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When I visited India back in 2012, I got to meet the orange-clad man featured in this wonderful Aradhna music video. He and other workers we met in India were instrumental in introducing me to the concept of a contextual approach to telling the Good News story to different cultures. I received sad news today that he just passed away from COVID. I was talking with my project partner for my current Patreon project, and musing about what might have happened to the other people in India that I got to meet on that formidable trip nine years ago.
"There was this couple, they had a beautiful little son, and we played volleyball in their back yard with a bunch of kids from the neighbourhood... I wish I could remember their names, but I've often wondered if they're still living in India or not." I said.
"Wait... Kyla... That was US!"
And lo and behold, she was right! Nine years ago she and her husband hosted our team and we painted a mural depicting a river of living water on a wall of their garden. How funny, then, that we've been working on this India-style animation project together since the beginning of 2020 and neither one of us recognized the other until today!
This chance recognition of each other was such a gift of God to me. It linked my overseas life to my Manitoba life in such a neat way. In other words, I can see now that what God started in my heart nine years ago is still growing - it hasn't died away or been cut off because of me getting older or moving back home.
"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." (Phil. 1:6)
In looking back at some of my journal entries from that time, I can see that I felt a huge sense of urgency to arrive in God's plan for my life. To be at the finish line instead of mid-race. Every decision felt like it might be the last ultimate decision of my life.
Journal Excerpts from my DTS: "Well God. I would like some more peace on my decision on where I should go. Praise You! You know where I’ll go before I go there and You have great plans for me! I’m excited to do your will. I think you’re calling me to India. I felt like that name really popped out at me when [the location options] were revealed. And I’ve sort of assumed that that’s where I’m going. I want to make sure it’s You who’s calling me and not me who’s calling me." "Dear Lord, give me a love for spreading the word. <3 Kyla I want to be excited about [global efforts to represent the Good News of God]! I have been called to [this work], but what does that mean for me? What is God up to? What am I doing? Where should I go? Should I just rest? What’s my calling?"
I love that God didn't exclude me from this adventure because of my youth or immaturity. And now, looking back, I can see the bigger picture of my adult life so far stretched out behind me. I can see that if I hadn't chosen India back then, (regardless of if I was Called there specifically or not!) I wouldn't have ended up able to do the Moksh project today. I feel assured today that this series of decisions will be a strong river bringing life to dry places, not a trickle that dries up or collects in a dirty puddle.
What is my calling? What is our calling? Day by day, to clear paths for God's streams of Living Water to wash over us. My prayer is that my Life River will continue to grow in strength and volume, while the more noxious bogs and grottos of my life eventually get cut off and become abandoned. And that where my life river flows, it'll be a help to the people I encounter.
Holy river after river, You ease my suffering mind. You ease my suffering mind. Water pours into these wastelands; Your streams in a desert dry.
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