Can Artists Be Effective Evengelists?

Hungary, Spring 2005 By G. Carson

In conjuction with OM Hungary, a team of 6 artists mostly from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, spent their Spring Break ministering among a gypsy community in the village of Ofalu. This was a joint project between OM Hungary (OVM Operation Village Mission) and the Erd Ofalu church plant team.

The artists held art workshops daily in OM Hungary's newly acquired ministry center. The village of Ofalu is an area near OM's base that is predominantly inhabited by gypsies, a people group that have long suffered discrimination. What a witness for the gypsy people to see others reaching out to them in acceptance and love, and in such a creative way. Children filled the ministry center's rooms daily, learning the basics about art, photography and most importantly, the Gospel. "Trying to figure out how effective an artist and art can be, I went not knowing and I came back realizing art can definitely be effective for evangelism" shared David, an outreach participant and Moody Bible Institute Student.

The art team's mornings were spent working on a mural in the main room of the ministry center where future evangelistic and discipleship meetings will take place. In just a couple of days, the artists turned a blank wall into an inspiring mural depicting the transformation from a world of darkness to light. As Jon, an outreach particpant stated, "It was neat to be able to serve in this way, that there is now something left there that we did...and in a sense it is a constant serving, even though we aren't there, God is using what we made for the people there."

In addition to the workshops and the mural, OM Hungary had their wish fulfilled to have their bookmobile painted. This bookmobile will cover a lot of mileage throughout the country as it travels around to remote villages distributing Christian literature. What a bonus to have something that will attract and inspire people visually. Vicki, one of the participants said, "This experience was freeing in many ways. Before, when I had done any art at all, there was a sense of not wanting to let it go because it was an important part of me. If I did let go, I wanted to be able to get something from it; but, to go there, do this kind of work, see God give me the skill for it and just walk away was really kind of cool... because we didn't just do it for us, we did it for the people there."

More Trip Reports