Sunday, May 15, 2011

"HeArt of Hope: a Portrait of Sudan" - Teaming up with Makeway Partners

After attending the first exhibition of "HeArt of Hope: A Portrait of Sudan" last night, I wish that I had advertised for it a little better. It was absolutely amazing. Here was the general event information that was posted to our local radio station's website (KLTY, 94.9FM): Kimberly L. Smith, President and co-founder of Make Way Partners and author of Passport Through Darkness will speak on the topic of human trafficking. Make Way Partners is a Christian mission agency committed to prevent and combat human trafficking and all forms of modern-day slavery by educating and mobilizing the Body of Christ. Following her speaking engagement, Kimberly will sign books and an art exhibit and sale (HeArt of Hope:A Portrait of Sudan) will follow. HeArt of Hope is a fundraising effort by more than 25 local artists. HeArt of Hope continues to take in more portrait artists and travel throughout the area to bring hope to widows and children who suffer from the effects of modern day slavery. All proceeds go to Make Way Partners.

The keynote speaker, Kimberly Smith, shared about her experiences in Sudan and opened my eyes to some of things that I didn't know could still happen in this world. Because Sudan has been at war for three generations, the women and children who survive know nothing but a life of suffering. There is lawlessness and hate, with Islamic warlords doing whatever they can to wipe out the "lesser" indigenous tribes. Local women trek three miles to find clean water, with the risk of getting raped multiple times along the way. They go instead of their men, because their husbands would simply be murdered. The children who have lost their parents to the wars or slavery, live simply to survive. At night, they sleep in trees, or they will be picked off by hyenas. By day, they risk getting caught by traffickers and sold into slavery. These are the "orphans and widows" that the Bible speaks of. It is our responsibility as the body of Christ to help these people, and Kimberly's organization, Makeway Partners, is doing just that. She left a corporate job and the American dream to start orphanages in these forsaken places, including Sudan, Congo, Romania, and Peru. Kimberly did emphasize in her talk that we are not all called to drop everything like she did; God has a different plan for each of us. In my case, I was honored to be a part of it by donating a painting to the cause. I just hope that these works of art will be purchased so that the funds can go directly to helping the widows and orphans.

Our hope is that more and more artists will join in, and the art will be sold as it continues to be exhibited around north Texas, with all funds going directly to the organization. Giclees and prints are available along with the original paintings. If you would like more information about this event, please e-mail the coordinator, Lisa Temple, at Her own story about how she was inspired to put together this fundraiser is quite wonderful.

My painting for "HeArt of Hope"

Having attended Kimberly's talk, I had the opportunity to buy her book, which I plan on reading on my flight overseas next week. She wrote on the inside cover, "May all your days be painted by God's dream just for you." God's dream is more often than not different than what we have in mind, but I am encouraged by this, and know that as long as I keep my heart open to it, He will use me in ways I never thought possible.


  1. I loved this posting and the story behind it. I wondered where you got your reference photo from. Have you been able to go to the Sudan yourself?

  2. Thanks, Jennifer. Makeway Partners provided the reference materials for the artists, although we were given the liberty to choose which photos we wanted to work from, and use our artistic license accordingly. The cool thing about it was that Kimberly Smith knew all the women and children in the paintings, so every painting has a couple of stories behind it: the actual story of the real person, and the story the artist had for choosing that particular image to work from.

  3. Oh that would add such a depth to the piece - to have that background knowledge and the artist's points of reference too. This is a subject that touches my heart. You did a wonderful job on this.

  4. Anna I LOVED THIS could not resist reposting on my blog Innerdialect...

    pl do check and i hope thats okay.



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