I am not the next Vincent Van Gogh, but I am capable of producing something for God’s glory, and so I paint. I am not a preacher, but I know God’s word, and so I share my heart. I am not a singer, but I have a voice, and so I worship. It really is just that simple; bring what you have.
God knew from the beginning that painting murals would be a popular thing this year, and so he sent us Colleague Taylor Haff -a creative with a beautiful talent for drawing and painting. Taylor was given the task to lead our mural projects for two local churches, and she rose to the occasion leading a group composed of church members, community members, and Abante team-mates with excellence. Read about the experience in her own words:
"For some time, I felt useless for the kingdom of God because I could not get up in front of a crowd to lead worship or preach. I would wonder, what do I have to offer? What talents do I have? I always wished that I had more to bring to the table. I wanted something tangible that I could point to, but God has been teaching me that ministry is so much more than we think. Jesus is showing me that I do have something to offer; we all do. At the beginning of my Abante Journey, I heard Pastor Roger Daniel say, “If you’re not doing what you’re gifted to do, you’re not doing what God is calling you to do.” At that moment, I realized that for a season in my life, I was so focused on the talents that I lacked, that I completely missed the ones that I do have.
I have loved art from a very young age, but it wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I finally used this talent as an outlet of worship. I took an art class that required a concentration, or a central theme chosen by the artist that would be incorporated into each art piece. I chose to make my concentration on the most personal and important thing in my life: my spiritual testimony. Throughout the course of the school year, I sat in a public-school class room and expressed my faith in Jesus freely and openly simply by putting pencil to paper.
I believe that God uniquely designed this Abante year for me, as he does every single year for each colleague. I bet you can guess what a constant theme has been all year. You guessed it: Art! In New Zealand, I was able to lead my Abante team to serve the local primary school on two separate art projects. South Korea has provided greater opportunities to glorify Jesus through my unique talents and passion. I had the humbling opportunity to lead two different mural painting projects. God not only provided the opportunities, but He also provided talented people to come along and be His hands and feet. One pastor told us how happy everyone was with the two walls which are “bringing life to the entire community.” We came to serve and yet we have been blessed. You can be sure that while God is using you, He is also transforming you.
I think that a lot of us believe the lie that unless you’re leading worship or preaching, you don’t have a talent worthy to be used for God’s glory, but the spirit gifts us with talents and qualities that are not limited to the two. For “If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact, God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? And the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor…” (1 Corinthians 12)."