Thursday, September 29, 2011

First Day in Thailand

What a whirlwind day we have had, and the night is young. We are about to head out to see the famous "walking street" to share the love of Jesus with prostitutes. I hope to sketch, but I am also exhausted, so who knows if that will happen.

My favorite memory today was when I pulled out some watercolor paints in the slum, and began painting with a few kids. It was all very spontaneous, which made it all the more fun. The team enjoyed reading to the children, playing and singing with the children, helping to give them a meal, helping in passing out dresses that had been made for them back in America, and playing soccer with them (Pastor Wayne.)

I can hear Asian sounding music outside my window which is heralding the evening night life Thailand is famous for. I hate to leave my room - my bed is calling me! However, here I go out into the thick of it!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Tomorrow Departure

Today is our final day of preparation for the outreach in Cambodia. I am encouraged this morning to read and hear about IJM's work. You might want to watch a youtube put out by NBC to see what is happening in Cambodia, and what our team will be facing there. We need your support in prayer and encouragement.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Art Supplies

Art Supplies for Sharing Our Stories

I have packed a large, silver suitcase of art supplies. I think I should go get my neighbor's scale to weigh the massive, silver thing. However, I might not want to know how much it weighs. I want to sleep well tonight. I hope someone else has a very light suitcase, so I can share my "treasures" with them.

Tomorrow, I speak in my church's missions class about my trip to Hungary. I have the PowerPoint ready, and I am praying the class will see my heart for Jesus and for what happened in Hungary this summer. As I close out my presentation, I am going to ask everyone to make a story rope to share their stories. I am hoping everyone will enjoy the space I will create for sharing our stories. 

I purchased some "guy" stuff to put on the story rope. This will be a first - to have many men make the story rope, but I truly think they will be blessed by doing them. 

OK, maybe I'll go get that scale.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Eye On The Prize

Original Drawing by Marcia

Yesterday, a friend, Paula, shared a song by Sara Groves that I'd like to share here. I hope you'll appreciate it as well.

I am so thankful for all those who have been fighting slavery/sex traffic industry and continue to do so day after day when others may have fallen away.

International Justice Mission, the organization she speaks about, is a human rights agency that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. Here is a link for their website:

Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed; rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked."
PSALM 82:3-4

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Christ on the Cross, Collage by Marcia

I've been learning about the word, gospel. Gospel means or used to mean "new order of things." I've come to find, throughout history, gospel has meant something that has been done, something completed and something new happening. It is not something you or I do. Christianity is the ultimate, best Gospel

All religions, except true Christianity, require you and I to do many things to maybe go to heaven or be one with the universe where there is really no eternal place and peace with our Maker. It is all rather nebulous. The weight of our destiny depends entirely on us. There is no certainty in these religions. (Except, maybe that you'll have to try again in the next life.)

I am learning about Buddha in preparation to go to Cambodia. He lost his mom at birth. His dad sheltered him as he grew up, but once he went out four times in a row and saw all the evil in the world. This troubled Buddha, so he sat and thought how these ills could be avoided. He tried the path of total deprivation, almost starving himself to death. He then decided meditation was the way to find "enlightenment", and perhaps a peace he was searching for. This took him 49 days to figure out. He came up with four noble truths listed below.

Buddha had to learn his way of salvation, and others will have to learn it as well if they want oneness with the universe. Women have to learn more rules than men to acheive enlightenment, which seemed rather unfair. I wonder, as I read, if that is partially why they have low status in Cambodia . 

And, one can bring bad karma or good karma on oneself and or family with various actions. It sounds exhausting and very, very tricky to me.

With Christianity, Heaven has been secured for us by our Savior. Jesus is the way of salvation. He has cut through everyone's karma. Jesus died to set us right with God. His death takes away the wrath of God for our own wickedness in our own hearts - and the out-workings of said wicked heart. All the work is done, completed. Gospel.  

He is not our pet or mentor. Jesus is not a little something extra in our lives to give us a boost. He is our total and complete rescuer.
Some people say, often intellectuals, "I don't need a savior, I just need an example." However, the jig is up. I know their wicked hearts, where the real battle takes place, because I know my own wicked heart and its propensity for wrong and selfishness "thinking" or being. A list of dos and don'ts will not fix my propensity. The root issue will remain.

The Gospel of Jesus is my only hope. It is a hope of which I am certain.

