“It was the first time I realized that painting could capture the Word of God, speak into people’s lives and give me the opportunity to share my faith.”

Janice T. (Alliance & Short-term team member)

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Every day all around the globe, artists on mission are creating, cultivating, and contributing in their communities. As they seek to see their art used in the work the Lord is doing, we want to share their stories to encourage and inspire.
This blog is a place to read those stories, giving you a glimpse into how the Lord is using the arts around the world.
Wednesday, 11 August 2021 21:08

An Interview with Colin Harbinson: Ministering Abroad

Written by Hollen Hostetler and Colin Harbinson
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Last week, we introduced you to Colin Harbinson, long-time artist and ministry partner. We told you about how he began serving using the arts and how the Lord began to open doors for him to do so globally. Today, we will recount some of Colin’s exciting adventures while serving the Lord overseas! 

Having joined YWAM and transitioned to thinking more globally, Colin and his wife would ultimately focus on communist countries. Immediately after a failed coup against Mikhail Gorbachev in 1991, the new Russian leaders asked Colin to organize the first East-West cultural exchange since the fall of communism. They took him down Nevsky Prospekt in Saint Petersburg and stopped outside a palace that had been the headquarters of the communist party for 70 years. The doors were all sealed to prevent the communists from reentering the building. Colin watched seals removed, and doors open, and this palace now became his center of operations for the next several months. Similarly, Colin felt the Lord say that He would open the doors of nations closed to His truth—and that He was going to do it through the arts.

Later that day, Colin was invited to speak to the 350 assembled members of the newly elected government. When broadcast on the evening news to some forty million people, the sound bite they used was Colin saying, “Christians around the world are praying for you at this critical time in your nation.” Three months later, the “Sacred Fire” international Festival took place with 350 artists and Christian leaders participating alongside Russian artists.

After his time in Russia, Colin traveled to Bulgaria. He was startled to be met at the airport by a military general who ushered him straight through customs and passport control. Inside the awaiting official vehicle, Colin was told that he was about to meet with the Vice President of Bulgaria. During that meeting, he was asked to facilitate a cultural exchange in Bulgaria, just like in Russia. On completing this Bulgarian “Love Without Borders” Festival, Colin appeared on the number one nationally televised program. The producer told him, “This festival has broken the silence in our country,” and said, “please speak to our nation.” The speech was rebroadcast three times a day for three weeks to a daily audience of around four million people.

In response to watching the Lord work over the years, Colin said, “I have seen God do what He said and open the doors of nations through the arts.” Come back in a few days to hear about Colin’s experiences in China and the Amazon!

Last modified on Wednesday, 25 August 2021 21:49