Something Worth Saying – Missions Through Art
Written by one of our long term workers in Asia
Imagine you’re one of very few foreigners on the street, and then you’re painting a huge mural reaching 20 foot high, and to do this you climbed on the roof, and then a sand storm blows in. And you just…keep painting…because you’re trying to say something worth saying.
I did the Art Evangelism School (AES) in 2005 and I spent the outreach in the Middle East. We did crazy things which stretched me – God grew my understanding of how art can be used as a platform to connect with people and also as part of prayer. We painted to tell His story, as a prayer in action – a physical representation of our words that shouted out hope to all the people that would see it. The atmosphere in the city was heavy and could be disheartening, but God showed me that his heart was for those people and the proclamations of hope we created and the encouragement that we brought to people mattered. It was walking against the tide of hopelessness that so many people felt- and we had a reason for our hope. God taught me during that time that he can really change things, really turn things around even when it looks impossible.
It was good preparation for me as God led me to work long term in a closed nation in Asia after that. I have been there for several years and I have been able to use the lessons I learnt painting in sandstorms and drawing kids portraits on the streets. I have discovered a calling to the forgotten and marginalised, and creativity has been such a key in unlocking these precious ones who are forgotten by society. I’m still making art that shouts truth and proclaims hope, that helps me to connect with others, and speaks truth against the tide of fatalism and despair. I’m still learning to follow God as we walk against the tide, privileged to be discovering the joy of his plans to restore and transform.