Andrea first came into mission as part of the WEC Short Term Mission programme. Now she has joined us as Associate member of the Arts Release team. She tells us more about how this all came about and what it’s like being part of Arts Release.
WEC: First of all, how did you get involved with Arts Release (formally Resonance Arts)?
Andrea: I went to missions festival called GOFest and talked to the people on the WEC stand. Following on from that, I applied for WEC Short Term Mission. During the application process, I mentioned I play the violin, and the Short Term team suggested I should join Arts Release as my placement. I accepted tentatively, because at that stage I wasn’t sure how things would work out.
WEC: And how has it worked out?
Andrea: It’s been brilliant. I felt, within a very short space of time, that I have something very important in common with the people around me. I was soon very comfortable opening up to the other team members and praying with them.
WEC: Your role is a little unusual for a short term mission placement…
Andrea: Yes. I’m based just outside London and I’ve joined Arts Release’s London-based band. We’ve been rehearsing regularly since November last year. As well as that, I go out to Lisieux in France whenever I can to support Arts Release’s ministry there. I’ve just agreed to be Arts Release’s Global Prayer Coordinator, too.
WEC: And you’ve also got a job, a family, responsibilities at church… How do you fit it all in?
Andrea: My work is flexible, which helps. I was working full time as a website editor, but I recently moved on to a photo-framing business which gives me much more flexible hours. It works well as a tent-making job, which enables me to do what I do with Arts Release.
WEC: You were part of a song-writing workshop in Reading recently. Tell us about that.
Andrea: There was a song-writing workshop during the day, and the band held a concert in the evening. It was such fun! For the workshop, we divided into three groups, each writing a song, and performed them afterwards. The church which hosted us has a big Nepali community and it was great to have some of them with us during the day. The church has a real vision to reach the unreached, using their own language and music, and of course, Arts Release wants to help people do just that. So we felt we were contributing to something really valuable.
WEC: Can you think of anything you’ve learned through being part of Arts Release?
Andrea: I’ve learned to improvise, in terms of listening
to other people playing and responding to it, but also in listening to the Holy
Spirit working in me. We always pray as a band before playing, that we’ll be
open to the Spirit’s leading. Sometimes I find I’m not entirely
aware of what I’m playing! But I feel I’m being blessed and I hope I’m blessing
others. It’s all been a sharp learning curve, actually. I’ve learned a lot, but
it seems as soon as I’ve learned
something, I find myself needing to pass it on to someone else! God teaches us
not just for our own benefit, but to pass the gift on.
Find out more about our Arts Release ministry
Arts Release seeks to help believers all over the world to use their own art-forms to shape their communication and worship.
To this end, Arts Release seeks to train and mobilise:
- People who are already gifted in arts – music, drama, storytelling, dance and visual art – for cross-cultural mission.
- Musicians and churches in multicultural worship.
- Arts Release offers internships, Short Term Mission and long term placements.
We need you to get involved
Are you gifted in art, music, dance or drama? Explore how you can use your gifts for cross-cultural mission.