The four noble truths
The first: suffering is the basic human condition—the mental, emotional and physical suffering we endure is a result of past karma.
The second: the cause of our suffering is our desire for transient things. We value people and material things too highly, but ultimately cannot depend upon them.
The third: suffering can be eliminated—if we stop desiring the temporary.
The fourth: the way to eliminate our desire is to follow the eight-fold path.
Right knowledge or understanding
Right attitude/thought
Ethical conduct/morality
Right speech
Right action
Right way of living
Mental discipline
Right effort
Right awareness
Right composure/meditation
Keeping to the eight-fold path is difficult and requires determination and commitment.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Set Free by Human Kindness

Original Watercolor - by Marcia
I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love;  I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them. Hosea 11:4

Today, one of our leaders on the Cambodia trip sent us this verse. She sends us scripture and devotions every day as we prepare for our trip. Today, she reminds us that we will be those chords of human kindness to many we meet on our journey to and in Cambodia. This verse is very encouraging as I prepare and pack.

Seeing this verse makes me stop and think of all the people who were chords of human kindness for me over the years of my life. (That would be quite a story rope!) These are the people in my life who gave me grace, love, mercy, kindness when I may have not have deserved it or when I was flat on my face. They were giving me the gift of kindness to show God's love to me - even if they did not know it.  These kindnesses led to freedom from much of the bondages both internally and externally in my life. Some of those people remain in my life today as I work on remaining free from bondage, and they spur me on to do the same for others.

The last part of the verse is amazing to me. Not only does God set us free through human kindness and ties of love, but after He frees us, He feeds us - cares for us. When I think of my own life, I think of the times when I have been set free, but I needed care so I would not return to the same bondages. I imagine this is true in Cambodia as well - and I am thankful for the safe homes for the children who have been rescued from the bondage of the sex traffic industry.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Then Your Light Will Break Forth Like the Dawn

Collage in Response to Scripture Verses
Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear, then your righteousness will go before you and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. 

                                       Isaiah 58:8
The night is nearly over, the day is almost here. Romans 13:12

I have done a couple of collages in response to two verses that were given to my team going to Cambodia. These verses, primarily the second one, are very important for those working with CHO, Cambodia Hope Organization. CHO is the organization that will host the team while we are in Cambodia. Chomno, the leader at CHO, is an amazing servant of Jesus. Please get to know him and check out CHO's website here:

Thanks for looking at the art. The second piece was an effort on my part to get more at the essence of the verses. I am hoping to use collages like these cross-culturally.

Simplified version

Friday, September 16, 2011

Please Pray! Flooding

Children Playing in Soldier Camp

Video of the recent floods
Can you please pray for those at Safe Haven today? It is the set of homes for children rescued from the sex traffic industry. We got word last night that the flooding is causing concern around the safe houses we will be visiting. The waters are rising. Thanks for any prayer - that will be my focus today. It certainly makes me extra thankful for all the comforts we have here.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze....since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you. Isaiah 43:2 
Lord, please do not let the waters sweep over Safe Haven today!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cambodian Map

Today, I have been looking over maps of Cambodia, reading more history of the country and looking at photos of the people and special places. I thought I'd share this part of the journey as well. I am not quite certain of all the places to which we will travel, but I do know we will be in Poipet. It strikes me, as I look at the map; right there are all the countries the USA got to meddling in back when I was much younger. 

The towns on the map were just names on the nightly news back then. It is amazing to me that I will actually be going to the places and people represented by those names. I'll be coming with God's love in my heart and art in my suitcase. The team will be bringing this love which we all share. We are bringing creating tools for art, sewing, mentoring and welding. We bring hope by coming alongside others to repair, build anew and even dream for the very special people we meet in Cambodia. How different from the nightly news long ago.

Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything without weakening. 
—1 Corinthians 13:7

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Re-Thinking Art In Cambodia

I see the faces of the little girls we will be sharing life, and the love of Jesus, within Cambodia, and I think, at first, we will easily make connection through art. I am really hoping for that. As I have been preparing, however, I am re-thinking that a bit. Because of my reading in preparation for this trip, I am leaning toward listening, asking questions and then coming up with an art project or projects. I'm going to have to be led by the Lord because the Cambodian culture is very new to me.

I also watched a disturbing movie last night. It is called:"S21 The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine." One of the main characters in the movie is a visual artist - a painter. This artist was painting or showing paintings throughout the movie. He had survived the massive killing of Cambodians by the Khmer Rouge. Many artists did not survive. He said some of them were better artists than he, but for some unknown reason, he lived to paint and tell his story. He asked the guards that were in the documentary - why? They had no good answer. He asked where their reason had gone. He pressed them into taking responsibility. They couldn't.

One guard shared he had headaches whenever he thought about it, so he drank and partied to numb the headache. I think, his only hope to free him of his nagging pain is repentance and forgiveness from God - the one true God who loves him and can give him eternal forgiveness.

I have much to think and pray about as I prepare.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New Toys!

