Kristen Paquette: To Be the Hands and the Feet of Jesus

As I prepare for Guatemala, I have been reflecting on my past experiences that have led me to be the Hands and Feet of Jesus. It is hard to believe that the trip is fast approaching. In the midst of excitement, I often feel anxious and I find myself in a panic. During the moments that panic sets in, God reminds me that He has equipped me with knowledge and the skills to go on this trip. These are the seeds that have been planted in my heart.

Recently, during a moment of panic, I realized that I have a heart of compassion and a heart that breaks for Guatemalans. Ever since I took a sociology course while I was attending college. Remember, this was 9 plus years ago and I still vividly remember watching a video in Developmental Sociology. The video captured children that were living on the street and as a method of survival they resorted to “huffing” any type of aerosol products they could get their hands on. After all these years, that image has always vividly remained in my memory. Then as time went on, my friends Scott and Amelia Moore adopted two handsome sons from Guatemala and started the nonprofit organization Athentikos. As I followed their posts about the I Am Art trips, something resonated within me.

I would of never thought my first overseas mission trip would include me teaching an art workshop to adolescent girls. I always imagined my first overseas mission trip would be to Sierra Leone, Africa with a medical team and during the trip I would be administering vaccines, conducting HIV testing, and working in the maternity clinic. Naturally this makes since. Right? I do have experience as a public health nurse and this is within my comfort level. Then God kindly reminds me that my preconceived ideas of my first overseas mission trip was my plan and not His. God really does has a sense of humor.

I also get reminded of the importance of art in my own life and how it has helped aid healing during the most difficult times. In the midst of anxiety and panic, God gently reminds me that art is a big part of my own life. From childhood until I graduated from College in 2006, I was a dancer and taught dance classes. Then as I started my career as a Registered Nurse I stopped dancing as a profession. However, I am all about impromptu dance parties (just saying). In 2008 my husband and I attended professional ballroom dance classes to prepare for our first dance at our wedding reception that we hoped would “wow” our guests. As a child I grew up in an art filled home. My mom taught me at an early age how to cross stitch. She was a “crafter” and often had a booth at craft shows. I remember watching her “craft” which stirred up my own interest. I would often get in trouble for raiding her craft room and leaving it a mess as I attempted to create my own masterpieces. As I grew older I learned to knit, scrapbook, make jewelry and sew. To be honest I find myself working with all kinds of art mediums. For me, the sky is the limit. I have realized that I resort to my art hobbies during times of joy such as making a baby blanket for a co-worker to celebrate a birth. During times of sadness I make items that remind me of a loved one that has passed away. Art is apart of who I am and God has reminded me that, “No Kristen, not every Guatemalan is an artisan and yes, you have the skills you need to teach them a art workshop.”

During my moments of fear and panic, God reminds me that I have a heart that breaks for adolescent girls and I especially love mentoring to middle schoolers. For the past year, I have helped out with youth ministry at my church. These middle schoolers have won over my heart. I have a small group of middle school girls I meet with every Sunday morning. I have learned a lot from them and they bless my heart each and every week. So of course this is another way God has gently reminded me. “Duh, Kristen. Yes, it makes perfect sense for you to go on a mission trip to Guatemala to work with adolescent girls.”

I am filled with so many emotions in regards to my upcoming trip. During my moments of panic and feeling of inadequacy, I am reminded of the moments that have already given me the skills and knowledge needed to go on this trip to Guatemala. I am so excited and I cannot wait to see what God has in store for the girls at Oasis Home and the I Am Art Mission Team. Please keep all of us in your thoughts and prayers as we prepare for this amazing journey where we get to be the Hands and Feet of Jesus.

Kerrah Pyper

As we continue to raise funds and awareness for the upcoming 2015 I AM ART camps, we would like to introduce our team members. The first team member we will introduce is Kerrah Pyper, a recent graduate who has decided to take a leap of faith with Athentikos and CTM, contributing her skills and time to the fulfillment of the I AM ART initiative. Kerrah will be a part-time intern with Athentikos for the next year. During her time in Guatemala, she will assist to facilitate four of our I AM ART camps. So if you are on one of our teams this next year, you will get to meet her! Here’s what she has to say:

Pyper_Kerrah_Athentikos_Intern

Where are you from? What do you love about this area?

I am from Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a small city in southwestern Michigan. I love that I have the freedom and opportunities to live out my Christian faith in this community and I love that this city is filled with people I love, including my friends and my family.

Where did you go to school? What was your major(s)? Why did you choose this? What is one fun memory from college?

I graduated from Calvin College this past spring (May 2015) with two majors: Spanish Education and Art Education. I choose to study both art and Spanish because I have been intrigued by both my whole life. I love the process of making art and also enjoy the process of learning new languages and cultures.

A great memory from my time at Calvin was spent abroad on month-long education trip last January to Mérida, México. In Mérida, I lived with an amazing host family that treated me like their own daughter. I had a wonderful time, learning about Mexican culture, forming relationships with my host parents and siblings, and practicing my Spanish.

What is your art focus or favorite form of art?

