Between Today and Tomorrow

Kati joins Athentikos I AM ART

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]I’m currently fundraising as part of my Athentikos I AM ART Trip this summer, and my emotions include: frustration, hopelessness, doubt, despair, shame, anger, guilt, anxiety, panic, fear, rejection and loneliness.

This process of preparing for my journey to Guatemala has been MUCH more intense that I could have imagined. Yes, ALREADY. I find myself in an extremely humbling and uncomfortable place now: contacting people who I haven’t seen in years to ask for money, Trying to explain why on Earth would I work for free, and even PAY to do it, retaking video clips again and again only to find out it’s impossible for me to speak one minute of English language without pronunciation AND grammar mistakes.

I ask, am I really sure about this?

There was no voice, there was no assurance. But somehow, it felt logical and possible, surely inspiring and exciting. So, I jumped in. I wasn’t sure what I would be doing when I signed up, and I’m not sure of the details even now. I do know that traveling to Guatemala has been on my heart for 13 years! I also know that this journey is not about me …. And it’s not about the kids there either. It’s not about the donors, and it’s not about the man sitting next to me in the plane. It’s about all of us … together …

I was told that I will be amazed how much people will want to support me, how much I’ll feel blessed and believed in. I must say, I’ve been struck by how people actually DON’T want to give me support, or don’t think this idea is very smart at all.

But Also …

There are other people who are thrilled about this vision and want to help support my trip, including my colleagues, and people I hadn’t contacted in years. To my surprise, there are also other people who I don’t even know who wanted to help. I DON’T EVEN HAVE A CLUE WHO THESE ANGELS GIVERS ARE!

So, it is true. I AM AMAZED. This IS mind blowing. This is humbling. This is hashtag blessed hashtag seriously, with capitals. It’s not even about the money, weather or not I will be able to gain enough of financial support. It’s about what kind of a person I, we, you, are becoming in this process. It’s somehow about… Transforming pain into purpose? YUP. And I’m assuming this is only how it starts…

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Where Our I AM ART Trip Began

La Limonada

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Throughout my life, I have been profoundly influenced by the work of missionaries, and have been exposed to many of them personally.  From a cousin who served for many years in Haiti, to missionaries that visited my childhood church and shared the Gospel with me as a 3 year old in Cubbies clearly enough that I knew I needed to know Jesus for myself, to some friends from my years as a teenager that are now actively serving on the mission field in Bolivia, and very dear friends of ours who left the ‘American dream’ behind to obey the call of God on their lives to serve in full time mission work in Jamaica and in other parts of the U.S…..  YEP! It’s safe to say that missionaries have left their imprint on my life and world view.

Growing up with these influences, and in a Christian home, I always knew I wanted to serve on a short term foreign mission trip ‘one day’. In 2010, the church we attended at that time announced that they were looking for a small group of adults to go and serve in Guatemala City, for a ‘work trip’.  I knew I could swing a hammer and I could wield a paintbrush – but I didn’t really have an interest in going on a WORK trip.  But, after 3 nights of waking up in the middle of the night with GUATEMALA as my first cognitive thought, I asked with my heart pounding in my chest, “Is that you, Lord?” Turns out – it was!  The trip that was designed to be a ‘work trip’ ended up being a group of 5 women who did not once hammer a nail or paint a single wall. God was up to something!!

On that trip in 2010, I visited the community of La Limonada for the first time.  It is one of the largest slums in all of Central America.  It is a hard, extremely poor, often dangerous place.  No amount of ‘preparation’ could have truly prepared me for this trip. Our group ran a VBS type lesson with activities and crafts for the children attending the mission based academies within the slum, the heartbeat of the AMAZING ministry of Lemonade International/Vidas Plenas. Emotionally, I was completely undone on this trip.  As a mother of two small kids, I could not imagine what life must be like raising a family in that environment.  I found myself wrestling with the Lord all throughout the week on WHY ME?  WHY WAS I HERE?  WHAT COULD I DO?

