Reaching out on an Short Term Outreach

It was so good to get involved with another outreach with Operation Mobilisation in the UK. This time found me with a team of nine plus church members, in LYE which lies near Dudley in the West Midlands of England. The church is in a very multi-cultural area. The outreach was to reach out to this community, and we found ourselves pre-dominantly reaching out to the Romanian and Roma peoples.

I set up my ‘hopeless’ board throughout the week and invited passers-by to put the colour of hope of

to the board. Many weren’t keen but after some encouragement did. While I was busy with the ‘hopeless’ board, team members engaged in children’s ministry (with very noisy lively Romanian children), door to door and helped church members to run a café. The final piece you will see at the end of this blog and now hangs in the Foyer of the Christchurch Lye.

Alongside my art board inside the church foyer we had an art exhibition. I had two sections one was my creation series where we gave each picture a letter and then the people had to try and match the letters to the right day of creation

. It wasn’t as easy as it appeared, but it gave a great opportunity to share something of God’s creative power.

The main part of my exhibition was a series of work based upon pomegranates.

I loved the way the inside of a pomegranate was full of jewels and I know that God sees us as jewels in His kingdom. The actual individual little jewel has a seen inside. I had this thought that as the fruit was crushed to get the juice out the gritty seed was left behind. I saw this as a picture of Jesus’ blood being shed for us and the gritty bit was our sin that was washed away and disposed of as far as the east is from the west, or into the deepest ocean. I used a variety of materials from paint to fabric and embroidery.

It was a good time working with a team and everyone I think grew in confidence and had a deeper experience of God through this. One highlight was listening to a few of the Roma ladies singing worship songs in their own language while they made friendship bracelets.

The cross just happened to emerge as I took various layers of tape off and turned it portrait way up. Interesting.

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