Two of my daughters gave me gift cards to Michael's Craft Store for my birthday. (Yes, it's that time of year again, and after all the travel, I am feeling my age a bit this time. The grandsons think I've slowed a bit!) 

I am so thankful for my daughters. They have watched many different chapters of my life, and they are still encouraging me in my walk with Jesus and in life. Also, I guess they just might know what is on my heart these days. 

So, with Michael's gift cards in hand, along with Katie, 3 grandsons, we hit the area Michael's store. I began searching out some "new toys" to use to help others tell their stories. There is always something more one can pick up from the vast resources of the USA, but I am always weighing out keeping it simple. Then, I remind myself I should use resources I find where I go for the art.

I am learning that certain colors have very different significance than the same colors in America. For example, white is a color of mourning, not black. I have much to lean as I prepare to go.

I think I'll go experiment with these new toys...taking my grandsons on this journey while I spend this week with them. 

Caleb Painting

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Team Going to Cambodia

The 2011 Cambodia Team

The team has been meeting weekly for a while now, and some have met on other days of the week to brainstorm ideas and prepare. Our times together have been very informative and helpful for our preparation. It is a diverse group who all have a heart for Jesus and the little ones caught in the worst of situations in Cambodia. A few have been before, so I really appreciate that treasure!

We are in prayer and planning as we head into our final weeks of preparations. I am with family for a visit before my extended stay in Cambodia, so I am missing my team meeting this week. How quickly we have become a very special group, and as I am away from them, my heart goes out to them, and my prayers are with them.

Story Collage By a Friend

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Artful Story Tags

One way to share our stories or the Gospel in an artful way, is to use "tags" one can find at any office supply story in the USA. The tag area is not too grand, so the work does not seem too daunting, even for the beginner. I'll be bringing hundreds of these tags with me to Cambodia. I'll invite many to use them as a platform to share story or the good news of Jesus' love for each of us.

The above tags, made by a friend here in the United States, shares the Gospel message using words from magazines, calligraphy, colors, shapes and fabric. I am thinking the calligraphy will be important to use in Cambodia. I probably won't be able to share English words from magazines for use there.

I am certain my friend will share the love of Jesus with many through these simple, yet beautiful, label tags. The final step in making this particular visual storytelling piece is to make a protective sleeve to store the tags. I am looking forward to seeing how my friend designed the sleeve!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Art For Cambodia

Painted Papers Collage, Cambodia Safe House
"September 11th taught us that we can use our imagination either to destroy lives or to save lives. On 9/11 we had on the one hand militant hijackers who turned their imaginative vengeance into determined evil acts. On the other hand were firefighters who climbed the falling towers. We have to realize that before any of these terrorist acts were committed, they were imagined." Mako Fugimura, artist who loves Jesus

I have been selling prints of original art to help support my trip to Cambodia. Sometimes I share art to help tell my story, or I encourage others to make art to share their stories. Sometimes I make art just for the joy and beauty that comes into my soul from the process. I also enjoy adding to the beauty around me. I hope to make my home or your home a beautiful place because of my artwork. Life is so much richer because of art.

Yes, selling the artwork helps buy plane tickets to work with new friends in faraway places such as Cambodia. That's really helpful, and I am thankful for the many supporters who have bought art. If you want to buy a print of something you see on this page, email me and I will give you directions for donating tax free to the Cambodia trip. 

When I see the big, beautiful sunflower, I smile, thinking of fields and fields of sunflowers looking up to their creator, and me, in Italy or Hungary. I love those fields; I want to stop and paint in the middle of them. I rejoice in the beauty of them. I'm thinking of God's beauty, His artwork, when I see them racing past my train window or van window on my way to pressing engagements. 

By making the paintings of them, I imagine those fields far away now, I finally stop, and enjoy the beauty through art. 

Breakfast With Marc and Judi

Story Collage in Hungary

'You're working for the "company." ' I burst out laughing as this game continues. My older brother can always make me laugh.

My brother Marc, and his wife, Judi, came for a quick visit last night as they were returning home from Hawaii. Marc is the brother who thinks I work for the CIA. This morning, while giving Judi some prints to help support the trip to Cambodia, Marc commented again about my CIA activities because of the far flung places I go. I had to chuckle. And, then I thought about his comment a bit.

Well, I am trying to help people, to be a woman who brings light and love in dark places where many do not want to go. Using art. (I think that's what gets to him a bit - like it can't be real.) I am trying to be a part of the advancement of a "kingdom" of the Lord of love and light using art of all things. Really. 

Judi mentions that an acquantance used to go to Cambodia to help. Does this appease Marc? I look over, but he still is giving me that long sideways glance signaling the, "I know you are a CIA agent, so don't kid around with me" look. If he only knew. I think about inviting him on a trip to, say, Nepal.

