In memory of Congolese displaced women.
Today I am posting four paintings that will go to our church auction. All proceeds go to World Relief Congo. Violence and conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been prevalent for many years. My church, Fellowship Missionary, has made a commitment for the last few years to come along side of World Relief and provide prayers and funding to help these troubled people. We have been a part of training peace builders among the tribes. By we, I mean the people at my church and World Relief. We pray all
year for the displaced women of the Congo. Many of our members train for the Race for Peace and solicit funds from sponsors. The monies go to World Relief to provide more counselors for teaching ways of resolving personal battles and ministering to the tormented and abused women. Over five million Congolese have been killed and slaughtered since 1996. Seventy-five per cent of the population lives on less than $1 a day. My heart is heavy and burdened for the people of DR Congo.
As I paint Congo scenes, the women, the surrounding tropical trees, it is as if I am stepping into their land and seeing individuals that become real to me. God has given me a dream for three successive years and shown me what I should paint to raise funds. This year was no exception. He showed me three women praising, and hope rose as they praised and prayed.
I enjoyed painting a stylistic portrait of the three gathered in praise. This is a different style for me. Friends have asked me who are the ladies that I paint? I don’t know how to answer. The ladies live in the canvas and when I apply paint and prayer, they appear. Now, sometimes I have to repaint if I get a color wrong or a body part out of proportion, but I never tire of painting. I am as surprised as the viewer with the end result. God gives me the design and image, but I must create His vision on the canvas. It is like living on the edge of paradise. His call, his gift, and the Holy Spirit leading creates these images. Putting our gifts together for the kingdom of God is what Race for Peace and Create4 Peace is celebrating.
The woman sitting alone at the graveside appears somber. Yet, there is hope rising in her. Mysteriously, the MP3 laid down their arms last year. After four years of intense praying, we heard the news report that for an unexplained reason they would no longer fight. The warmongers stopped raping and attacking after years of violence in the DR Congo. The woman in the painting has buried her loved one and is not being hunted or accosted by the MP3. As she grieves for her loved one, she is sitting quietly finding hope in her future.
The two figures carrying something on their heads represent hope rising too. Hope is slowly rising in the Congo. Peacemakers hired and trained with our race and art proceeds are helping tribes resolve problems. Life journeys are still sacrificial and difficult, but hope is welling up in individuals.
The small map is a prayer map. The woman stands in the midst of the Congo. She sees a beautiful sky and knows that life is getting better. The keeper of this prayer map is reminded to pray daily for the women of the Congo. Pray for healing of memories, emotions, and losses. This map was created on a small four by six canvas, so it can sit on a desk or table and be a daily reminder to pray for our brothers and sisters in the Congo.
I submit these art pieces and continued prayers that my sisters in the Congo may know peace and hope. Pray with me that these art pieces will bring a hefty price at our silent auction. These funds will be added to the funds of World Relief Congo.