November 6, 2018
Why Should I Attend Art for the Heart of Africa?
October 8, 2018 | Lance Knapp
I have the honor of serving as an Assistant Director here at the church – and I get to work with missions and outreach, which are areas related to Art for the Heart of Africa. Despite that, I have a confession. Although I’ve been attending the church since 2004, I didn’t go to Art for the Heart of Africa right away when it started in 2009. Even though it seemed like the rest of the church body was involved, I didn’t have a lot of resources to bid on art, so I didn’t see the value in coming. Wow, was I wrong!
The first year I came, my heart was broken for these 130 kids on the other side of the world. Knowing they needed better shelter, more supervision, better space to be educated – it melted me. I came with a budget of $100 that first year – there were so many things I wanted to bid on and get more financial resources to these children. I might have even overheard someone’s spending limit on a piece in the silent auction, and so bid the price right up to the max for them. What can I say? It’s how I operate sometimes. What I ended up leaving with that night was a set of trading cards. These cards had the picture, name, and age of each child of Dreamland on the front. On the back, it told their story if it was known.
Even though our $100 didn’t seem to have significance in the overall $400,000 that’s been raised so far through the 9-year effort, let me try and share a glimpse of what it’s done outside of finances. My wife, Christie, and I committed to praying every night, with our two boys, for two children from the cards. We sat on the floor and pulled out the trading cards. We would read their stories and pray for them by name, knowing the war-torn and tragic situations they came from. We would pray for hope, prosperity, for them to thrive.
When we connect our hearts to God’s heart by praying for something regularly, I’m convinced a unique bond is formed. We became connected to children on a continent we’d never set foot on. My family grew in compassion for the fatherless, lining us up more clearly with God’s heart – all snowballing because Christie and I came to an event.
Since that time, we’ve had the privilege of seeing the kids – Christie three times and me four. She can tell you all of their names by face – me, not so much. There’s a stirring inside of me that burns with love whenever Dreamland comes up. In my role, I get to duplicate that heart by taking teams around the world, including Uganda, where the Dreamland family is currently.
Since we’ve been involved with the Dreamland family, our hearts have become more open to loving people around us. I’m confident that it’s been critical in the formation of our two boys, who are now 13 and 10. I think it’s opened some eyes of others around us to Jesus’ love.
I’ve got just a couple of thoughts for you as you consider my story:
What’s the risk if you don’t come?
When I think about the risk if I had not come my first time some 7 or 8 years ago, would my walk with Jesus be the same? Would my family have compassion weaved into our identity as it is now? I’m not sure.
What’s at stake if you do come this year?
Maybe you will get prompted to give financially or maybe sacrifice your time. It might be a spark that will lead you to apply to go on a missions trip.
I hope you consider attending Art for the Heart of Africa on Friday, October 26. If it’s your first time, please know that there’s no pressure to bid. There’s a fun atmosphere including hors-d'oeuvres and live performance. Everyone attending gets to be part of something big and it would be great to see you there.
Lance works with missions and outreach, leading endeavors locally, around the nation as well as across the world. He also has the opportunity to work with hospitality teams around the church, creating an ideal environment for people to serve and worship.