Saturday, May 25, 2013


I've been in Kenya for 2 months now, and I have completed 3 mural projects that I want to share. I've been dividing my days between working at the children's home with the kids and working on paintings, so the progress has gone a little pole pole (slowly slowly) as they say here in Kenya. 
My first mural "assignment" was to create a painting of hope and empowerment in the Empowering Lives International training center dining hall. People from all over Kenya come to ELI to receive various types of training from agriculture to education and much more. I wanted to convey the message of God's promise to us that His love is always there, so I chose to illustrate this verse in Isaiah that has been an encouragement to me:

Isaiah 54:10
Though the mountains be shaken 
   and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you 
   will not be shaken

This is a power verse! I hope you will put it in your heart and carry it with you. 

One of the children's home kids and me painting waves

These girls loved helping with the sun rays 

The lettering part was tedious 


Once that wall was complete, I moved to the opposite wall in the dining hall and painted the ELI motto verse:

Ephesians 2:10

For you are God's workmanship,
  created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for you to do. 

World's most unstable ladder

More lettering

Finished wall #2!

It is my hope that when people take their meals at ELI, they will read these verses and be reminded of God's powerful love for his people, as well as his desire for us to take that love and spread it outward to others through our actions and our lives. I really enjoyed the challenge of painting for adults, and after I finished these two paintings, I got to jump into a new project that was more in my realm of expertise--painting cute animals for kids! 

So I traveled about 20 km away to a new village that ELI works in, and stayed there for 3 weeks working on a mural project at an elementary school. I was given free reign to transform the Pre-K classroom, and I had so much fun painting a wall to wall to wall to wall Noah's Ark complete with ridiculously cute animals marching two by two around the room. Since the kids were on holiday, they were able to watch me paint and even paint a bit themselves. I almost never worked without an audience! 

The classroom before painting

Finished classroom

The animals marching wawili wawili (two by two)

Painting with an audience takes getting used to 

Using a combo of paints I brought from home and paints from the local hardware store 

Getting some help with the turtles

Some of the kids sitting by their animal of choice

Look out for the nyoka! (snake)

Happy kids in their new classroom

Painting the classroom was hard work, but so exactly what I enjoy doing that every day ended with a sense of real satisfaction. 
There is a verse that sums up my experience painting during those 3 weeks at the school:

Ecclesiastes 2:24

A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil.
This, too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? 

I thank God at the end of each day for bringing me here to Kenya and allowing me to do work that makes my heart glad.