Updated: May 11
This year I decided to write a classic "Christmas letter," wherein I recount the happenings of the previous year and give a glimpse into the plans of the next. I printed this letter out and placed it into the hands of my family and into my church friends' mailboxes. I figured that it would also make for a good blog post. For those who didn't get a chance to receive it in person, this is for you. :)
This year’s theme verse: “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” (1 Cor. 4:20)
This year was an especially busy year for me. True to form, I had several different “job hats” that I juggled: I worked part time at MCC until April, while finishing up on a few illustration commissions: I finished my art ministry job “Moksh! 7 Stories,” I created a book for my Revelation Illustrations, plus three commissioned illustration jobs - track art for a rap album called “Without Ceasing,” a sweet little children’s book called “Merrigold’s Very Best Home,” an advent book called “Journey with Joseph through Advent,” and the fourth instalment of Auntie Kim’s “Mac Series,” called “Best Dog Ever!” I am currently in the process of helping a YWAM friend create a children’s Bible for Roma kids.
My 2022 Prayer
In the springtime I participated in the Lenten fast, during which I asked God to please call me back into missions, and he responded by giving me an opportunity to serve and speak at Bible camp. So for six weeks in the summer I was at Valley View, which was such a refreshing re-entry into ministry. I loved getting the chance to tell kids the gospel as well as the story of Gladys Aylward, an amazing missionary who served in China. But more than that, I loved getting the chance to set aside some time towards serving God. I hope to continue to serve by speaking at camp next year, too!
After summer was over, I celebrated my 30th birthday and began to prepare to speak at Millar College of the Bible for a week long module called “Visual Art: Using Creativity to Serve God.” As I prepared to go, I felt certain that Something Cool was going to happen while I was there - I had a sense of impending change.
Teaching at Millar was a wonderful experience. I love the topic (art and faith) I loved getting to know my students, and I loved reconnecting with Millar, a place that will always hold a special place in my heart. I thought perhaps the “Something Cool” that I was anticipating might be a future of speaking at Millar more regularly. Maybe that might still happen, but soon after I found another “Something Cool” that superseded the first one.
After my teaching week I spent another week in Saskatchewan on a “tour de friends,” visiting pals of mine I hadn’t seen in a long time. While visiting my friend Natasha I discovered that she was in process to becoming a missionary. I jokingly declared, “Well! We should go together!”
After the laughter died down I then had a serious thought. Since returning to Canada in 2019 I’ve asked God if he wanted to send me back to the mission field many times, but no opportunities ever came up. Serving at camp reminded me of how much I love telling the gospel. Was this actually an open door?
So I decided to take it seriously, follow Natasha, and apply to join the same org she's joining (email me if you're curious about the details!). I quickly was accepted to the orientation program in Hamilton, Ontario, which is where I am writing this from! I'll be there until April 21. I look forward to hearing God’s voice during this time. Who knows where he’ll lead?
Now that I'm here in Hamilton and enjoying the newness of this adventure, I'm full of confidence and joy for the upcoming season! But as I've prepared to come here, I’ve actually been quite nervous about this new step. These past two years I have struggled to find my focus (though of course art has always been the main thing), and have lost some confidence in my own decision making skills. Am I making the right choice? In addition to this anxiety, I am facing missions without the rose-coloured glasses of ignorance. I know that mission work is a big sacrifice, because I’ve done it before. It’s scary to face the homesickness, the physical discomfort, the isolation, and the hardships of mission work.
However, I did learn a lesson during my Lenten fast that helps me look towards missions. I was reading in Tozer’s “From the Grave,” in which he likened fasting to a person entering a dark mine in order to find jewels within.
“But there is another kind of suffering [apart from natural suffering like grief, disappointment, poverty, etc], known only to the Christian: it is voluntary suffering deliberately and knowingly incurred for the sake of Christ. Such is a luxury, a treasure of fabulous value, a source of riches beyond the power of the mind to conceive. And it is rare as well as precious, for there are few in this decadent age who will of their own choice go down into this dark mine looking for jewels. But of our own choice it must be, for there is no other way to get down.” (A.W. Tozer: “From the Grave” Chapter 3)
I want to learn this lesson of fasting - giving up the pleasures of today for the treasures of tomorrow. I want to move from simply talking about the kingdom of God to experiencing the power of the Kingdom of God. May the Lord help me walk past my own distractions and anxieties to experience his Sure Hope on the other side.
(To get more details on my future plans, email me @ email@example.com and I’ll get you on my newsletter!)