"Julie, why do you paint the homeless and orphan?"
Beauty in Poverty, my current ministry has it's roots in Kenya, Africa in 2005, when I first felt the Lord leading me to start painting orphans. I knew I was to start taking photos of all the orphans I met, as well as the destitute children of the slums. I knew I was to open this calling up to orphans from ALL nations. In 2016, 11 years later, the Lord told me to add the homeless to this group of paintings. He desires to have paintings of His children in people's homes and businessses to show His perspective on those less fortunate. He wants people to see that we are ALL His children, and we all bleed the same blood. We have a common denominator - our humanity. He loves the homeless population, whether they caused their own demise, or just had a string of bad circumstances that landed them on the streets. As I meet these new homeless friends, the Lord shows me how to paint them in a positive light - highlighting their personalities and smiles. I don't want to focus on the negative aspect of their life, because if you look a little closer, under the surface, the light of their humanity shines through. When they begin talking about Jesus, their families, or their children, their eyes begin to smile. They are just as much human as you and I.
God's heart bleeds for them because He knows how much they need Him. His heart breaks for those 4-year old children of the slums that carry their 1-year old sibling around all day as they scavage for food. He sits with the homeless man in 7 degree weather on the freezing streets of Dallas. So you may ask yourself, "Why doesn't God do something about all this poverty and pain?" I believe this is where we come in. Those of us who are more fortunate. Even if we have very little to give, there is always something more we can do for others. I believe God expects us to be their advocate. He calls us to deliver the oppressed and to feed the poor. We must not look at the enormity of the issue of poverty, but rather step up to do what we can do no matter how trivial it may seem. Give money, give time, give resources, anything to ease the pain and suffering. LOVE. Love them. Listen to them. Hold their hand. Be present. Let them feel the love of Jesus. Become an advocate for the ones who have no voice. Every orphan I have met just needs an advocate. I am only one person, but my life goal is to shine the light on the blight that is poverty. To show the BEAUTIFUL faces, in a permanent portrait, of the unfortunate of our society, and around the world. Would you join me?
50% of the proceeds will go to pay for arranged housing for the homeless, or go to help the costs of the orphanage who is raising that particular child.