Thursday, April 08, 2010

So much to say.

Africa haunts me. That is a strange thing to say isn't it? It is true. I have been haunted by Africa since I was a young girl. At the time I thought of it as a fascination with the cultures. I loved African music and art. I loved to read about Africa. Secretly, I actually wanted to be African or at least African American, to have that rich history and that rich culture for my own. As I have grown older and became a Christ follower, I began to recognize that this fascination could very well be a call on my life from God. When we determined that we were going to adopt a child, I surprisingly did not have any inclination to adopt from an African nation. God had other plans for us though, and we brought our daughter home from ethiopia in December 2006. I thought "This is it. God called me to Africa for this child." Boy was I was off. After Messa had been home and settled in for a long while, I began to yearn for Africa again. So, we made some donations. Not it. A start, but not it. Meanwhile I continued to struggle with being a home schooling mom and trying to keep my fledgling art "career" from crashing and burning. Many times I resolved to put my art on the back burner and focus all my energy on my family and serving God in whatever way he called us. I have struggled with these questions for years. "God, what is your plan for me, for our family? Am I doing the right things. Is my art a selfish pursuit? Should I set it aside ? I asked and asked, but I am not sure I was really listening.
A few weeks ago I was on a trip with my family and somehow managed to score some much needed alone time. I had just finished reading a book called "Scared. A Novel on the Edge of the World," and had begun reading., "Red Letters: Living a Faith that Bleeds," both by Tom Davis. Tom writes passionately about the harrowing state of affairs in Africa right now. One line that pierced me to the core from "Red Letters" was this: "An entire civilization is being burned to the ground before our eyes." I am awakened fresh to the need. I feel my purpose. God is calling me to reach out to the needy and the sick, the orphans and the widows in Africa. It is not time to go there long term just yet, but to work here, to tell about it, and to send whatever we can, sacrificially and without reservation. Then the question once again. What about the art God? I will lay it aside." and the answer "Silly child. I gave you this gift for a purpose. Use it to do what I am calling you to." Aha!
So, from this point on, the profits from the sale of my artwork will go to our efforts to minister to widows and orphans in Africa. First we are going to move forward with another adoption . We have had this in our hearts for a long time, and last fall decided to proceed. We are considering a pilot program in Rwanda. More on that later.
So I have renewed vision for my life and for my artwork. I am excited to move forward and see what happens.


Ophelia said...

Hi Amy....
Love what you have done...and your post is wonderful today. You are an amazing person...and so generous. Many blessing to you, my friend. Keep me posted.

Jean Skipper said...

I know that this has been on your heart for such a long time, Amy. To see it in writing is a very powerful thing.

Congratulations on your new direction and renewed commitment!

CreativeFlutter said...

WOW are we on the same page girl!! Amazing!! Africa is near and dear to me as well. I've always wanted an African American baby or child. I weep when I see things about adoptions in Africa. Maybe it's calling me too. Not sure. Just know you are fulfilling God's purpose for your life! This is amazing and I will back you up 100%! So excited for what's to come!

Love ya!

Jodi Ohl said...

Amy, your tremendous heart and your unconditional love for your family, faith and all of God's children is really amazing. I look up to you. It's funny when I started reading about you maybe setting art aside, and then how you have this calling to Africa, it came to me as well for you to be somehow use your art to tell the story of those in need, about the culture and perhaps ultimately to use it as a vehicle to implement change. I think you are on the right path and have been all along. Love you with all my heart!