I am primarily focused on ceramics and painting. I especially love to make pottery on the wheel. But honestly, I love all forms of creative art.

You have been in Guatemala a week now, what has been the most interesting thing you have seen? What have you enjoyed most about Guatemala? Where do you hope to travel while you are there?

After being in Guatemala for a week, the most interesting and conflicting thing I have seen are the slums in and outside of the garbage dump. I have never seen anything like them before in my life, and it was definitely and new perspective for me of how many people in Guatemala live and survive.

I have enjoyed learning about the Guatemalan culture and exploring the beauty of Lake Atitlan which is situated in the middle of three large volcanos.

I hope to travel to Antigua because I have heard that it is a beautiful city.

Where is the most unique place you have traveled other then Guatemala?

Costa Rica would [be] one of the many unique places I have traveled. I spent a month with a group trekking through the jungle and white water kayaking. Costa Rica is unique in its beauty. Never have I been to a place so beautiful.

What drew you to serve in Guatemala? How will you be using your gifts/ passion/ talents in Guatemala?

A few months ago I was asking God to show me what He wanted me to do with my college degree in Spanish and art after graduation. This past February I received my answer. A missionary from Guatemala, Joel Van Dyke, came to speak at our church. He shared a need for someone who is passionate about art, speaks Spanish, and who is graduating this year to work with the I AM ART camps in Guatemala. When I heard this, I felt that God was calling me to join Him in this new initiative. In Guatemala, I will be using my artistic and Spanish language abilities to help work for the I AM ART camps provided by Athentikos and I will also be working for an organization called Guatemaltecos Extraordinarios in Zone 3 in Guatemala.

You will be an intern connected to the CTM ministry. What are you looking forward to learning and growing through CTM?

I am looking forward to learning more about what it means to serve in another country. CTM will provide me with theological training every Friday and through this I will have the ability to question and eventually solidify my own theological beliefs. I am excited to grow as a Christian leader and servant through my time at CTM.

You will be serving in Zone 3. Tell us a little of the program there and how you will be serving?

I will be working for an organization called Guatemaltecos Extraordinarios (GE) in Zone 3 that is situated in the slums right next to the large garbage dump of the city. GE provides a school for the kids of the community that have been expelled from the other schools in the area. This school works at providing an education for these at-risk youth so that they can overcome the situation they have been born into. Since violence, crime, abandonment and abuse are very present in this area, GE works to allow the youth to express their pain, but also have a place to come where they will always be loved and accepted. I will be serving this organization in any way that they see fit and I also look forward to teaching the youth how to use visual art as a form of expressing emotions, feelings, and ideas.


 

Kerrah Pyper will be volunteering on both I Am Art camps this fall (Casa Bernabe & Oasis). We look forward to getting to know Kerrah in person and having her on board this amazing and wonderful journey!

I AM ART Spring 2016

Athentikos I AM ART Spring 2016

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”20″ font_weight=”inherit” font_style=”inhert” letter_spacing=”0″ margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]

Announcing I AM ART Spring 2016

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Are you passionate about creativity? Do you paint, write, draw, dance, sculpt, sew, act, sing, perform … etc? Do you have creative media skills in video, audio, or photography? Are you interested in using your talents to make a difference? I AM ART is an opportunity to use your creativity in transformative community.

[/vc_column_text][mk_padding_divider size=”20″][mk_image src=”https://athentikos.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/art-icons_grey.png” image_width=”800″ image_height=”150″ crop=”false” svg=”false” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″][mk_padding_divider size=”20″][mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”20″ font_weight=”inherit” font_style=”inhert” letter_spacing=”0″ margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]

Creativity As Mission

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Athentikos will equip you to teach creative workshops to at-risk children, and document transformational stories in photo and video. You don’t have to be a professional. Bring your skills, and passion to use them with purpose. Invite your friends and join the journey of transformation! Connect to the greater story, exercising the gifts you love!

[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/1″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

Athentikos is recruiting team members for I AM ART Spring 2016 in Guatemala.  We are partnering with Proximos Pasos, who will host an I AM ART camp at their facility. Space is limited and applications will be selected in the order they are received.

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Still have questions?

Watch the highlight video from I AM ART Fall 2014.

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I AM ART Spring 2016 Guatemala TRIP

[/mk_fancy_title][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/1″][mk_content_box heading=”Proximos Pasos”][mk_image src=”https://athentikos.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/proximoslogo.jpg.w180h94.jpg” image_width=”150″ image_height=”350″ crop=”false” svg=”false” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

March 4 – March 13, 2016

A school for 160 girls who are unable to attend public school due to extreme poverty and cultural prejudice.[/vc_column_text][/mk_content_box][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/1″][mk_padding_divider size=”20″][mk_slideshow_box images=”5824,5549,6082,5190,5612,5714,5716,6088,5718,5514,5556,6087,5605,5487,6084,6083,5550,5547,5558,5539,5439,5254,5191,5528,5557,6085″ img_position=”left top” slideshow_speed=”3000″ transition_speed=”1000″ slideshow_mask=”false” section_height=”400″ full_height=”false” full_width_cnt=”false” padding_top=”10″ padding_bottom=”10″]
[/mk_slideshow_box][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner attached=”true” padding=”3″ el_class=”grey-row-bg”][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″ css=”.vc_custom_1430404984303{background-color: #f6f6f6 !important;}”][mk_icon_box2 icon_type=”icon” icon_size=”32″ icon=”mk-moon-brain” title=”Training” title_size=”20″ title_weight=”inherit” title_top_padding=”10″ title_bottom_padding=”10″ align=”left”]

