“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.

Rebecca Bromley

Monday, 28 October 2019 16:26

Water in Sanzhi

This is a story of a painting in Sanzhi, Taiwan in August 2019

Written with Amy C (in italics)

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For Sanzhi, it’s the sea. The vibrant blue colour is so calm. You can see even a very small part of the sea from the church

Almost every day they gathered to jot down what they saw or heard, from God, from people.

And when they listened it was water

they heard.

Water is what people spoke about 

Water is what the group, praying, saw: the blue sea,

rain

the clean water that runs through the city and springs into water bamboo and cherry blossoms. Water for growing food to share, as people do, though sometimes there is hardship.

Water bringing harmony.

And people value harmony;

I recalled a conversation with a local food stall owner. Most of the locals have an ethnic belief which is somehow a mix of Buddhism, Confucianism and Animism and local culture. The food stall owner shared that he thinks all creatures has the responsibility to develop a better world. People worship different spirits to look for a balance and ask to work well together.

It was for these artists to tell him God’s harmonious mandate for his Creation at the world’s beginning.

And it is for these artists to discern what God says in this moment and place, to a world of rivers and rain, life and lack, blue sea and harmony and the confusion of spirits.

When they speak to the pastor in the church about all they had noticed, he tells them a well also sustains the church- as the blossom and water bamboo are sustained- with water coming up! The living water from God poured down and flows into all around… and overflows in the church…

God is nurturing this land and is always present in Sanzhi. The Living Water flowing in the whole city, immersed into their daily life, gives…It is not the other spirits they are worshiping who build up what they are proud of,

Or provide what they need…

To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Revelation 21.6

So with water in their thoughts, the living water they know thirsty people here need, a design formed between them;

and underneath the strong sun and under shelter from the mild rain, fast before the typhoon came, they painted together...

They served with their strength together, with kids and elders working in harmony.

During the whole project, I saw a lot of connections. Connections within the church, between the church and the restaurant nearby, the community, the government, the people passing by… The wall is just beside the main road, open to public, so they could witness the birth of the mural painting...they were so curious and willing to come to chit chat…

1908 tw arts 166 lo orig

 The paintings are held together by a strong blue thread welling up in images of Sanzhi suggesting abundance, and hope and joy.

The group leader said:

"The production of this mural is God inspired and woven with His threads and purposes. The blank wall that physically hid the church is now a piece of art that connects people via the visual imagery and relationally as people ask  questions and converse about it."

"My hope is that it becomes a land mark that people will come to see and then God will touch them as they soak it in and think about it..."

""Customers at the steak house next door can eat their dinner and discuss the imagery and inherent symbolism. I look forward to following up with my friends in Sanzhi in a few months, six months, a year and trace what God is doing as an outcome of painting a piece of art on a wall”

I praise God for his continue work in this little town. Sending missionaries here to proclaim His presence in Sanzhi.

Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the living water flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh;

so where the river flows everything will live. Amy C

To learn more about how you can serve with art on short term projects such as this: click here

Monday, 04 November 2019 14:46

La Mouette Mazoutée

La mer aurait d’ être belle

La soleil brille haut dans le ciel

Mais je suis comme èchouè 

Tel une èpave toute rouillèe

Je peux á peine soulever les ailes

Toutes noircies! Mes plus si belles

Je me sens si emprisonnè

Enveloppé dans cette chappe

Should I worry about today? Are these things that I can change? 

How much should I plan? 

Should I stay? 

No matter where I go 

I feel something holding on  

Where can I find the strength to  

fly on? 

Lorsque le Soleil s'est levé

Une main est venu me sauver

J’ai alors pu déployer mes ailes

Alors libéré, j’ai décollé

I won’t worry about today  

These things I cannot change 

And I don’t have to plan 

And I know you’ll be holding on long after I’m done with this song 

And you’ll always give me the strength to 

fly on 

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English Version

The Oiled Seagull 

The sea should have been beautiful 

The sun shines high in the sky 

But I am stranded like a rusty wreck 

I can barely lift my wings 

All black! My beautiful feathers 

I feel so imprisoned 

Wrapped in this oil screed 

Should I worry about today? Are these things that I can change? 

