Youth-Led Lettering Camp at Wellspring Church

  Elise Kim, a high school sophomore from Walnut Creek, California, shares her reflections from two summer art camps for youth that she organized this year.

Elise Kim, a high school sophomore from Walnut Creek, California, shares her reflections from two summer art camps for youth that she organized this year.

For as long as I can remember, my church has been partnered with Hands at Work in Africa. Founded by George Snyman, it is a wonderful organization that empowers the local African church to provide the most vulnerable orphaned children access to food, basic health care, and education. My church, Wellspring Church, is one of their many partners, and we mainly support the Mcheneke community in Malawi, Africa. I knew God was calling me to support them somehow, but other than going on a mission trip to Africa, I didn’t know exactly what I could do to help.

All my life, I have loved being creative, but over this last year, I have specifically grown a passion for watercolor lettering and calligraphy. I was able to use this passion to help with the Hands at Work Youth Art Auction in 2017 by auctioning off some of my lettering and artwork. Inspired by the auction, I came up with the idea to run an art & lettering camp for those who wanted to learn, since many people had previously asked me to teach them. So, I made a flyer and shared it with my church, classmates, friends and family to gauge general interest. To accommodate vacations and schedules, I decided to have two separate camps. There were 20 girls in total who came to the camps, which was so much fun. It was such a different experience to be the one teaching and not be the student receiving the instruction. Although I am not an expert, I taught them everything I knew about lettering such as techniques for brush pen lettering, watercolor brush lettering, and painting plants, succulents, and floral wreaths. Every day, we focused on something different. On the last day, I had the girls combine everything they learned and practiced over the week into one final project. To be honest, I was blown away by the talent and patience of all the girls. I am thankful for all the relationships that were built in just a week.

The ultimate goal was not only to teach lettering, but to simply glorify Christ using what God has shown me as a way to support the vulnerable orphans in Mcheneke. Through these two camps, I was able to raise $1,000 in donations! I believe this is proof that God can use seemingly simple acts as part of His perfect plan. I am so thankful for this opportunity to teach lettering to over 20 girls and I am beyond proud of how well they did.

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