Prior to the trip, Athentikos will meet with you personally and in community with other I AM ART team members to equip you with everything you need to use creativity in mission including:

  • Explore your story and evaluate how it connects to the Greater Story
  • Understand the cultural and spiritual context of the trip
  • Introduce you to other like-minded creatives from North America and Guatemala to foster community
  • Develop and implement a fundraising plan using our media and crowd-funding platform
  • Promote your trip through strategic social media
  • Prepare lesson plans for a 5 day workshop using our curriculum guide
  • Research and pre-produce stories for short documentaries
  • Select the right media gear for international production
  • Pack strategically for a short-term mission trip

[/mk_icon_box2][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″ css=”.vc_custom_1430339043215{background-color: #f6f6f6 !important;}”][mk_icon_box2 icon_type=”icon” icon_size=”32″ icon=”mk-moon-airplane” title=”Trip Schedule” title_size=”20″ title_weight=”inherit” title_top_padding=”10″ title_bottom_padding=”10″ align=”left”]I AM ART trips are life changing, creative, cultural, and spiritual journeys.

  • Friday – Travel to Guatemala and spend the night in Antigua, a 500 year old Spanish Colonial City surrounded by three volcanoes.
  • Saturday – Get to know team members, explore, and spend another night in Antigua
  • Sunday – Travel to the I AM ART Camp location, meet with local leaders, and prepare the facility for the week-long camp
  • Monday-Thursday – Attend large group sessions, Teach small group session workshops to at-risk youth, and spend time with Artist Team Members from North America and Guatemala
  • Friday – Prepare for a celebratory art show and visit the surrounding community to get a cultural understanding of the children’s lives
  • Saturday – Celebrate the week’s achievement in an Art Show with youth and community
  • Sunday – Return home or travel on an optional excursion in Guatemala

[/mk_icon_box2][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner attached=”false” padding=”0″][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][mk_icon_box2 icon_type=”icon” icon_size=”32″ icon=”mk-icon-money” title=”Cost” title_size=”20″ title_weight=”inherit” title_top_padding=”10″ title_bottom_padding=”10″ align=”left”]

$1800 + airfare
INCLUDES: Training, materials, food & lodging for 10 days, transportation in country, insurance, admin (ask us about using airline miles).

[/mk_icon_box2][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][mk_icon_box2 icon_type=”icon” icon_size=”32″ icon=”mk-moon-megaphone” title=”Fundraising” title_size=”20″ title_weight=”inherit” title_top_padding=”10″ title_bottom_padding=”10″ align=”left”]

Athentikos is a 501c3 non-profit and can accept tax-deductible donations on your behalf. In addition, all I AM ART team members are offered a personal crowd-funding campaign through our web site. We’ll coach you through the fundraising process and provide the resources you need to communicate your opportunity to grow and serve.

[/mk_icon_box2][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][mk_icon_box2 icon_type=”icon” icon_size=”32″ icon=”mk-icon-calendar” title=”Payment Schedule” title_size=”20″ title_weight=”inherit” title_top_padding=”10″ title_bottom_padding=”10″ align=”left”]– $150 non-refundable deposit is due on Saturday, October 25, 2015 after official teams are announced.
– Total Cost ($1800 + airfare) is due on Friday, December 11, 2015.
– Team members may continue to raise funds until 10 days after the trip end date to recoup any personal funds paid on theDecember 11, 2015 Deadline.
– After the I AM ART trip, when financial balances are settled, Athentikos will reimburse any funds up to the total cost, personally submitted by team members to make up for fundraising shortages on December 11, 2015 when total cost was due.
[/mk_icon_box2][mk_padding_divider size=”40″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/1″][mk_custom_box border_width=”1″ bg_color=”#f6f6f6″ bg_position=”left top” bg_repeat=”repeat” bg_stretch=”false” padding_vertical=”30″ padding_horizental=”20″ margin_bottom=”10″ min_height=”100″][mk_font_icons icon=”mk-moon-stopwatch” size=”x-large” margin_horizental=”4″ margin_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”https://Athentikos.com/iamart/application” target=”_blank” color=”#0a0a0a”][mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”25″ font_weight=”inherit” font_style=”inhert” letter_spacing=”0″ margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]

Space is limited. Sign up today …

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Join creativity in mission! If you have any questions, please email us.[/vc_column_text][mk_button dimension=”flat” corner_style=”rounded” size=”large” outline_skin=”dark” outline_active_color=”#ffffff” outline_hover_color=”#333333″ bg_color=”#dd3333″ btn_hover_bg=”#252525″ text_color=”light” icon_anim=”none” url=”https://athentikos.com/iamart/i-am-art-application-spring-2016/” target=”_self” align=”left” fullwidth=”false” button_custom_width=”0″ margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”15″]

