Laurie-Ann became an art teacher at Worcester’s MasterPeace Academy in January 2018. She found it puts her on the edge in creating new art, as well as teaching different styles to the students. Our current students are Khanyo and Mpho from Zweletemba township, although new students will join our school, MasterPeace Academy in July 2018. Khanyo is very gifted in art and she has hopes for him. L-A spent four weeks in art history powerpoint presentations, which included styles through the ages, and then Christian prophetic art in many of those same styles. When I asked the boys who their favourites were, Khanyo said he liked Akiane, an artist who painted a vision of Jesus she had at age 8. Mpho told me that L-A was his favourite artist! Four years ago, L-A received a prayer impression that sje would teach art to African children. We are so glad this is happening! Yet there is more to come!
We’ve been in South Africa for seven months now. Since we’ve been here, Laurie-Ann has completed two brand new drawings, and she finished four started in Canada or the US. L-A also recently sold a drawing she drew in South Africa two years ago. As she was working on the black lines of another drawing, she had a very strong creative urge that she should scan the drawings once she had finished the lines, but before she added the colour. L-A was to led to give the children scanned copies of the drawings so they could colour them in instead. She finished the lines on two complicated drawings – one that she started in Redding, California. The second was drawn during worship at the local YWAM base in Worcester. This one was special. L-A began drawing an impression from a worship song called “Revelation Song,” before the worship team actually sang it. Both drawings have been a hit with the unruly farm kids in Vinkrivier, the township kids in Avian Park, and our boys at the school. Here’s what they look like without colour:
L-A's plan is to combine more of these worship drawings in a Christian worship colouring book for children. So far, there are seven drawings. L-A needs to start new drawings (after she colours in the current drawings).
These past five months have been a really creative time! There is something special about what happens when children begin colouring these drawings. It becomes not just colouring, but an act of worship! We discovered this first with the farm kids. That day, our regular leader was away on outreach, so this left Tony, L-A and two friends to handle thirty farm kids. At least five of these kids have fetal alcohol syndrome and just do what they want to do. They scream. They disrupt worship. They don’t listen. So this day, none of the kids wanted to sing worship songs. One quarter of them wanted to listen to me share an interactive talk. The same number joined in limbo dancing with us. The others ignored us. Yet, when L-A pulled out her drawings, ALL of them drew. Every single one of them! They were quiet for over 45 minutes! We were stunned, and L-A remembers thinking, “what’s going on here??” The Vinkrivier farm kids are shown in the top photo gallery - they are the montage to the right.
So then L-A shared the drawings with our boys at MasterPeace Academy. She asked Khanyo if her drawings would make a good colouring book. He agreed that they would, and he eagerly wanted to get to work on one of her drawings. Since these pictures were taken, the boys are now working on another two drawings.
Then we shared the two drawings with the kids in the Avian Park township. This was a larger group, who had no access to art supplies, so we also had to buy them crayons. They also got to work on the drawings, although they were less quiet than their farm kids counterparts. L-A believes we should do this once a month with the different kids clubs. We've done this twice with the Avian Park kids for My Father's House Worcester. We’ve yet to share this with the Riverview club, since we meet outdoors and it’s getting cold.
We think we're on the edge of something special here. L-A can feel that something new will come out of this. And what she also loves is, she can be singing along with great worship music while she draws (but meanwhile, there are lots of other tasks to work on as well, so this is a process). God never wastes the things in our lives, once we give them to him. He’s been combining L-A's art, writing and radio. The next area is the counselling and pastoral care, although she's had some times of that when she least expects it. May the God of surprises also surprise you. He's bigger than we think he is!
Love and blessings,
PS Below is the finished version of "Wine from the Heart of the Trinity." Yes, it is available for purchase, unframed (if you are local in Worcester, Robertson or Cape Town.
Tony and Laurie-Ann Copple are Canadian missionaries and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
48 Hooggelegen, Langerug, Worcester 6850 Western Cape, South Africa
Johan and Marie Fourie, Iris Western Cape Base, PO Box 765, Robertson 6705 Western Cape, South Africa