New Hope hosted its first organized church team this summer, a group of 11 youth leaders from Orlando Florida. They worked so hard hauling sand, cement, gravel and rebar for the first phase of our cement floor. Many of them knew Spanish so they were able to dive into relationship with the community volunteers and there was little transition from hello to fruitful work.
But Kelly had something else on her heart to do with her short time here with us…..
As we begin our trek up the muddy hillside the need becomes more transparent. Hunger and poverty can no longer be hidden behind clean clothes and barrio atmosphere. There is this strange mix of quiet beauty and dirty mess all around. Proof that the kingdom in near.
After walking more than an hour up and down the muddy hillside inviting our girls to an art gathering I am certain that any doubt Kelly may have had about her investment in art supplies, the time she spent painting a model of the Mona Lisa or preparing and translating her talk was worth it. “These girls are so worth it.” I even heard one women say out loud.
The next morning they all showed up. We even had some mothers join in. After a time of exploration with acrylic paint on beautiful watercolor paper, Kelly led them in an exercise of identity. Paint yourself, what you think you are. This was the first time most had ever held a paint brush, mixed a color, and created with beautiful supplies. The mood was calm and pensive. As colors were mixed and treasures created, confidence was formed and I’m certain these timid painters will soon be slopping it on like pros—but it was a privilege to watch this first experience.
As they finished their creations perhaps the most important learning began. Kelly held up small 6x6 model of the Mona Lisa she had painted. She called it a masterpiece that was widely recognized and treasured around the world, created by a famous artist. I was surprised how well they all listened. Then she talked about each of them as masterpieces created by God for beauty and good works. She spoke with such passion and tenderness and they held onto each word. THANK You Kelly for our first art class and donation of art supplies.