Register for I AM ART Spring 2016

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Register for I AM ART 2015

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REGISTER for I AM ART 2015

[/mk_fancy_title][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]Are you passionate about creativity? Do you paint, write, draw, dance, sculpt, sew, act, sing, perform … etc? Do you have creative media skills in video, audio, or photography? Are you interested in using your talents to make a difference? I AM ART is an opportunity to use your creativity in transformative community. It’s a “conference meets mission trip” designed specifically for creatives.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/1″][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/KrhNKgtpMl4″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][mk_padding_divider size=”20″][mk_image src=”https://athentikos.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/art-icons_grey.png” image_width=”800″ image_height=”150″ crop=”false” svg=”false” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″][mk_padding_divider size=”20″][mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”20″ font_weight=”inherit” font_style=”inhert” letter_spacing=”0″ margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]

Creativity As Mission

[/mk_fancy_title][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

Athentikos will equip you to teach creative workshops to at-risk children, and document transformational stories in photo and video. You don’t have to be a professional. Bring your skills, and passion to use them with purpose. Invite your friends and join the journey of transformation! Connect to the greater story, exercising the gifts you love!

[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/1″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

Athentikos is officially recruiting team members for three I AM ART Camps in Guatemala this Fall.  We are thrilled to partner with Proximos Pasos, Casa Bernabe, and Oasis, who will each host an I AM ART camp at their facility. Applications will be accepted until May 31, 2015 and we’ll announce official teams in early June, 2015. Space is limited and applications will be selected in the order they are received.

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Still have questions?

Watch the highlight video from I AM ART Fall 2014.

[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjNrgHo5v3c”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/1″][mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”20″ font_weight=”inherit” font_style=”inhert” letter_spacing=”0″ margin_top=”0″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]I AM ART 2015 Guatemala TRIPS[/mk_fancy_title][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][mk_content_box heading=”Proximos Pasos”][mk_image src=”https://athentikos.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/proximoslogo.jpg.w180h94.jpg” image_width=”150″ image_height=”350″ crop=”false” svg=”false” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

POSTPONED UNTIL 2016

A school for 160 girls who are unable to attend public school due to extreme poverty and cultural prejudice.[/vc_column_text][/mk_content_box][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][mk_content_box heading=”Casa Bernabe”][mk_image src=”https://athentikos.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/casa_bernabe_logo.jpg” image_width=”150″ image_height=”350″ crop=”false” svg=”false” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

10/23/2015 – 11/01/2015

An orphanage to 130 children who have lost families, been abandoned or abused.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/63190878″][/mk_content_box][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][mk_content_box heading=”Oasis”][mk_image src=”https://athentikos.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Kids_alive_Logo_squared_240x240.png” image_width=”150″ image_height=”350″ crop=”false” svg=”false” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

11/27/2015 – 12/06/2015

A home for girls who have been forced into child labor, experienced physical and sexual abuse.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/121705666″][/mk_content_box][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/1″][mk_padding_divider size=”20″][mk_slideshow_box images=”5824,5549,6082,5190,5612,5714,5716,6088,5718,5514,5556,6087,5605,5487,6084,6083,5550,5547,5558,5539,5439,5254,5191,5528,5557,6085″ img_position=”left top” slideshow_speed=”3000″ transition_speed=”1000″ slideshow_mask=”false” section_height=”400″ full_height=”false” full_width_cnt=”false” padding_top=”10″ padding_bottom=”10″][/mk_slideshow_box][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner attached=”true” padding=”3″ el_class=”grey-row-bg”][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″ css=”.vc_custom_1430404984303{background-color: #f6f6f6 !important;}”][mk_icon_box2 icon_type=”icon” icon_size=”32″ icon=”mk-moon-brain” title=”Training” title_size=”20″ title_weight=”inherit” title_top_padding=”10″ title_bottom_padding=”10″ align=”left”]

Prior to the trip, Athentikos will meet with you personally and in community with other I AM ART team members to equip you with everything you need to use creativity in mission including:

  • Explore your story and evaluate how it connects to the Greater Story
  • Understand the cultural and spiritual context of the trip
  • Introduce you to other like-minded creatives from North America and Guatemala to foster community
  • Develop and implement a fundraising plan using our media and crowd-funding platform
  • Promote your trip through strategic social media
  • Prepare lesson plans for a 5 day workshop using our curriculum guide
  • Research and pre-produce stories for short documentaries
  • Select the right media gear for international production
  • Pack strategically for a short-term mission trip

[/mk_icon_box2][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″ css=”.vc_custom_1430339043215{background-color: #f6f6f6 !important;}”][mk_icon_box2 icon_type=”icon” icon_size=”32″ icon=”mk-moon-airplane” title=”Trip Schedule” title_size=”20″ title_weight=”inherit” title_top_padding=”10″ title_bottom_padding=”10″ align=”left”]I AM ART trips are life changing, creative, cultural, and spiritual journeys.

