When I was in Zimbabwe in the fall of 2009, staying at Morning Star Farm, I was able to go into a few schools with my mom and the missionaries we were staying with and tell some Bible stories and sing with the kids and teachers, and do a few craft projects.
Those craft projects were life-changing. As I sat in a little classroom with twice as many students as we'd expected, frantically trying to create more supplies for them, the principal and 2 teachers sat down to help as well. I noticed that only a few children were able to complete the project without assistance from an adult (kids in Zimbabwe don't get to do art projects every day like American kids do, and what they were working on was a little complicated).
The principal leaned over to me after awhile. "This little boy next to me, everyone thinks he is slow, because all he does in class is draw zeros. All the teachers, everyone thinks he is not smart. But look, he did that whole thing by himself!"
For me, in many ways, the value of that entire trip is wrapped up in the fact that one little boy in Sigiti Primary School proved himself worthy, by making a butterfly kite all by himself. He is smart, just not the way other people were expecting him to be.
And that's what art does. It opens doors. It sheds light on potential that might otherwise have been ignored. It gives people new ways to see and hear and do and live.
Which is why I'm going back.
I'll actually be in Africa for at least 6 weeks this fall, mostly staying at Morning Star with Chris & Norma Ferguson as they seek to make their "Green Island Vision" a reality. More on that elsewhere. But at the end of my stay, I will be joined by a few friends, and we will go into the schools and do theatre & art and hopefully share in some light as we love on these kids in Jesus' name.
If you are interested in donating to our cause or to Morning Star, contact me. And above all, pray for us. Thank you, friends.