Martin Luther King Day Camp 2018

Every year on this special day we celebrate our freedom and remember those who live and even die for it. We use collaborative art projects to navigate through topics like equality, togetherness through diversity, and the desire to make the world a better place. We are also intentionally inclusive with this camp. This year, with the support of our Partners, we gave scholarships to 5 kids and were able to have a very diverse group of kids. This camp is a keeper! Remember us next year if you'd like to join us!

Thank you to all the parents and Partners who support us.

2017 Year in Review

Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. ~Philippians 1:3

Times are undoubtedly changing, and fast. In the blink of an eye, as the saying goes, and poof! Your kids are all grown up. We know this first-hand as we are raising three kids of our own. Enjoying as many moments as possible is vital to our family. So we slow down. Breathe. Place a hand on the shoulders of the ones we love, and speak with gentle eyes, words of love, wisdom, and team-spirit.

We try to cultivate a team-spirit in moments where we are involved in projects that require collaboration and depending on one another. We've had several moments of creative collaboration this year with our camps, after-school programs, and missions initiatives.  The best part of what we do is being creative with kids because of their easy, bright, strokes and colors. Many of the kids we work with are from families we know. This is great because we get to play a small part in helping kids from great families grow. We are very grateful for the partnership and encouragement of friends and families that co-labor with us. 

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This past summer was a particularly busy one as we visited Peru, Ecuador, and Nicaragua. We hope to continually bring our art workshops to places like this where we can engage with people cross-culturally. One of Nancy's big highlights was doing a week-long art workshop for the kids at Rayo De Sol in Nicaragua. In the morning, she led a crew in mural painting to help bring new life to a classroom. 

In the afternoons she led art sessions with various mediums for different ages. It was indeed a dream come true for her. She was able to bring the gospel to light in a very tactile way, notably when the teenagers made cross designs out of metal foil. After the kids made an impression on the cross, they covered it with black. It was a clear way for the kids to see that sin darkens God's original design. But that is not the end of the story. When the kids wiped the black paint off, they saw that their designs became more visible as the black paint gathered in the grooves of their drawings in the foil. 

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The emphasis was that God gives us a new life through Christ, and God's original design for our lives can be more clearly seen when we are forgiven. The result is a beautiful, unique masterpiece. 

In this new year, we are eagerly expecting to see God at work in and through the art that people make with us. When we had a pumpkin painting workshop in October, one of the parents who came to paint with their child said, "I look forward to making this a tradition." 

In an after-school program for middle school girls, they are learning to use scripture in their art making. There are just so many ways to bring the Gospel to people through creative moments. For this reason, we are very eager to continue our art adventures. We are developing partnerships with schools and ministries, local and international, that understand the communicative power of art-making. 

Some things to be excited (and pray) about:

  • Upcoming Martin Luther King day workshop (our focus is on collaboration and diverse community)
  • On-going after-school programs that are Gospel-centered
  • Partnerships with ministries where we can provide free art sessions
  • A possible trip to Puerto Rico to serve in rebuilding some homes and a church and encouraging the people.
  • Possible ministry connections us in Ecuador and Nicaragua.
  • Building a growing partnership with friends who will support financially or volunteer in our workshops.

We covet your prayers for next years opportunities and possibilities. For now, we wish you a very merry Christmas and a fantastic new year.

  

Painting Pumpkins

We had such a great time with you painting pumpkins. I must say, you never know what's going to interest our guests and, this time around, it was the fake glitter! 

For some of you, it was your first time doing a creative session with us. We hope to have more of these in the future. You can follow us on Facebook or Instagram to get announcements on future events. Links are below.

ArtServe Intl. has been a huge blessing to us and those we serve. All donations from our camps and creative sessions go towards supporting missions to share God's good news with people through art making. To date, we've done creative sessions in Kenya, Uganda, and Nicaragua. We would like to expand our reach locally in schools that lack resources for art, as well as South America. You can support this mission by saying a little prayer for us every now and then, donating monthly or on a one-time basis, or even hosting an art party in your home.

Thanks again for your involvement. We look forward to many more fun times in the future together.

ARTSERVE Intl. Become a financial partner

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Creatively Responding to Crisis

“Rohingya Mother and Child”by Nancy Rodriguez

“Rohingya Mother and Child”by Nancy Rodriguez

I was asked once if art can change the world? I replied, “no, but people can, and art can help us in the process.” For so long art and design has been used as an instrument for change and communication. Imagery and symbols provoke thoughts and emotions, in other words, reactions that can help bring social change. 

