prom picture middle school
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Jasmine all dressed up for the middle school valentine's day dance.

 

My heart is connected to Streets Ministries. I see the difference they are making in the lives of Jasmine and countless other kids who are born disadvantaged. Streets offers them hope, love, stability, and most importantly, the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. These kids come from a world that doesn't expect them to amount to much. Streets empowers and encourages them, helping them break the cycle of poverty and really make something of themselves.

Streets has touched my life. They have opened my eyes to the reality that every advantage I have been given is by the grace of God. I did not earn it or deserve it. And I believe that God blesses us to be a blessing to others. So recently I have felt led to do something to further the work of Streets. You see, my mission is to help people honor and celebrate their family relationships through my artistic talent. Well, not everyone has stable family relationships. Not every child is blessed like the kids I paint.

A couple of months ago I had Jasmine and her friends over at my place after church. I did little sketches of them to take home, and as I was doing them I was struck with a thought: these kids will likely never have their portraits painted. They won’t ever get to experience the feeling of knowing that someone loves you so much they'll commission art in your honor. Not many South Memphis kids are the subjects of portraits. But I believe they are  are uniquely and divinely created. Their lives matter, just as much as the lives of the kids I am commissioned to paint.

So this year I am beginning a new project. Through a series of portraits, I am going to spotlight the kids at Streets and tell their unique stories. My hope is to inspire and encourage them- to let them know they are worthy subjects of art. I want to bless their parents by giving them portraits they might not otherwise be able to afford, because they love their kids just as much as the rest of us do. And most of all, I want to encourage others like me to give out of the abundance we have been given and to be thankful for the warm meals, family dinners, toys, vacations and safe schools we are blessed to enjoy.

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