On day 3 of our trip, we visited the second mission- academy on the opposite side of the slum, and there was a boy around 10 years old that was very quiet and shy who had deeply sad eyes.  I couldn’t stop staring at him from across the room.  I asked our translator if he had a sponsor family yet, and the translator told me that he didn’t think so.  In that moment, I knew what God wanted my response to this experience to be, and that was to sponsor Yeremi.  My translator introduced me to him as his ‘padrino’ which is spanish for ‘god-parent’.  That day started a relationship that is in tact 6 years later.  We write letters and send pictures and gifts and he knows how much he is loved by us and by his Creator.  It gives this dear boy dreams of a better future, one outside the walls of the slum, one that does not embrace gang culture, one that helps him to aspire to rise above the circumstances he has been brought up in. He has tangible proof that HE MATTERS.

Upon my return to the states in 2010, I tried to articulate all that God had done in my heart and mind, and how my world view had shifted on it’s axis.  I spoke of it so much, that I just KNEW I had to get my husband there to experience the slum and meet the precious people of La Limonada for himself.  At that time, we were leading a new college ministry and realized that many of those students would learn from experiencing it as well, so just 8 short months later in 2011, my husband and I traveled back to La Limonada a second time, with 3 college students in tow. The sheer size of the slum, and the vast needs represented there hit my husband like a punch to the gut, much like it had to me the first time I had visited.  Guys, this place demands a response from you!  We were able to work within the classrooms again with the students, and many of them remembered me from my first trip – and boy!!!… was Yeremi surprised to see us!!!!  We were blessed to have a day with him and his mother and little sister.  It was an experience I will never forget.  We also did many in-home visits and heard stories of so much hurt and sickness, and having to go without – something most of us in our American way of life never truly experience.  While life in La Limonada is hard and each day is with it’s own set of challenges – I could not deny the unwavering faith many people declared in our GOOD GOOD FATHER .  We prayed with them in their homes, we heard their joys through their sorrows, we saw their contentment with so little… and this place, that so many see as scary and terrible and dangerous?… took on a new quality to us.  Is it a sad place?  Yes, of course.  Is it dangerous?  Certainly. But you know what else?  It’s BEAUTIFUL.  In this place, I felt the presence of God more tangibly than any other place or time in my life.  His deep love shows all throughout Scripture for the least, the lost, the broken, the widows and the orphans…for the typical people of a place like La Limonada! This place matters to God!  God is there, He sustains when all else is empty, and it is etched into the faces of so many of the people there who have experienced His faithfulness in the midst of their struggles.

Since our trip in 2011, there has not been a single day that I haven’t thought about La Limonada and wanted and wondered when we could go back again.  It is a place that we cannot travel to on our own, due to the dangerous nature of the slum, finances have been a concern, and our timing has not been right….until NOW!  Now, this summer, my husband and I have been selected as team members for a trip with Athentikos – (another ministry we are very passionate about)  and we are so compelled to step out in faith and GO! The most amazing thing of all – is that this trip will be serving the people of La Limonada!  We are so excited to be going and facilitating an art camp for the children!  Through this camp, we will help the children discover who they are, and who God sees them as.  That each has value to the Creator who loves them and wants them to know Him.  We are leaving our own 2 children, ages 8 and 10, to be able to go and minister to these precious kids who need to see and feel the love of God and we want to be an example to our kids of what it looks like to serve and be uncomfortable for the sake of His name.  We desire to have Yeremi involved in this art camp as well, and hope we can somehow make that happen.  We want to be an encouragement to our friends on staff at Vidas Plenas that we have remained in touch with, and we want to once again, allow God to wreck us for His glory.  We are asking God to stretch us in this experience, we are seeking and asking what He wants our response to be this time, and we covet your prayers as we are trusting God with the finances and other details of this trip.

