What a wonderful time of celebration we all had in Los Cedros, Nicaragua. My church has partnered with some folks down there, have built a school, helped plant a church, and built homes. We’ve held men’s conferences, women’s conferences, VBS programs, and sponsored students at the school. Our church choir has sung there, and for this celebration, men and women from Los Cedros joined the choir to form an amazing international choir!
We’ve shared our hearts, and they have shared theirs. It’s been a treasured partnership for all of us!
In years past, I’ve painted murals and helped women share their stories through art while living in Los Cedros. I lived there a couple of months a few years back and made some lovely friendships with women and the children. They are so generous with their love.
This time, I worked with one woman, brought her many art tools, and gave her a watercolor lesson. Our translator, Daniel, was excited to join us in learning to paint. What fun to have Daniel join us! Before over 300 people ate dinner together, and celebrated our ten years of partnership, I slipped in this lesson. We painted the beach and learned how to use watercolors. I also tried to help my students “see” better for their art making.
I don’t know when I’ll return, but I left part of my heart in Nicaragua. I pray I might be able to return to live there an extended time again.
“Through all the world there goes one long cry from the heart of the artist: give me leave to do my utmost.”-Isak Dinesen, Babette’s Feast.
It’s snowing in Colorado, but I am headed to sunny Central America. I’ve packed my storyrope™ and 3 collaged Bible storybooks in my suitcase – to bring to Nicaragua. The week planned in Nicaragua is a time of celebration. My church in Seattle has partnered with a small town, Los Cedros, for the past ten years. So, for the most part, I’ll be a part of the celebration. That might include sharing some Bible stories and my storyrope™, but I am holding it all loosely!
Los Cedros is a town where I began using “art to engage our stories,” and through the art, I had the privilege of hearing a number of women’s stories, and praying for each of them. A group of women collaged their stories in an accordion shaped book.
They helped me to see that art could be used to share stories around the world. Words were not needed within the books. (It is actually a safer way to share our stories.) We can share as little or as much as we’d like because there are only colors, shapes, and pictures in the hand made books. As women, we were able to connect more deeply because of the art and sharing our stories. It was an incredibly special experience for me. What an honor to hear another person’s story!
I began this “art engaging story” outside of the studio, with a season living in Nicaragua. I held my very first workshop while living there, in the little town of Los Cedros – a little ways from Managua. You can read all about that first workshop, and my time with many very special friends, here:http://creativecallnicaragua.blogspot.com/2011/05/art-and-faith.html