One of the best days of my life

“The place God calls you to is where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

Frederick Buechner

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Creating with the SoH family. Photo courtesy Moni Orsillo

In August 2011, deep gladness flooded my soul. I pulled out bits and pieces for the pursuit of creativity – markers, paper, beads, and wire. Eager Sanctuary of Hope (SoH) children surrounded me as I explained the materials’ purposes.

One project – brightly colored glass beads, some hand-painted in Ghana, for stringing into wire bracelets. The second –little slips of paper and markers to draw tiny artwork for transformation into pendants. Both creations intended for the “Toto for Toto” (Kids for Kids) line of jewelry under Pamba Toto’s umbrella, a business created by my lovely friend Debbie Lee and me in 2006 to raise money for SoH.

All the days of the previous week, therapists and medical professionals from America spread their talents and skills like a banquet before SoH caregivers. A physical therapist offered instruction for supporting balance.

Physical therapist, Dr. Phil Pringle, works with Sammy

Physical therapist, Dr. Phil Pringle, works with Sammy

A child counselor described techniques for healing the soul. I watched and rejoiced at this meeting of deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger as a team of therapists ministered on a Hope’s Promise Short Term Mission team. I also witnessed the hungry hearts of our team as we devoured the Kenyan caregivers’ testimony of vast and real love and sacrifice.

Adding joy upon joy, my own son Justin threaded beads with Victor

Adding joy upon joy, my own son Justin threaded beads with Victor

My turn came later in the week. All of my life I have struggled to find a point of intersection for my love of art and the world’s great need. Ever since kneeling on the floor to color with my dad when I was very young, I have longed to invest these talents for the Kingdom of God. I never thought twice about earning a degree in Fine Arts. And yet, I wrestle day after day to find purpose for this passion in a vast world of the lost, dying, and hungry.

I don’t know that I have found the answers yet. But I do know that day in August 2011 lingers in my memory as one of the best days of my life. Offered like a clue to my own hungry heart, it keeps my searching on this trail of gladness.

One of the pendant necklaces created by American friend Penny Taylor with Wanja's artwork

One of the pendant necklaces crafted by American friend Penny Taylor with Wanja’s artwork

A great joy of the day was watching kids like Wanja enjoying the process of creating with caregivers like SoH #2 cook, Flo

A great joy of the day was creating an opportunity for kids like Wanja to enjoy an activity with their caregivers like SoH #2 cook, Flo

Artwork by Wanja

Artwork by Wanja

Artwork by Wanja

Artwork by Wanja

Toto for Toto products are available through Pamba Toto at Toto for Toto hope pendants.

For information about buying any of the specific pendants in these photos, please contact Debbie Lee through the website contact form or 406-239-2340.

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Photo courtesy of Moni Orsillo

4 thoughts on “One of the best days of my life

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