  • Friday – Travel to Guatemala and spend the night in Antigua, a 500 year old Spanish Colonial City surrounded by three volcanoes.
  • Saturday – Get to know team members, explore, and spend another night in Antigua
  • Sunday – Travel to the I AM ART Camp location, meet with local leaders, and prepare the facility for the week-long camp
  • Monday-Thursday – Attend large group sessions, Teach small group session workshops to at-risk youth, and spend time with Artist Team Members from North America and Guatemala
  • Friday – Prepare for a celebratory art show and visit the surrounding community to get a cultural understanding of the children’s lives
  • Saturday – Celebrate the week’s achievement in an Art Show with youth and community
  • Sunday – Return home or travel on an optional excursion in Guatemala

[/mk_icon_box2][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner attached=”false” padding=”0″][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][mk_icon_box2 icon_type=”icon” icon_size=”32″ icon=”mk-icon-money” title=”Cost” title_size=”20″ title_weight=”inherit” title_top_padding=”10″ title_bottom_padding=”10″ align=”left”]

$1800 + airfare
INCLUDES: Training, materials, food & lodging for 10 days, transportation in country, insurance, admin (ask us about using airline miles).

[/mk_icon_box2][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][mk_icon_box2 icon_type=”icon” icon_size=”32″ icon=”mk-moon-megaphone” title=”Fundraising” title_size=”20″ title_weight=”inherit” title_top_padding=”10″ title_bottom_padding=”10″ align=”left”]

Athentikos is a 501c3 non-profit and can accept tax-deductible donations on your behalf. In addition, all I AM ART team members are offered a personal crowd-funding campaign through our web site. We’ll coach you through the fundraising process and provide the resources you need to communicate your opportunity to grow and serve.

[/mk_icon_box2][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][mk_icon_box2 icon_type=”icon” icon_size=”32″ icon=”mk-icon-calendar” title=”Payment Schedule” title_size=”20″ title_weight=”inherit” title_top_padding=”10″ title_bottom_padding=”10″ align=”left”]– $150 non-refundable deposit is due on June 15 after official teams are announced.
– Total Cost ($1800 + airfare) is due on August 1, 2015.
– Team members may continue to raise funds until 10 days after the trip end date to recoup any personal funds paid on the August 1, 2015 Deadline.
– After the I AM ART trip, when financial balances are settled, Athentikos will reimburse any funds up to the total cost, personally submitted by team members to make up for fundraising shortages on August 1, 2015 when total cost was due.
[/mk_icon_box2][mk_padding_divider size=”40″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/1″][mk_custom_box border_width=”1″ bg_color=”#f6f6f6″ bg_position=”left top” bg_repeat=”repeat” bg_stretch=”false” padding_vertical=”30″ padding_horizental=”20″ margin_bottom=”10″ min_height=”100″][mk_font_icons icon=”mk-moon-stopwatch” size=”x-large” margin_horizental=”4″ margin_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”none” link=”https://Athentikos.com/iamart/application” target=”_blank” color=”#0a0a0a”][mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”false” color=”#393836″ size=”25″ font_weight=”inherit” font_style=”inhert” letter_spacing=”0″ margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]You can still register …[/mk_fancy_title][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]I AM ART Registration officially ended on June 7, 2015.

However, we can still place you on a team.

Join creativity in mission! If you have any questions, please email us.[/vc_column_text][mk_button dimension=”flat” corner_style=”rounded” size=”large” outline_skin=”dark” outline_active_color=”#ffffff” outline_hover_color=”#333333″ bg_color=”#dd3333″ btn_hover_bg=”#252525″ text_color=”light” icon_anim=”none” url=”https://athentikos.com/iamart/i-am-art-application/” target=”_self” align=”left” fullwidth=”false” button_custom_width=”0″ margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”15″]Register for I AM ART 2015[/mk_button][/mk_custom_box][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

I Am Art 2015 Opportunities

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][mk_title_box color=”#393836″ highlight_opacity=”0.3″ size=”20″ line_height=”34″ font_weight=”inherit” letter_spacing=”0″ stroke=”0″ margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif” align=”left” font_type=”safefont”]Calling all creatives![/mk_title_box][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

Athentikos has the opportunity to bring I Am Art to Guatemala and South Africa in 2015, and we need you! Join us on an incredible journey of transformative art! Click here to learn more about I Am Art.

[/vc_column_text][mk_image src=”https://athentikos.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Guate_South_Africa.jpg” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”false” svg=”false” lightbox=”false” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]Before we lock the final dates, we want to determine which dates work the best for potential team members. Please review the dates and fill out the form below to let us know which would work best for you. If you have any questions about I Am Art 2015 Opportunities, please let us know.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][mk_custom_box border_width=”1″ bg_color=”#efefef” bg_position=”left top” bg_repeat=”repeat” bg_stretch=”false” padding_vertical=”30″ padding_horizental=”20″ margin_bottom=”10″ min_height=”100″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”true” color=”#393836″ size=”16″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]Potential 2015 Guatemala Dates[/mk_fancy_title]