So much of what is happening in our world is wrong and saddening. For this reason, we want to be relevant, current, and responsible with our gifts and talents and our very lives. One of the most recent tragedies moving our heart is the outbreak of violence in Myanmar that has spurred a massive refugee crisis, forcing more than 500,000 terrified Rohingya refugees to flee to Bangladesh. What hurts our heart the most about this crisis is the children, as young as 4, getting separated and lost in the exodus.

These events are critical and needing the response of caring people worldwide. As artists who bear the name of Christ, we are compelled to use visual language to be influencers for God’s Kingdom of grace and love by bringing awareness of this current tragedy. Please join us in praying for the Rohingya who have lost their homes. 

This image painted by Nancy is a reminder for you to pray for the hurting, displaced, and those fleeing religious persecution. For more information and how you can provide practical help, visit: help.rescue.org/donate/choose-humanity#

(Puerto Rico is also heavily in our hearts and we encourage prayers and assistance for them too. If you would like to support us in bringing Gods truth, beauty, and goodness in creative ways please donate HERE.)

...let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. ~ 1 John 3:18

Start of a good Summer

Kingdom Camp

Our June 2017 Kingdom Camp was an absolute blast!  Kids, 9-14 yrs old, learned the process of creating stories, characters, and even a little animation. Everyone received their own blank book in which to begin their story making and illustrating skills. Some of the kids wrote their story complete with a hero, a villain, a sidekick, and an overcoming trial. They analyzed characters from different books and movies, however the most epic true story we looked to for inspiration was that of Jesus, our loving Hero who will do anything to rescue his bride, the Church.


Exploring South America

Thanks to the generous support of Cumberland Community Church and the proceeds from after school programs and summer camps, we were able to take a long awaited exploratory trip to Ecuador and Peru. It was a sweet time of connecting with family members, the culture, and the land (with a little stomach trouble here and there). We were able to visit local churches and ministries to better understand spiritual climates and ministry needs. Freedom met with pastors from La Fuente church in Quito and City Church in Lima and also visited an all girls home that houses children who have been in abusive and at-risk situations. It is our hope to continue sowing into these ministry connections and we are praying for long-term partnerships. Later this summer, Nancy and Joshua will be heading to Nicaragua with a team to bless a ministry called Rayo de Sol. Please pray for us as we seek the Lord en Español!


Open Studio 1st & 3rd Saturdays

Parents, do you have a budding artist? A curious tinkerer? A kid with creative sparks and no outlet? Starting in August consider bringing your son or daughter to Cumberland Community Church on the 1st & 3rd Saturday of each month for Open Studio art sessions, from 4:30pm - 6pm. Mr. Freedom is an amazing illustrator and he will be teaching kids ages 10 - 14. This is open to all skill levels and is especially great for kids who are interested in learning to draw comic book or anime characters. There will be plenty of experience with a variety of media, styles, and art techniques. There is always a chance for some out of the box projects as well (ex. leather working, spray painting, woodworking, sculpting, and more). If you are a recurring monthly supporter of our ministry at $30/month you can join us for our Open Studio time at no extra cost. Otherwise, it's $40/month. Here's the link to support: https://actintl.givingfuel.com/asi-support


And last but not least, ArtServe has joined forces with Artists in Christian Testimony International (A.C.T. Intl). A.C.T. Intl exists to mobilize and equip artistic and innovative ministries and missionaries (like us) for Christian work around the world. This is very big news because they will help with the coaching, accountability, organization, non-profit status, and administrative systems that we'll need to move forward in ministry. All future financial support for ArtServe can be given through A.C.T. Intl.


The Past Few Months

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MINI MASTERS was a wonderful 8 week long after school art program in partnership with The Stonehaven School. Each week we learned about a famous artist and painted one of their masterpieces. This was a technical, challenging, and enriching program that brought great rewards for our students, grades Kindergarten through Third. They worked with acrylic paint weekly and in the end, they created their own materpiece. We were truly impressed with the determination these students showed and the skills they developed, but we always found way to have fun and relax.

SATURDAY ART SESSIONS at Cumberland Community Church has been a growing group of young artists. We try different creative things each week while teaching important principles, like perseverance.  This is especially important when you are developing confidence or when you make mistakes. We use challenges in creating art as powerful teaching moments for life and faith in Christ. Our takeaway verse: “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

CRE8IVE FEST '16

What a blast!  This month we celebrated our first year as a non-profit ministry with our Cre8ive Fest.  We served our guests and supporters with creative stations for all ages. There were craft tables, delicious treats, and a painting station where participants painted small worship banners. We showcased student artworks and auction items from local businesses and professional artists. We also took this opportunity to explain what our message is and why we exist as a ministry. In a nutshell, we offer faith enrichment and life-empowering art programs that share God’s love with all people. 

