“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.

In normal times, the Lichthaus Cultural Cafe in Halle, Germany is filled with cafe visitors, concerts, and workshops. However, in these COVID-influenced days, things have become a bit more complicated. When contact with others is supposed to be limited and the cafe isn’t allowed to run as usual, it’s hardly possible to fulfill the Lichthaus’s core purpose-- bringing people into community. In response to this, the Lichthaus team came up with a new idea to connect people in December: setting up an Advent calendar in the windows of the cafe.

In our modern culture love is all around – so it seems. Considering songs hitting the charts, soap operas, movies, and pink heart-shaped posts on social media, you cannot help thinking that love is the currency of society. But aren’t we all experiencing something different? The pandemic stifles the hope of men and women, deprives them of their zest for life, increases isolation and loneliness... Aren’t these the opposites of love? Sometimes, people talk a lot about things they wish they had: more money, more days off, more good friends. More love, too?

Christmas Day is just around the corner. With mixed feelings, we’re looking forward to what will no doubt be a strange and awkward celebration. When year after year we anticipate being with family and loved ones, it seems unfair and painful we need to plan to keep our distance.

But maybe some goodness hides in that pain.

Joy, a profound reality bathed in suffering, rooted in touchable hope

“Joy to the world! The Lord is come. Let earth receive her King!” We sing.

“He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him” (John 1:11).

The innocent newborn baby’s cry which gave tremendous joy to His parents mourns for the betrayal, the humiliation, the crucifixion, and Jesus’s own burial merely three decades later.

I wonder, if Mary and Joseph had known this beforehand, would that cry of baby Jesus bring joy?

But the angel said, “[…] I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people” (Luke 2:10).

I rekindled my passion for painting in 2016 when I switched from working full-time to part-time. A friend connected me with her art teacher, and, for practical reasons, I learned acrylic painting. Inspiration for my first painting was from the cover of a Christian book, sitting on the side-table next to my bed. It caught my attention, and “Psalm 23” became my first attempt. Learning by imitating is a good start for beginners. I began using Google to find images I could imitate. Very soon, painting Bible ideas became my focus. Eventually, I was thrilled to participate in the Singapore Bible Society’s Annual Art Competition for two years in a row, painting pieces on Hope and Promises in the Bible and People in Need in the Bible.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased.”

- Luke 2:13-14 

It was not a silent night.