Guatemala City: June 19 – June 28

Guatemala City: October 23 – November 1

Guatemala City: October 30 – November 8

Xela: November 6 – November 15

[mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h2″ style=”true” color=”#393836″ size=”16″ font_weight=”inhert” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”18″ font_family=”none” align=”left”]Potential 2015 South Africa Dates[/mk_fancy_title]

Pretoria: July 9 – July 19

Pretoria: August 1 – August 17

Pretoria: July 9 – August 17

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New Definition of Beautiful

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]Prior to joining the Athentikos team on the Fall 2014, I Am Art trip to Guatemala, I had struggled defining the purpose for this stage of my life. I had a great job working for a great company and a family that I loved dearly but something was missing. I couldn’t define what my life was supposed to look like but I knew that I wanted to do something where I could make a difference in people’s lives.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]During the week-long art camp, my eyes were opened to something I had never seen. I saw a new definition of beautiful. I knew for the first time in my life that God was clearly telling me to step out in faith and follow Him. He had a plan for me. So, I returned home, tendered my resignation and put my affairs in order to be away for an extended period of time.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][mk_image src=”https://athentikos.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/DSC08832.jpg” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”true” svg=”false” lightbox=”true” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][mk_image src=”https://athentikos.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/DSC01401.jpg” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”true” svg=”false” lightbox=”true” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][mk_image src=”https://athentikos.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/DSC00048.jpg” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”true” svg=”false” lightbox=”true” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][mk_image src=”https://athentikos.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/DSC01582.jpg” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”true” svg=”false” lightbox=”true” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][mk_image src=”https://athentikos.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/DSC08944.jpg” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”true” svg=”false” lightbox=”true” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/6″][mk_image src=”https://athentikos.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/H4G-DSC02979.jpg” image_width=”800″ image_height=”350″ crop=”true” svg=”false” lightbox=”true” frame_style=”simple” target=”_self” caption_location=”inside-image” align=”left” margin_bottom=”10″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]I felt learning the language was an important first step so I made the decision to go to Antigua to study Spanish. I plan to be in Guatemala for a couple of months where I can study and find opportunities to serve with others. I do not know where God will want me long-term but I have never had so much peace about where I am and absolutely no concern over where I am headed. My goal is to be prepared for the next chapter of my life – and I have no doubt who the author will be…..[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prxqpwqflHY”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][mk_fancy_title tag_name=”h3″ style=”false” color=”#0ba9b9″ size=”25″ font_weight=”bolder” letter_spacing=”0″ margin_top=”10″ margin_bottom=”30″ font_family=”none” align=”center” font_style=”inhert” txt_transform=”uppercase”]HELP US EMPOWER 500 AT-RISK YOUTH IN 2015[/mk_fancy_title][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][mk_custom_box border_color=”” border_width=”1″ bg_color=”#f6f6f6″ bg_image=”” bg_position=”left top” bg_repeat=”repeat” bg_stretch=”false” predefined_bg=”” padding_vertical=”30″ padding_horizental=”20″ margin_bottom=”10″ min_height=”100″ visibility=”” animation=”” el_class=””][mk_font_icons icon=”mk-icon-money” color=”#0ba9b9″ size=”xx-large” margin_horizental=”4″ margin_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”center” link=”https://Athentikos.com/give” target=”_self”][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”center” margin_bottom=”0″]

GIVE

Sponsor a child for as little as $17/month

[/vc_column_text][mk_button dimension=”two” corner_style=”pointed” size=”medium” outline_skin=”dark” outline_active_color=”#ffffff” outline_hover_color=”#333333″ bg_color=”#eb7f2c” btn_hover_bg=”#252525″ text_color=”light” icon_anim=”none” url=”https://Athentikos.com/give” target=”_self” align=”center” fullwidth=”true” button_custom_width=”0″ margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”15″]GIVE A DONATION[/mk_button][/mk_custom_box][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][mk_custom_box border_color=”” border_width=”1″ bg_color=”#f6f6f6″ bg_image=”” bg_position=”left top” bg_repeat=”repeat” bg_stretch=”false” predefined_bg=”” padding_vertical=”30″ padding_horizental=”20″ margin_bottom=”10″ min_height=”100″ visibility=”” animation=”” el_class=””][mk_font_icons icon=”mk-icon-plane” color=”#0ba9b9″ size=”xx-large” margin_horizental=”4″ margin_vertical=”4″ circle=”false” align=”center” link=”https://Athentikos.com/give” target=”_self”][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”center” margin_bottom=”0″]

GO

Join an I Am Art Trip

[/vc_column_text][mk_button dimension=”two” corner_style=”pointed” size=”medium” outline_skin=”dark” outline_active_color=”#ffffff” outline_hover_color=”#333333″ bg_color=”#eb7f2c” btn_hover_bg=”#252525″ text_color=”light” icon_anim=”none” url=”https://athentikos.com/iamart/i-am-art-application/” target=”_self” align=”center” fullwidth=”true” button_custom_width=”0″ margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”15″]JOIN THE TEAM[/mk_button][/mk_custom_box][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

The Sound of the Rain Needs No Translation

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Between November 10th and November 15th, I taught a creative writing and painting workshop at Athentikos’ I Am Art camp in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Several artists from the United States banded together, left the comfort of their homes and family, and journeyed into the heart of Zone 18, an area of Guatemala City riddled with violence, poverty, and oppression.

