Last weekend, we hosted “Enchanted Reality: a mini feast” where we invited local participants of Enchanted Reality: a drawing liturgy for advent to come break bread and share thoughts, writings, and/or artwork. It was a sweet time with a small crowd which allowed everyone to share, even our kids.
I confess it is not easy for me to share these things that are “for me” with my kids, so it was a convicting treat to have them be a part of this gathering, to have them share their artwork and thoughts, and to have them receive the gift of others sharing.
At this gathering, I was able to share from two of our participants who happen to live really, really far away.
Bethany Jeffers Mavuno Village, Tanzania
We got to know Bethany Jeffers a couple years back when she lived in the Philadelphia area to attend CCEF in preparation for her current work in Tanzania. This past summer on a mission trip in Cherokee, NC, we had the joy of her company for a couple days, while she was traveling the states on furlough. She is awesome. Her instagram feed, and Mavuno Village where she lives and works, are two of my favorites.
KJ Visky Cluj- Napoca, Romania
KJ Visky and her husband Zsolti are using their maker minds as part of their ministries in Cluj, Romania. Zsolti is a poet and woodworker; KJ is a visual artist and an accessories designer. Here is an article about one project they have going, Made in Pata-Rat. Sharing this project with her has been really exciting for me as she is my beloved sister-in-law who I dearly miss.
I wrote to Bethany and KJ and asked each of them to share their thoughts on this project.
“So I totally fell off the wagon after a week when life got crazy. But the days I did it, it was so meaningful to me. Maybe more than any Christmas tradition I’ve had. And I plan to do it again next year. Even after I quit drawing, I followed every else’s and found them so moving. It was such a wonderful idea. As I’m sure you noticed, I found myself reflecting on the themes in this Tanzanian context and it was a great way to process some things.”
“When I was drawing I felt like it was a kneading in of the promises. I am so quick to move through the Christmas story because it is so familiar. I am not able to stay with the words and soak in it’s richness. It is often uncomfortable to be in scripture and also to create, but somehow combining these two uncomfortable things worked. It helped to know others were wrestling with the same things. I would read the verses in Bridge’s advent readings before I would try to draw. I was able to just to the word with other words or visual from the scripture reading and let go, not knowing where I would end up. Often I felt that the drawings were much deeper than I could have planned. Certain aspects pointed to scripture that I didn’t plan to make a part of my drawing. So these drawings often became a prayer and a way to worship. Levente (their pastor in CLuj) says that you have to let the bible read you. In a way partaking in this drawing liturgy allowed that to happen for me. Things came to the surface that I would have missed if I had just read the scripture and didn’t allow myself to pour out anything onto paper. It was very healing for me and has reignited some fire in me to create again, something I have really struggled to do in the last 10 years.”
I don’t have much to add to the words of these beloved ones, except to say we called it a mini feast because we offered soup and salad and a lovely cheese board. However, it truly was a small feast of the gospel being offered and received in fellowship. We create and share these projects because they are life for us. The return on this investment shows up in these gatherings of feasting on this one true myth. Go forth and claim enchantment as your reality.