For His Glory and Our Good –

Harmony Charles

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Dancing in the Orange Glow

It was our last evening in Guatemala before returning home. We had traveled to Lake Atitlan to rest and reflect for a few days after an incredible I AM ART Camp at Casa Bernabe, an orphanage outside Guatemala City. My head was full of thought, so I went out for a walk by myself to soak up one last evening before eating dinner as a team. I wandered through the small town of Panajachel recounting countless stories from our many journeys to Guatemala … everything from our first trip in 2006 when we visited our son during his adoption process, to filming Becoming Fools. I must have been on autopilot because I didn’t have a specific destination in mind. But, I ended up at the back end of town, where a small river meets the lake – a place I had been to before under different circumstances. It had rained a little that afternoon and the air was cool and damp. Far in the distance the sun dipped into the horizon. I heard children playing and kept walking towards the source of that magical sound.

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Before I knew it, I was standing at the water’s edge watching a glorious sunset in one of the most beautiful places on earth. The scene was absolutely breathtaking. A red-orange glow reflected on the glassy water as the green mountains faded into the distance. Dark clouds rolled in to contrast the fireball laying down to sleep in the west. In the foreground children ran free, laughing and playing, calling out to one another as they and their parents looked to the sky.

I followed the sightline of their gaze up and was suddenly overwhelmed with a surreal emotion I couldn’t quite define. Long strings stretched from the hands of these children, crisscrossing into a purple sky … filled with dozens of colorful handmade kites dancing in the twilight. I paused for a moment to soak it in. For just a moment, I was transported back in time. This place of awesome beauty was the place of horrific tragedy just a short four years ago when a holy fool named Italo Castro drowned in these very waters, at this very place. I began to weep in remembrance. It was an odd feeling because I had only spent a few hours with him during the production of our first documentary, Reparando. But, this man significantly changed my life (and many others). I spent three years working on a documentary about the impact of his ministry to homeless children, and somehow, he felt like a brother.

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Four years ago, we mourned the loss of a hero. Four years ago we stepped forward in faith to share the legacy of his life in a way that would honor his life’s work to help children at-risk. Four years ago, we had no idea … how difficult … and how beautiful our journey would be. But in that moment at the water’s edge, all of the tragedy and comedy collided together into beautiful irony written by the hand of an author writing a greater story. After all, it was the weekend of All Saints Day and Día de Muertos, a holiday to remember loved ones who have passed away. In Guatemala, kites are flown during this holiday as a symbolic gesture to connect with the spirits in heaven. I had seen people flying kites all weekend, but these kites were different. These kites were like angels hovering over the water, quietly, but powerfully honoring a holy fool. The children, the place, the sunset, the memories – they all combined in a way that I could never quite understand nor communicate. I’ll just sum it up to say it was beautiful.

In that moment, my spirit was carried up with those kites, and I caught a glimpse of heaven. I imagined Italo looking down at the place where he breathed his last breaths on earth … and seeing so many children playing joyfully with their families … he smiled … and I smiled with him. In that moment, there was no tragedy, there was no comedy … there was only peace.

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Help us empower at-risk children through I AM ART.

Kristi Bredeweg – Returning Home

I’m sitting on the plane. The man next to me is fast asleep. I have three hours to think; so I do. What on earth just happened to me? I left the comfort of a typical American lifestyle and wound up in a country where I knew not one soul, did not speak the language at all, and had no idea what was expected of me. Result? Unbelievable personal growth, new friends, a scant smattering of Spanish words and a new appreciation of God’s sovereign providence.

There is a certain comfort in returning ‘home’, wherever that might be, and I’m experiencing it as I fly over the Gulf toward Atlanta and then Michigan. However, I start letting my mind process my time recently spent with mostly teenagers for long blocks of time each day, trying to convey to them an art concept that even I was skeptical of! My fellow team members did an excellent job of supplying me with what I needed to pull it off. Along with the supplies I purchased and lugged to Guatemala, I was well equipped. And so we began.

Within 10 minutes of my dive into the approved workshop, I scrapped it. This isn’t going to work with this group. I sensed a guarded and apprehensive mentality. Let’s face it: I was a white American woman of privilege coming into their world. There wasn’t much common ground there. Or was there? I calmly put aside my agenda, sat on a chair in the middle of the room, and told them about my life. My real life. The one where my 5 year old son died while I was pregnant. The one where my husband left me with 4 kids. The one where my roof collapsed.

