24th May 2023

The gallery space was full of art and full of people. Our team had worked hard to put on our annual open art show. Old friends and some new artists we’d met through our social media displayed their work in the large space.

There were middle-class career-women, teachers, film-makers, leftist radicals, students, devout Muslim believers, and people from traditional rural backgrounds all working together to create this celebration of creativity.

Cities are complicated, and in the cultural and ethnic melting pot of this vast Muslim city we’ve discovered that inviting creatives to come and tell their stories through their art makes a space for the gospel. Seeing the kingdom touch diverse groups of people based on their shared artistic vocation is an ongoing experiment we’re pursuing with the leading of the Holy Spirit.

On the final day of the show seven or eight of the artists sat on stools around the long wooden table and each shared the story behind their work. Behind them gathered a crowd of onlookers, enthusiasts, friends and family eager to listen. Amidst the voices of this diverse group we too were able to share; words of Jesus - as ‘salt’ - were gently mixed into this melting pot.

Everyone involved later spoke of the joy, warmth and sense of celebration which emanated from this little community of artists which comes together a few times a year. One creative whom we first met when she was at a particularly low ebb now calls us her ‘artistic family in the city’. Praying for her family and ministering to her over the years is a joy. We pray that Jesus will continue to reveal himself to many like her who have found community with us as we work as artists together.

Danny in the Middle East

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