Apr 12, 2017 2:30 PM
Want to see what its like to drive to Mexico from Canada with about 80 high school students? Its a long drive, hard work, tiring, but also life changing. Click on the link below to see a glimpse of the 2017 SunWest Youth Ministry Home Building trip to Mexico.
Mar 31, 2016 1:19 PM
After much prayer, driving, mixing cement, hammering, sawing, laughing and crying, we are back from Mexico!
Driving to Mexico from Calgary takes a long time. Hours. Days. During those hours of driving, I learned a valuable lesson from a card game that we played in our van. Its called "President." The idea is that whoever gets rid of their cards first, becomes President. One of the perks of being president, is that the loser of the game has to give the President his or her best 2 cards in the next game. I was the loser. And I kept losing. I discovered that it was really hard to climb out of that cycle of losing when I had to keep giving away my good cards. If only someone would let me keep a couple good cards. I was talking about this game with another leader, and he suggested that real life is kind of like that game. That got me thinking....Here in Canada, we are like the President. We are dealt good card after good card. Generally, life is pretty good. It made me think that I want to change the rules of this game....and give some of my good cards back to those who are struggling to climb out of the difficult circumstances they find themselves in. It gives me great faith in our youth who, at a young age, have already decided to give away some of their good cards by building houses.
I am amazed at these teenagers, who lived out their desire to see change in the world. Although many of us left Calgary feeling unsure or even inadequate for the task, it became very clear that God doesn't call the equipped. He equips the called. It was so amazing to see the hands and feet of Christ, all working together using the many different talents and gifts that God gave them. Together, we built 3 single homes, one double home, and even a church! We got to know the families. We got to play with and love their kids. Most importantly, we were able to show God's love to people we had never met before, and remind them how significant they are.
The comforters were handed out to the families at the key ceremony, on the day that the church and the homes were finished. My prayer is that the faith of these families will grow deep as they set down roots in their new homes and church. The verse on the comforter is a reminder that even though we had to go back to Canada, God will remain with them and make His home in their hearts.
The lives of these families, and the lives of the students and leaders were changed forever by this experience.
Feb 10, 2016 1:40 PM
In March, my oldest daughter and I are driving to Tijuana with a group of youth to build houses. I am a driver and photographer, and my daughter will help build. There will be about 130 of us altogether. In partership with Amor Ministries, http://www.amor.org/about SunWest Christian Fellowship http://sunwestchurch.com/ministries takes van loads of grade 9-12 students across the border into Mexico to build homes to help people in need. "Each year we see houses built, community created, and lives transformed. We go to be a blessing, but leave blessed. This year will be the 19th year SunWest has partnered with Amor, and in that time we have built over 100 homes for people in need."
Amor Ministries, along with local pastors identify the families who we will be building for. There is a different story for each family. Some are single moms trying to provide for their children, some have a mom and a dad, but no job to support the family. One morning God gave me an idea... that it would be a blessing and a comfort to provide these families with a comforter from each of the build teams.
In one of my previous drawing classes, my students created line drawings of houses, that we turned into a beautiful fabric design. I thought it was perfect for this project, given that we are building houses. The verse that is on the fabric is Ephesians 3:17..." Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into his love and keep you strong. " It was also translated into Spanish...“Entonces Cristo habitará en el corazón de ustedes a medida que confíen en él. Echarán raíces profundas en el amor de Dios, y ellas los mantendrán fuertes.” Efesios 3:17 NTV We hope that these comforters will be a comfort to them, but also be a reminder of how much God loves them.
Check back to see pictures of the journey these blankets are making...from sewing to packing them, and to when they are presented to the families by each of the build teams.
If you are interested in purchasing this fabric, it is available at http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/5066229-at-home-heart-spanish-by-twobloom
Feb 6, 2016 4:08 PM
Several years ago, my friend went to visit an orphanage in Haiti called Hands Across the Sea. (http://www.hatshaiti.org)
I was greatly inspired by the story of Sandra....one of the newest in the orphanage at the time. Sandra was a newborn baby that was found dying in the streets of Haiti. Fortunately she was rescued by Hands Across the Sea and now has a hope and a future. Seeing her wrapped in a little white blanket (first picture) I felt like I wanted her to be wrapped in something full of color, that would remind her and others of how precious, wanted and loved she was.
I heard a quote once that said "Art is a gift from God, and an artist is the giver of that gift." So...I felt like God wanted me to give my gift.
I created a boy's and a girl's design that featured bright colors, words of encouragement and scripture (translated into Haitian Creole) to inspire these precious boys and girls to bloom, and to remind them that they are loved and not forgotten. She is the same baby in the middle picture.
Kids from our church helped fundraise to pay for the fabric, and my kids helped finish the edges of the blankets. (we used fleece...so no sewing required!) The little boy wrapped in his blanket, is holding a photograph of a boy from Calgary, who sponsored his blanket and wrote him a note.
God used a picture and the story of a little Haitian baby to remind me that He gave me my artistic gift to use as a blessing to others. I love it when He leads me into opportunities where I can use it. So...stay tuned for "Project Comforter Mexico!"
See Girls Haitian design here: http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/766722
See Girls English design here: http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/770869
See Boys Haitian design here: http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/788107
See Boys English design here:http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/789730
Jan 25, 2016 7:11 PM
I wanted to feature some fabric that that some of my previous drawing students helped to design. These kids were in grades 4-7, and part of our project was to draw line drawings of different houses.
Together, their images created a beautiful design that we combined with Ephesians 3:17..."Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong." Our idea was to create pillow cases or a blanket to give to the local women's shelter. I love kids to see how God can use their artistic talent so that they can be a blessing to others.
This fabric, along with coordinating designs, is available at spoonflower.com. (click the link below) The design is called "At home in my heart" by twobloom.