In my creative writing workshop, we explored the relationship between writing and prayer. There is an obvious connection in which both are expressive, a relationship between a speaker/writer and a listener/reader. Prayer can often be thought of as a letter. Above all else, writing, like prayer, is a form of communication. And to truly communicate, one must not only speak or write, one must also listen.

This side of prayer and writing is often overlooked, because when we think about prayer and writing we think about words, content, message. Even when we listen, we imagine or think in words. The words will often get in the way of listening. I don’t know how many times I’ve forgotten something my wife told me get at the store.

“You don’t listen to me,” she says.

“I just forgot. I heard you. I’m sorry.”

Hearing and listening are two separate entities. When we write, we may hear the world around us but never truly listen to it. This, I believe, is what separates great writers from good writers. Listening goes beyond the ears and into the heart. Listening transcends words and language. The sound of rain needs no translation.

Contemporary poetry aims to listen. It accepts the flaws of humankind and of language, and learns to dance and sing amidst it all. It is the music underneath and beyond. I was hesitant about doing a creative writing workshop for the Guatemalan youth due to their age and the language barrier, but I was pleasantly surprised by their enthusiasm and interest; everything fell into place.

On the first day, I was dealing with a fever. I took my class out into the forest behind the main complex and asked them to sit in silence and to listen for something that they would normally overlook or disregard as unimportant. My illness played a significant role in this decision, but it was the perfect way to begin. Writing arises first from true silence, from sitting within the world. Goethe says that “poetry is a secular gospel.” Religious groups, especially Christians, shy away from this word: secular.  But the secular and the sacred go hand-in-hand. They cannot be separated.

“[Religion] makes itself the ultimate and despises the secular realm. It makes its myths and doctrines, its rites and laws into ultimates and persecutes those who do not subject themselves to it. … This is the reason for a passionate reaction of the secular world against religion, a reaction which has tragic consequences for the secular realm itself. For the religious and the secular realm are in the same predicament. Neither of them should be in separation from the other, and both should realize that their very existence as separated is an emergency, that both of them are rooted in the experience of ultimate concern.”

Theology of Culture, Paul Tillich

This idea of opposites-in-harmony has been on my mind over the past few months. I’ve been criticized by family and friends for taking an apophatic stance on God and religion, because people tend to prefer answers and clarity, shying away from the abstract and the obscure. But clarity and obscurity need each other, just as the light needs the darkness. Where else could it shine into?

I do not want to say that we brought light into the darkness of Zone 18. The light was already there. Children are the sparks that will shine through any darkness. What was our purpose being there? If nothing else, to bring kindling, to fan the flames, to ignite another spark.

“Put ragged clothes upon your back and sleep upon the ground,
And tell police about your rights as they drag you down,
And ask them as they lead you to some deserted door,
Yes, I know you’re set for fightin’, but what are you fightin’ for?

But the hardest thing I’ll ask you, if you will only try
Is take your children by their hands and look into their eyes
And there you’ll see the answer you should have seen before
If you’ll win the wars at home, there’ll be no fighting anymore.”

What Are You Fighting For? by Phil Ochs

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Embracing Conflict Amplifies Authenticity

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Embracing conflict amplifies authenticity. We spent six months developing the I Am Art curriculum and empowering our artists to leverage it in their art forms. Our goal was to empower these children to see themselves as beautiful art of the I AM, filled with purpose in God’s greater story.

We knew that many of these children have experienced horrible conflict (family members abducted or killed, physical abuse, extreme poverty … the list goes on). We wanted to explore conflict in a safe way, without unnecessarily and dangerously unraveling personal conflict in the children’s lives. After much reflection, we decided the healthiest way to achieve this goal was to introduce conflict into the creative process.

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Each morning in large group, the children learned the theme of the day through stories and various group activities. During the first two days of camp, artists led children to create beautiful and personal works of art. Seeing the children glowing with pride and excitement was emotional in itself. But it was even more emotional to know what was coming on day three …

On the third day, we introduced conflict. Each workshop altered (and some even “destroyed”) the art that was so meticulously crafted on days one and two. Even though we knew it was coming, it was painful to watch the children’s expressions when they were told their artwork would be “broken”. In Amelia’s workshop, children were asked to cover their self portraits with black pastel. Some children tried to hide their art. Some cried a bit. For a moment, we thought we had made a terrible mistake by including this method in our curriculum. It was tough to rest in the tension of conflict. But that is where transformation began …

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Children made the connection between the symbolic conflict and the conflict of their personal lives, and they felt safe enough to share. Several children shared stories of abuse as their peers listened carefully. The creative conflict provided a cathartic way for the youth to explore and express the pain in their hearts. But we didn’t leave it there …

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The next day we explored God’s greater story of redemption to create beauty from ashes. … Beginning with Maria the Doll Lady featured in Reparando, who shared details about rescuing doll parts from the dump and making them new. Then the kids put the theme of the day into action. Each workshop repurposed their broken artwork into even more beautiful creations. Collages that were cut into pieces the day before were reworked into a beautiful profiles. Self portraits that were covered with black were scraped and colored again with even brighter colors. Masks that were covered with black clay were cleaned and made into creative sculptures. We could see the light in the eyes of the children. Again, they made the connection to their own personal lives … Beauty from ashes.