How much should I plan? 

Should I stay? 

No matter where I go 

I feel something holding on  

Where can I find the strength to  

fly on? 

But one morning when the sun rose 

I saw the hand of the one who came to save me 

He cleaned me, then my wings I could deploy 

It was hard to believe- I was released 

I won’t worry about today  

These things I cannot change 

And I don’t have to plan 

And I know you’ll be holding on long after I’m done with this song 

And you’ll always give me the strength to 

fly on 

 

Written on an OM arts trip to France, by Elise Ha and J

To read an article about the writing of this song, CLICK HERE

bird1

Monday, 04 November 2019 14:49

The Oiled Seagull


Written with Elise Ha (in italics)

Brittany, Morbihan. August 2019

Brittany is also this: the sea, the seagulls everywhere...

For every 60,000 people, one church. But in cafes and chapels Christ’s light will shine, as songs in the darkness;

in Lorient, Vannes, Concarneau and Cléguérec….

After praying the first day…we wrote a song about a Fisherman and the Samaritan.  

24 people including 11 musicians, through OM, gathered this summer to write and perform songs; writing in the musical language of people’s hearts, learning the sounds and culture, praying for the themes…

The second day it was the seagull. We were out in the sun, and a real seagull was walking beside us…. 

Without many hours to write, they brought their fragility and nervousness to God’s power. And songs were written! One song was written by French singer Elise and Texan musician J.

guitar in france

The time was very very short to write it, just 2 hours!  

There is no doubt that God was with us and protected us through everything. It is thanks to Him that we could compose our songs.... Glory to God! 

The musicians were thinking about the chords, while Elise wrote the words. She found the melody thanks to guitar chords and violin notes for the verses. They wrote in French and English, singing one part each; because here, in France, people like those who speak in English. And that did not fail. The public liked to hear him sing!

So in His strength and not their own, this song was composed and sung to glorify God in concerts, showing His love and sharing the gospel.

People love this song even if they do not understand the meaning right away. They also like our attitude. We tried to adapt…to use a theme that speaks to them. We are always asked at the end where this idea comes from...  

A man invited us into his home after (one) concert. I was really touched, especially because we had learnt earlier that the people in Brittany take a bit of time to open up to others. Ever since, it has been on my heart to pray for him and his son.  

Here are the song lyrics:

 La Mouette Mazoutée

This song speaks of salvation in Christ. Oil is sin. The Savior is Jesus who cleans us of our sins,  

and we can fly free like this seagull… 

Elise still sings this song today in her concerts in Paris with her band EsperanCiel: www.esperanciel.fr

To learn more about ways to serve in these type of art outreaches with OM arts, go to https://omarts.org

Friday, 08 November 2019 18:29

Who is He?

‘Who is He?’ 

'Who is He' is a series of two-plate etchings by Olga Coronovschi.

Wednesday, 20 November 2019 19:40

Their hands tell quiet stories

 

Taught silence, learning not to express herself, then this lady met Jesus. Now she was wondering- through what art might she speak about him, where expression may be so restricted?

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Artists, pastors and worship leaders from seven ethnic groups in South Asia came together to learn more about praising God and sharing truth with art from their culture. They read scripture and created, from songs to dances, dances to drama

to painting

to textiles....

During the workshop, this lady wrote and sang her first recitation of scripture; and, she re-imagined mehndi, a beloved art allowed for women: a way to share the gospel without getting them in trouble.

Here is a picture of her women’s group’s hands the very next week - covered in Bible stories....

For more about this workshop by OM arts, read https://heartsoundsinternational.tumblr.com/post/185436943446/the-tree-of-lifeand-worship