the relationships on our team.
We’re doing this so people can have clean water and accessible energy. We’re doing it for people, in partnership with each other and God.”
This article was published in the
September 2018 edition of Westcoast News.
Read the other articles from this edition: