My name is Mirjam Klop, and I am from the Netherlands. I am married with a Dutchman and have
two daughters who are 5 and 8 years old. We have served with YWAM for many years now.
For a long time, I have loved to paint and feel it is a way to worship God. I come alive as I am painting! As a teenager, I stopped painting because I compared myself to others and thought they were more gifted and better than I was. At that time, I did not realize I was burying something which God had given me to enjoy and use. Years later, I had been in missions at this point for years and was close to burnout, I took some time away. In these weeks of rest, I went to France and there I started to paint again. In the midst of this time God recharged my battery, and I found His joy again as I painted a golden forest.
We have been living in Kragujevac, the heart of Serbia, for two years now. I found that there were no painting courses or workshops available for adults in this city, but there were many who would love to try painting and would love to be creative. I started to make some advertisements, mostly through Facebook. From this, a group of young people started to come to my weekly workshops.
Before each class, I would pray and seek how to be a light and witness to these creative people. It has been wonderful to build friendships and naturally have conversations about our lives as we are painting. At Christmastime we painted camels and the wise men looking for Jesus the King. Then we talked about what it means to seek God, as well as share that the God who created the universe came to us as a vulnerable man. We also talked about how we can be reconciled with Him as we were painting a galaxy.
I actually love to paint nature and we usually put on some worship music as we paint. Or jazz, since we love that music, too. On Valentine’s day we painted two hands holding a heart with the question, “Who is holding your heart?” My heart is safe in the most loving hands of God the Father.
It is so beautiful how we can share our faith and our life through art. It is not about how professional I am as an artist. As I started, I did not feel confident at all. It was really a step of faith for me to start these workshops. I am continuing to learn every week and every day. Stepping out, just using what God has given me in my hand. God is working to make Himself known through us in so many ways. He is the Master Artist. I look forward to further developing this art ministry over the coming season in new ways, indoors or outdoors. I am looking forward to getting to know more Serbians who love art. What gift do you have in your hands?
-Mirjam Klop, YWAM Kragujevac, Serbia