This year Jim has challenged our team and visitors to dig into the Word and find our identity as God speaks it.
The desire for identity is not unique to one individual, but a need for everyone. Everyone has asked themselves, ‘Who am I?’ at some point in their lives. We know that as teenagers and preteens this desire for identity is stronger than ever in their lives and hitting them at a pivotal time. Our desire for our kids is the same one we have for ourselves, that they reflect on God’s word and find in it the answers to their questions. ‘Who am I?’ Well, what does God say? We know that a firm identity is rooted in the truths found in the Bible.
We were able to expand on this idea through a self-portrait project. Our friend Eden was at EA for a few days and she led the kids in a workshop, first teaching them how to draw their faces, position their facial features, then how to add details using paint, picking their own skin color and decorating according to what styles and colors they liked.
In the process of this project we got to see many of our kids find a love for art, a desire to draw and paint, and many got to find the simple joy in self-expression. The only guidelines for this project were that each one was to draw a self-portrait. No one was told they had to do it a certain way. Because of the simple instructions, each child was able to draw themselves as they are and see the beauty in creating something, finding the beauty in themselves.
These self-portraits now hang above the sinks in our public bathrooms. Every day our kids pass by and get to look at their own artwork and take joy in the finished work of their hands. They get to find their own faces and see the collective beauty in the final mural.
Thank you, Eden for your guidance in this project. We could not be more pleased with the final result.