Tuesday, 1 June 2021
Pete and Kathryn live in West Africa with their two children. They moved to their current location after working in another African country for eight years. As well as serving in theological education, Pete is also involved in art ministry and has recently been appointed as the SIM Creative Arts Point Person. SIM Creative Arts Ministries exist to equip artistic Christians in their cross-cultural ministries through music, dance, drama, verbal arts, visual arts, education and art therapy.
Pete found his passion for art helpful in making meaningful connections with people in his community. He shared, “After we got settled, COVID-19 cancelled almost all of my teaching opportunities here and internationally. I’ve had lots more time to make art and meet artists, people interested in art and neighbours near my studio. Making friends in a new place is hard work and takes a lot of time. It’s nice to have a genuine activity which is a point of common interest from which to build a more natural friendship with people.”
As well as being a valued communication method among many indigenous cultures, art overcomes language barriers. Speaking of the role art plays in sharing the Gospel, Pete said, “We often miss that fact that the God who speaks by His word, has not left us with a dry, academic theological textbook, but He has gifted us with a library of beautiful and diverse literature. His word is art! The Lord knows that art is both a product of culture and a powerful shaper of culture. The creative arts are so powerful in touching the heart and soul, which leads more readily to transformation. That’s our goal to see lives transformed by the Gospel, so we should be launching arts workers and incorporating the arts into all ministries!”
Looking forward to how the arts can be used in sharing the Gospel more widely, Pete said, “Art is not just for designated ‘arts workers’. So, I want to see existing SIM workers and ministries empowered to use the arts (even in very simple ways) to enhance their ministry outcomes. It would be great if we could become an even more dynamic community of arts workers who inspire, encourage and even collaborate in many different ways for the glory of Jesus in diverse communities where Jesus is least known.”
Do you have the desire to share the Gospel with the least-reached? Get in touch with a Mission Mobiliser today by visiting sim.org.au/enquire.
Photo credit: Ky Chung. Representative image used
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