Just finished watching the afternoon rain and I'm packing up my bag for my first day of lessons. I wanted to share a little bit about my affiliation with BuildaBridge International. My time in Guatemala will be greatly enhanced by partnering with BI's Artists on Call. Here's a description of BI's program:
Artists on Call is the advanced volunteer program of BuildaBridge International comprised of arts therapy professionals, artists, and community service workers trained in emergency relief through artistic intervention.
The mission of AOC is to bring--through the arts--emotional healing, to provide a sense of normalcy and aesthetic nourishment (feeding the souls) of children who have experienced traumatic circumstances as a result of war and catastrophic events around the world.
I have collaborated with BuildaBridge in many ways over my last six years in Philadelphia. They have been very generous with me as I have stumbled through the trial and error of starting the Community Arts Program at Ayuda. They have engaging the transformative power of the arts all around the world since their beginnings in 1997. For the past two years, BI has made it possible for me to attend their 5-Day Institute training professionals who work in community arts. Dr Corbitt and Dr. Nix-Early have been kind enough to meet with me regularly and guide me through program/curriculum development, vision casting and goal setting, program assessment, and more. Read more about BuildaBridge here.
For my time in Guatemala, learning Spanish is my primary goal; however, I wanted to interact at a deeper level with the communities here and BuildaBridge has provide those opportunities. They have a variety of contacts here for me to do work in the arts. As it stands today, I will begin Wednesday teaching art in the mornings at Escuela Integrada associated with LACES (Latin American Christian Education Services). I will also have an opportunity to work with Joel Van Dyke's ministry in Guatemala City. We are planning to travel to a prison in Zacapa, Guatemala to paint a mural with the incarcerated women there. And who knows what else! I appreciate BuildaBridge giving me the opportunity to enrich my experience here in Guatemala.
Anything we have worth investing comes from brokenness. From that broken place, lasting investments become possible to both give and receive.
My "tesserae" reflected upon here will explore my work as a community artist in North Philadelphia, my travels to witness others' tessarae, and my points of connection with those God has placed in my life.
"The more I think about the meaning of living and acting in the name of Christ, the more I realize that what I have to offer to others is not my intelligence, skill, power, influence, or connections, but my own human brokenness through which the love of God can manifest itself... Ministry is entering with our human brokenness into communion with others and speaking a word of hope. This hope is not based on any power to solve the problems of those with whom we live, but on the love of God which becomes visible when we let go of our fears of being out of control and enter into his presence in a shared confession of weakness... 'Glass shines brighter when it's broken.' This is a hard vocation."