God’s Beautiful Mess: A Christmas Meditation

I recently rediscovered how much I love drawing with charcoal. It’s a traditional drawing medium, and it’s fun. It produces beautiful texture and above all it’s messy. Really messy. As you apply charcoal to paper, it turns to powder and gets everywhere. One day when in college, a classmate asked a friend about me, “Why …

The Bridge of Dance: How Ballet Became a Surprising Gateway to Faith in Japan

One year ago, I had a phone call with a woman from Mission to the World. I wanted to serve, but I didn’t know where or how. I told her, “Here I am, send me!” I wanted to spend my summer serving the Lord and sharing the gospel. As a ballet dancer, I also understood …

GCAMM Report

The GCAMM Conference (Global Consultation on Arts and Music in Missions) took place September 11-14, 2023 at Southwestern Baptist University in Fort Worth, Texas. Past conferences have been in Nairobi, Kenya, Chiang Mai, Thailand, and Singapore. It is the largest gathering in the world of missionaries serving the body of Christ through the arts: music, …

She Couldn’t Resist: A Nashville-Bound Songwriter Follows God’s Call to Japan

• “No!” the owner exclaimed as Alana Essex stepped inside the share house. Alana had just landed in Tokyo and was anxious to get settled in her new room. She had doubted her decision to come to Japan right up until she boarded her plane yesterday, and the first words spoken to her after she …

How Beautiful are the Feet

One foot is in a pointe shoe. The other is bare. One foot is dressed for onstage and is presentable to audiences. The other shows blood, sweat, and tears. On stage, dance is beautiful with costumes, choreography, sets, and music. Off stage, dance is cuts, bruises, sore muscles, and injury. Feet are the means through which they bring the good news and preach the gospel.

The Hope of Kintsugi

The auditorium was packed with students and professors as part of a week of events sponsored by the Asian Studies Department at Belmont University in Nashville. For my part, I talked about kintsugi, the traditional Japanese art of joining broken shards together with gold. “Kintsugi is not about fixing; it’s about recreating into the new. …

A Life Transformed in Tokyo

Chieko Ozawa came to faith after being invited to a Bible study during a three-year stint in England. She fell in love with Christ and the Church, but her faith threatened her relationships with what she most loved. Her husband and mother were not supportive of her conversion to Christianity and she feared she might …