written by Janice Taylor
Many times, going on an outreach pushes people out of their comfort zones and encourages them to try something new. Janice Taylor, an artist from the UK, shares how going on short-term trips made a profound difference in her life and future ministry.
I had only been painting for about a year when I went on an art outreach in Belgium in 2015. As part of the outreach, we were expected to paint based on Scripture. The verses I was given as inspiration was John 19:25-27 in which Jesus entrusts His mother, Mary, to the disciple John when He is dying on the cross.
I had never done anything like this before, so I started with trepidation. It occurred to me that just as Jesus put Mary into John's hands, God has also entrusted us - our hands - to do His work. This led to the depiction of many hands in the painting. I also incorporated some symbolic aspects of Brussels, as it was where the exhibition outreach was to take place. As I painted some of it at my art class, the other artists were intrigued. The teacher asked the question "How did you get into this religion thing?" I responded with, "Give me 5 minutes, and I'll tell you my story.' I was able to share my testimony with six other ladies. It was the first time I realised that painting could capture the Word of God, speak into people's lives and give me the opportunity to share my faith .
The next year, I decided to join another outreach to Pisa, Italy.This outreach was different as we did not paint right away, but instead began by prayer walking around the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Our creative inspiration was supposed to come from our prayers and the surrounding environ ment. The team was made up of gifted and experienced painters who were graduates of the Incarnate programme. I felt totally out of my depth, and I confess I cried the first day we were supposed to create. I had no idea what to do. In the end, the Lord was gracious and gave me the image I was to convey. I was also inspired to create a couple of smaller pieces. Sharing Jesus through my paintings was incredibly special and another step on my journey to starting ARTreach in OM UK.