I stared into the eyes of 10 interested kids. They saw that even I, this white American woman of privilege, had real issues. From then on, they trusted me. We began the workshop. They knew I cared about them, their lives and struggles. I may not be able to fix all or any of the stuff they dealt with, but I knew with all my heart that we would connect on some level that transcended skin color, location, language, age, and status. We were all on the same artistic journey.

I watched them as they used their individual talents to transform a simple mirror into a reflection of who God made them to be. I shared the meaning of their names with them. They quietly took that information in.

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They were so special and so unique. I would have taken any one of them home with me. I said my “goodbyes” to each of them individually. My tears flowed freely. They looked me in the eye and told me that they too would miss me. We connected. We shared. I was blessed beyond anything I could have imagined when I began this journey.

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I now see the lights of American soil and the Atlanta airport. I get a lump in my throat at the real possibility that I will forget their idiosyncrasies and individual quirks; all the things that make me want to return and once again sit in a chair in the middle of a room and become a real person to real kids and delve into art… and so much more.

Kathlyn Beyer – Casa Bernabe Retrospect

I’ve been processing, the past several days, I AM ART camp that took place last week at a children’s home in Guatemala City. It was a week that I dreaded, stressed over, planned for and simply, to be quite honest, didn’t really want to begin. Little did I know I would feel very differently by the end of it.

When I had heard that Athentikos would be leading two art camps this year, I signed up. My anticipation of my involvement was that I would help with translation like I had the year before. As logistics were being sorted out stateside, the team realized they needed more artists to teach workshops so they asked me what I thought. The idea of workshop leading excited and terrified me all at once. I responded to them that I’d pray about it but they could probably count on me to do it. It happened. I was signed up to lead a workshop. Then fear set in.

I had no clue of their expectation or what art medium I would use to teach the I AM ART curriculum. After a couple of days I decided on photography. Team Skype meetings came; I dreaded them. Every time it stressed me out to present my ideas to the more experienced artists. I had no clue how it was all going to pan out. A supply list was compiled, but there was no way I could afford to buy it all. I was overwhelmed! I was looking at the big picture or at least what I perceived it to be and it seemed impossible for my human form to accomplish. As time went on, I realized how right I was. God revealed His hand in three tiny miracles;

Miracle #1: God gave me community. A friend, the right artistic and creative friend, came alongside at just the right time. We spent 2 hours bouncing ideas off one another and developing a plan. I felt more at peace with the undertaking after having her help.

Miracle #2: He supplied the resources to make it happen. My mom shared the need with our support team and in little to no time all supplies were on their way!

Miracle #3: As time passed and I attended more meetings and my confidence and preparedness grew. I had freaked out about the details but He didn’t leave me there long. God provided. He is faithful.

The week approached and I was stressed. I wasn’t looking forward to it. I wished for more time. Feeling somewhat unprepared, I had forgotten Who had and would work it out.

Monday, the first day of classes, I was nervous. So many unknowns flooded my mind. I had no idea if the “plan” would work well, if it would engage the children or bore them, if it would last the full three hour session or leave me frantically filling time with unplanned games after completing the lesson in 30 minutes. Would the children behave, enjoy, tolerate, or act out? Perhaps the biggest uncertainty was that not only would I be teaching photography for the first time but I would be doing so in my second language, Spanish.

I survived day one. My Spanish held up. I didn’t love or hate the outcome of the day but was glad it was over. My kids were some of the oldest in the group so along with their adolescence there were the attitudes you might expect. With many of them having lived at the children’s home for the majority of their lives, they have come to be calloused to short term groups and teams. If they don’t allow themselves to feel attachment, they won’t feel the heart tugs as the short-termers skip country. This dynamic was fairly obvious from the get go. I didn’t struggle understanding their hesitancy or should I say their cool attitude. In fact, I’ve found myself, to some extent, on the other side. Me being the cold host. Sounds pretty harsh but I don’t have any lighter way to put it. I was thankful to have that deeper understanding of the children’s lives.