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The curriculum metaphorically walked the children through the story of creation, conflict, and Christ’s redemption. The artwork became an outward expression of a deep spiritual truth. It was profoundly humbling to experience creative ideas lived through the artists in ways that inspired and empowered these children to heal and dream. And the healing river flowed in both directions, also transforming artists with new visions of hope and creative purpose. We were woven into a greater story than we ever could have imagined … a story which began long before we arrived … and will continue for generations to come …. Art of the I Am.

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The Color Wheel of Emotions

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It’s difficult to sum up the contrast of feelings and experiences related to I Am Art. In my workshop, we studied mixed media self-portraits.  We started the first day making color wheels called “color wheel of emotions” and talking about primary and secondary colors  as an exercise to help them practice for creating their self portraits during the week.

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RED: Red represents many things, but its essence is intensity and passion. Fire, blood, warmth, love, the heart, danger … red can symbolize of deep anger or sincere love. Red came to mind first when describing my experience in the first two days. I didn’t intentionally start with red, but I believe it came to my mind first because of the dichotomy I experience in a place and an event like this. I’m inspired by the people who serve this very hard community. I’m also deeply inspired by the artists who voluntarily and sacrificially join us to serve this week. My heart is deeply stirred and filled with HOPE. But my heart is also stirred with anger and hard questions. Why is there so much obvious hurt and poverty in one place?

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BLUE: Its essence is peace, but ironically can also represent sadness and melancholy. Perhaps a better description could be a place of stillness. It’s hard to be still like this. On the second night of I Am Art Camp, we had a great team meeting focused on worship and prayer lead by David  Lee (our music workshop leader) in which we centered on God and being still. I’m so grateful for people on our team that challenge me to be still, to engage in the moment and to listen to God’s voice. This is probably the hardest thing for me since I’m responsible for so many details of the camp. My mind is worn out, but I really want my heart to engage and heart God’s voice.

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YELLOW: Yellow is a fun and energetic color! I think this color best describes camp. The kids laugh and smile, genuinely engaged and there is great hope in their eyes. The students in my workshops loved experimenting various techniques and encouraged to one another. The counselors at camp are the teenagers who daily work with the younger kids. They have been very helpful in managing the students and assisting in the classrooms. We learned some of their stories of overcoming great obstacles and it is so inspiring to see them take on leadership responsibilities at such young ages.

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On the second day of camp and we focused on “Your World.” The kids explored and expressed their world through their projects and we also talked about their eternal home. My class created a pastel color project based on warm and cool colors representing their world. I found this cool project and it reminded of the mountains and sun of Guatemala!  The kids used various pastel techniques in their project: blending, etching and coloring. We talked about the emotions colors and lines can represent. I LOVED how these turned out! Even though they all look similar, each child created the project very differently. It is a perfect example and expression of our uniqueness in identity as art of the Great I Am!

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Hope for Guatemala

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On Sunday, November 9, 2014 we drove from Antigua to Zone 18 and found hope for Guatemala.

Driving from Antigua to Zone 18 is like driving from Brentwood to East Nashville. Antigua is a tourist town full of ancient history and beauty, while Zone 18 is a crowded slum with traffic, diesel fumes, gangs, murder.  Zone 18 is listed as one of the places NOT to go while visiting Guatemala.  We were driving in the crowded slum for a while when we turned into a driveway … to our surprise we had arrived at Hope for Guatemala.  We were told it was at a farm “una finca” near Zone 18.  We didn’t see farmland anywhere.  But, this was it.  The gate and wall were painted with a fabulous mural that reads, “the place were dreams are planted …”

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The gate opened, we drove in, and found we have come to an oasis in the middle of the city.  There were lush green trees and plants, bright orange flowers in the trees, and a view of mountains in the distance.  There were no stores, no crowded streets, nothing but the farm house, a few outbuildings, and rolling hills with tall trees as far as the eye could see. How could THIS be in the middle of THAT??

Jose, the director of Hope for Guatemala, told us the story behind this place. This finca was the largest egg farm in the country back in the 80s and early 90’s, and has been in the family for 140 years. His daughter was kidnapped and the family fled the country. The house has been abandoned since the mid 90’s.  A year and a half ago Hope for Guatemala discovered this place and God opened the door for them to move their ministry here.

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So now, kids who live with three families in a one room shack with no water or electricity can come to this beautiful oasis in the middle of the slum. They can play on awesome playground equipment and with the goats, horses and chickens. They learn to work the land and produce a crop. There is a lake to jump in and catch tilapia. None of these things would not even be possible in their “neighborhood.”

There is peace here. There is freedom here. There is safety, love, and family here. Who would have guessed we’d find a place like this in the middle of the slum. God has planted Hope for Guatemala here to provide such an oasis for this community. What a blessing!

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