I mention I'll be staying an extra week to do art with the children in the safe home, and that really gets him going. I know this is all in fun. Or is it? 

Love you, Marc! Hope you go to Nepal.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Art Missionary? What's That?

Loved the Least, Loved Jesus

"Sin doesn't only ruin the individual life; it ruins human society and the culture." - Tim Keller

I tell people I make story ropes with women and children to help them share their stories. Sometimes, I help others collage their stories with papers or label tags. I've done a mural with students in Nicaragua. I've worked on a graffiti canvas in Hungary with a team of artists. I am hoping I am helping in transforming lives and even cultures by sharing the hope found in Jesus.

However, sometimes, I fall off to sleep or wake in the early morning hours wondering what exactly God has called me to. Even I doubt what God is capable of through the visual arts. (My brother thinks I work for the CIA with all this world travel.) 

Then, I get confirmation from someone, that still small voice of God in a way, that I am part of an army of artists who love Jesus and want to bring hope and love into this world. Today, an art friend, Pat, sent me one of these still small voices of sorts. A magazine article. Here is an excerpt from a larger article on art and missions. My mentor, Marge, is mentioned in the article. It really is amazing what art can do in people's hearts. I pray He does wonderful things in Cambodia through art.

"Paula Dubill enters prisons to share Christ's love with violent offenders and rapists through her artwork. "My heart is for those in prison, refugees and the displaced," explains the 48-year-old YWAM missionary-artist. Based out of Hawaii and Virginia, Dubill travels the world, often ministering in war zones and hostile areas.

"My heroes were Brother Andrew and Corrie ten Boom," she says. "At first, no one seemed to want an art missionary."

YWAM opened the door.

In a prison in South Africa, Dubill staged art classes for violent criminals. Patrick came to class with the words "Son of Satan" tattooed on his forehead. As Dubill sketched his portrait, Patrick told her he had AIDS, syphilis and tuberculosis. When it was the inmates' turn to create, Patrick made a clay tombstone inscribed with "R.I.P."

"All I could think when I saw it was that there was a spirit of death over him," Dubill recalls.

Another missionary-once a member of a satanic church-counseled Patrick that only the Holy Spirit could transform his image of death into a glorious image of new life. A few days later, Patrick bowed to his Creator and became a son of God.

Patrick's story is a mosaic of brokenness and marvelous restoration. A portrait of God's amazing grace. A tapestry of the Holy Spirit's gentle wooing. It is proof that our Creator is a God of art. --Julian Lukins"

Full article:

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Cambodia Hope Organization

"CHO believes children to be at the heart of this vision for Cambodia and strives to educate, empower and equip children as leaders of the future." -  Cambodia Hope Organization

As I mentioned in my first post, I am part of a team going to Cambodia. Now, I'd like to introduce you to the organization the Cambodia team will be working alongside during our stay in Cambodia. I am looking forward to seeing, first hand, the work this group of compassionate people have begun and implemented in Cambodia. They have taken to heart the passage of scripture about loving one's neighbor, and they are doing it. They are specifically caring for the little ones, the children.

Many NGOs have helped come alongside CHO for a number of years, and the fruit of their labors is amazing and rewarding. It is inspiring to read of all that is happening in that corner of the world. These "neighbors" must be on God's heart and mind.

Here is where you can read about Cambodia Hope Organization:

There you can see some pictures of the work and read the history of all that is happening in that part of the world. The work is along the Thai/Cambodia border. I'll be learning right along with you!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Art In My Suitcases

I John 3:16 in Hungarian

As I travel to faraway Cambodia on my journey with art/faith/story, this time I may need a stack of suitcases for the art and art supplies. So, I've chosen the stack of suitcases for this blog to celebrate my travels and my treasures of art making all over the world. And now, Cambodia. I've never been there!

I am preparing to travel with a gifted team, 14 men and women, to Cambodia in just a few short weeks. The team is hoping to accomplish many excellent things on this trip. We are dreaming and praying we will be a part of healing and light in that region of the world, and we hope to pass on some skills that many people can use for jobs and greater self-sufficiency.

One part of the team, with me right in there, is hoping to use art to share our faith and our stories. We hope art making times will cause space for many women and children to share their stories through art. Each of our stories are important to God and to each one in our smaller community of family and friends. They are full of purpose and meaning, and so, we should share are stories. Sometimes, it is easier to share through art making. 

I made the above collage as a way to share part of my faith and story when I was in Hungary. I'm showing, through the art, how deep and overflowing God's love for each of us truly is in providing a Savior, Jesus. (Thus, the cross with the hearts spilling over in abundance.) This faith in Jesus is central to my story.

I am painting papers and gathering all sorts of supplies for this next trip. To be continued soon!