Slowly they began to open up. Not nearly as quick as I did but they got there. Very seldom was I able to see the excitement of the children as they learned. I guess partly because I didn’t truly know them yet. But I would. My first perception was I had a class full of uninterested young men and women, a potential flirt and a class outcast. Man was I wrong. I quickly learned (well perhaps it took me the whole week to learn) you can never know the heart from that which is displayed on the faces of others.

One example of this was one that brought tears to my eyes. It is that of a young man of about 15 or 16. He hardly ever spoke. I struggled to remember his name at the beginning of the week. So expressionless, I wondered if he even cared to be there. Second to last day, I sat down beside him on the basketball court and he turns to me and asks,

“Will you all come back next year? I mean to do an art camp?”

To which I respond “I really don’t know. Hopefully!”

“Well, I’ve really enjoyed it.”

This from the expressionless adolescent. His voice spoke with sincerity. It spoke deeply to me. As if that wasn’t enough to touch my heart, he wrote me a sweet note thanking me for teaching him so much, that he had really enjoyed it, and that he was going to miss me. I had observed this boy all week. During our large group session he would enter, his face would say “I feel alone in this crowd of people, I don’t even know where to go”, and then he would awkwardly shuffle to the back of the room. I had seen it happen several times as if he was lost and couldn’t find anyone he knew. But by the end of the week he knew me, that I was there because I cared about him and the others. That he realized that blessed me.

One of the older girls had an attitude at the beginning of the week but that disappeared as the week came to a close. She would walk up and greet me with the sweetest of hugs. Hugs of friendship.

…to be continued

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.

Gratitude – Tina Beede

I heard it would happen. That feeling of uncomfortable gratitude that comes from fundraising for a cause that means something to you. It’s been a jam-packed month of finishing summer, planning for my new year of preschool, getting my own kids ready for their new year (middle school and 3rd grade – how did that happen?), and then starting the fast-paced routine of getting acquainted and feeling the excitement of the new school year ahead.

In the middle of all that, I reached my fundraising goal for my trip in November. I actually exceeded it! When I logged in and saw that my goal had been met, I immediately had butterflies of joy, relief, and this overwhelming humility. Close to forty people helped me get there. Forty of you generously gave money, and a sea of others have asked me about the trip, prayed for me, encouraged me, and shared their own stories of mission work that shifted the focus of their life.

The Athentikos team has been so encouraging and have been giving us a lot to consider and think about in preparation for our trip. We’ve had a few Google Hangout meetings to introduce us to each other, help us ask questions, and hear more about what to expect at the Oasis Home. I am still unsure about the logistics of my kids’ schedule meshing with David’s. I’m also still unsure what exactly I’ll be teaching these sweet girls once I get to Guatemala, but I have no doubt it will work out. The closer November gets, the more I’m feeling this underlying feeling of something big happening. I can’t put my finger on it, but it feels like the start of something different and exciting.

I’m a big fan of opening myself up to relationships and have learned (more than once) that when things get hard or uncomfortable or unpredictable, the people engaged in your life want to help. They want to be part of your story to help ease the burden and influence you in a positive way. I’ve learned to ask for what I need. It’s not easy for me, but I do ask when I know I must. Along with asking, I’ve learned that “no” is a fine answer to receive so it doesn’t offend or keep me from asking someone else, or at another time. And I’ve learned to cut people some slack. We aren’t created to do it all for everyone all the time. And because I have a hard time not being able to do it all for everyone all the time, I’ve learned to trust that people are cutting me some slack too. I’ll be reminding myself of this before I set off in November–the day after Thanksgiving–for a week and a half, right before Christmas.

Enjoy some pictures of an art-day fundraiser my sis-in-law hosted. Isn’t amazing what a few canvases, lots of fun paint, creative kids, and generous families can produce? It was a really fun day filled with faces I love and in just four hours, the kids and their parents donated $300!

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:

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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

[/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.

[/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

[/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 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.

[/vc_column_text][mk_padding_divider size=”20″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

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” margin_bottom=”18″]

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 …

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

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

[/mk_button][/mk_custom_box][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Register for I AM ART 2015

[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”]

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.

[/vc_column_text][mk_padding_divider size=”20″][vc_column_text disable_pattern=”true” align=”left” margin_bottom=”0″]

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]