Through the Cre8ive Fest, we were able to raise $2470 towards our goal of $9200.  We are very thankful for the support of those who attend the event yet this was just the beginning of our year-end fundraising for 2017. We still have $6730 to go! And we need your help to bring God’s love to local and global communities in need. 

Here’s a breakdown of what we can do with your help:

  • Latin American Missions $3,500
  • Int’l (Art Camp) Scholarships (2 weeks) $2,250
  • Local (Art Camp) Scholarships (2 weeks) $2,250
  • After-School Art Program (10 sessions) $1,200 for under-funded public schools in Cobb County, GA.

Offering these creative, enrichment opportunities will lend way to deeper conversations about life, faith, and purpose. The art ministry we offer is our way of discipleship and helps to teach others about the love God gives us through Jesus.

Please prayerfully consider a generous year-end gift so that we can have a greater outreach in our local community and in Latin America. Visit artserveint.org/support to make a tax-deductible, life-changing gift today! And thank you.

A BIG THANK YOU TO OUR LOCAL DONORS

Naima Design

THE Stonehaven SCHOOL Student Artists

Barbara McGinity with Ink House Portraits

Donna Giordano Window Treatments

TARGET in CUMMING GEORGIA

Kamileon’s Kloset

Art’s Music Shop

Anicka Groff

Atlanta Eats

Lizard Thicket Boutique

Severin Garrett Health Coach

Carole Sewell Willey Yoga

Ali’s Cookies

Amy Beasley Gifts and Gatherings

A Classy Flea

N’Style Barbershop

EnviroScent

Cheesecake Factory

Marianna Hackney Piano and Voice Lessons

Fabrik East Cobb

Dr. Good Chiropractic by Jennifer Good

Collage Making Party

We had a wonderful time at the collage party inspiring friends to ponder the pieces of life that make them who they are and to discover the divine beauty that is in these pieces. It's amazing what happens when you're more intentional about your story. To think of yourself a little more deeply. And in a creative sense you begin to see the many ways you can express yourself. This is empowering.

July Review

July Painting Party Hosted by Shaun Martin (center)

July Painting Party Hosted by Shaun Martin (center)

July brought many wonderful and encouraging things into our lives. It began by a very informative and exciting time meeting with Artists In Christian Testimony in Nashville. This is an organization that ministers to artists who are called to the ministry in an out of the box way. It was wonderful to receive encouragement and counsel, as well as in depth teaching on our role as worshipers. It was a valuable experience that ended in prayer and exhortation in the gifts God has given us as well practical goal setting. We soaked in the wonderful hospitality of the folks in Nashville and were ready to jump into an art party for our dear friend Shaun Martin.

Shaun Martin has been such a blessing to us in spirit and in action. It was our privilege to celebrate her birthday with her by leading a painting for her guests. It was such a wonderful time! As usual, some participants start with trepidation but gradually ease into the flow of painting. God was faithful. He was gracious enough to show me the process of the painting and its meaning. 

We started filling the space of the canvas with one continuous line. This represents the life of the person, unique and expressive. We painted each section that was made with fun, bright colors. This represents child like faith. The next step was the kind that would make someone say, "it's ruined!" That makes it more fun, of course. I asked the crowd to use a dark, watery brown to paint to completely cover the canvas. The question was in the air, "Are you sure?" 

The answer was, "Trust me." The brown represented trials, hardship, darkness. God knows all about it and yet He allows it into each of our lives. The darkness, however, can never hide all the beauty of a child like faith. We gently wiped away the brown, acknowledging the fact that you can never wipe it off completely. As sad as that may sound, we realized that the brown toned all the bright colors down enough for us to bring in gold accents. This was the overarching element of hope. We began to retrace our continuous line with a bright gold pen. Without the brown, the gold would have competed with those bright colors and it would have appeared cluttered and without direction. It was the unmistakable example of how the Holy Spirit weaves God's glory into our lives and redeems it all! We were so blessed by this process and were able to pray with a couple of the guests about their needs. Here are a the verses that inspired the art:

"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." James 1:2-4
"So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord--who is the Spirit--makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image."
"Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. " 1 Corinthian 13:12

Article by Nancy Rordriguez