By Kate Bradley 19 December 2014, 8:45 AM As I talk about my mission to help people celebrate their family relationships through my art, Streets Ministries comes to mind. Over the past few years my mom and I have mentored a thirteen-year-old girl named Jasmine through Streets.
I’ve talked about how the children I paint know that they are valued. They don’t wonder if their parents love them. The kids at Streets are different. They don’t typically get their portraits painted. These kids come from rough neighborhoods. A lot of them, Jasmine included, have little to no relationships with their fathers. Some of them don’t even know who they are.
Streets is a family for these kids. It encourages them, empowers them, and points them towards their one true hope- Jesus Christ. As Streets puts it, they “meet them on their own turf.” If it weren’t for Streets, these kids would probably drop out of high school. Streets lets them know they are loved, valued, and were created with a purpose.
You think when you sign up to volunteer at Streets that you will be the benefactor. Then you meet kids who are more joyful than you in spite of their circumstances, and then you are the one who gets blessed.
On days when I'm feeling sorry for myself, God will use Jasmine to show me my sin. When I pick her up, she’ll come bounding out of her house, skipping, with a huge smile on her face, and it will hit me just how selfish I am. Here is someone who is poor in the world, goes to a rough school in a rough neighborhood, doesn’t talk to her dad, yet is joyful. Always happy. That’s when I thank the Lord that he uses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise.
I talk about family a lot in my business, and Streets is a different kind of family. The work they do there is very precious and important. And I’m so happy I can be a part of it.