Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Artist Bert VanderMark Impacts Mercy Ministries’ Girls and Staff!

1Bert VanderMark, a St. Louis artist and Founder of Visual Parables, a pastoral outreach ministry, has a desire to offer quality art classes to people from all walks of life so they are equipped to communicate “visual” praise and worship to God through art. Over the past few months, Bert has generously donated his expertise and resources to the residents and staff at Mercy Ministries in St. Louis. He also leads the St. Louis residents in a time of devotion before facilitating “art nights” twice a month. Furthermore, it was Bert’s generosity that made the art sales at last year’s Afternoon of Mercy fundraising event in St. Louis a possibility! He donated all the supplies including canvas, boards, oil pastels, paint and brushes and paid for the framing of each resident’s unique painting that was sold at the auction.

Last Thursday, Mercy Ministries Nashville residents and staff were thrilled to welcome Bert VanderMark to their own art day! Before pulling out the art supplies, Bert shared a powerful message about how we are bombarded with visual messages that are contrary to the Word of God. As our minds are renewed by reading and listening to God’s Word, the way we view ourselves gets transformed and we begin to see ourselves as God does.

Bert illustrated his message by passing out popsicle sticks to each resident and asking them to write on them a negative idea that someone had told them or that they believed about who they are. Later, they pieced the sticks together, forming an intricate piece of art, in the shape of a cross to symbolize how our past does not determine our future and that our true identity is found in Christ alone.

Mercy Ministries would like to thank Bert VanderMark for consistently pouring his time and energy into our residents and teaching them how to express themselves through their creativity. Here is what a few of the Nashville residents had to say about Bert’s message:

Amber said, “I loved listening to his teaching because it was so powerful. This world is full of deception and I need to stop listening to myself and begin listening to my Maker.”

Katie said, “I thought that Bert was absolutely amazing! I LOVED what he taught me about belief systems and that by searching the Word of God for truth, I learn who I am.”

Bethany said, “Instead of listening to self talk, which is usually negative, I am going to listen to God because His Word changes me. I really enjoyed this message.”