International Ministries

A Chance to Contribute and to Receive

September 21, 2017 Journal
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I have been struggling with how to actively respond with sensitivity and creativity to the suffering of these last few weeks. The images of hurricane wind ripped trees, flooded streets, shattered windows and earthquake rubble run through my mind’s eye. The cracking and anxious voices of friends and strangers trying to find shelter or waiting to hear about the safety of loved ones scream incessantly through my whispered prayers. What am I to say? What am I to do? At times I am overwhelmed, at a loss. Then I remember this quote:

“In a time of destruction, create something.” ― Maxine Hong Kingston

We create to express. We create to empathize. We create to hold brokenness and beauty. We create to sustain and to survive. We create to heal. We create to repair, restore and renew. We create to live. Creating comforts us, compels us, and connects us.We create because we were designed and formed by the Creator as a reflection of their image. We create because we cannot help it! It’s in our DNA.

 Art…is a means of union among [humans], joining them together in the same feelings, and indispensable for the life and progress toward well-being of individuals and of humanity. 

Leo Tolstoy, adapted for inclusion from his essay What is Art?

 So, in the spirit of creativity and solidarity, I will create a 22”X 36” stained glass mosaic depicting an image of a downed mango tree that birthed new life, inspiring resilient hope in me while visiting Cuba last year. It will be a visual response and reflection of the following text:

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn, 
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—

to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,

the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord  for the display of his splendor.”

Isaiah 61:1-3(NIV)

In the next two weeks starting today until October 5th, if you contribute towards relief and recovery efforts in Cuba, Mexico or Puerto Rico through One Great Hour of Sharing Hurricane Irma and Maria Relief at  I will enter your name in a drawing to receive this original art. Please email me your name, address and a copy of the confirmation of donation at  Once the $5000 goal has been collectively contributed, I will draw the name, inform the winner and send the finished art piece via UPS shipping.

 Will you join me in making the world more beautiful?