Sunday morning: backpack ready, paint cans and enthusiasm for doing something new. Without knowing exactly what awaited us, we left the Shores base for Holiday, a twenty story occupied hotel (a vertical favela). A desire to express God’s love for the sons and daughters living inside the Holiday building filled my soul with life as we painted the entrance hall. We had an idea of what this mural might look like; a sketch, but we knew that the Holy Spirit would flow through us to create something that came from His heart.

    We were born to create together with the One who created us; to manifest His glory through colors, traits, and forms. This phrase defines my way of seeing different artistic manifestations and how we reveal the love of the Father.

    There were children everywhere, curious looks, cans of paint scattered on the floor and joy stamped on the faces of all. I could feel God’s presence in every moment. In the smiles, hugs, and conversations. A simple love deeply marked my heart. In particular, we were able to visit the house of one of the residents, who welcomed and served us. We spent a few hours laughing and talking in her living room. By the end of the day, no one felt like going home.

    On the way back to the base I reflected on this visit to Holiday. I am sure that I came out knowing more of God’s love than I went in understanding. The song that our Father sings about the Holiday building is a song of love, peace, and joy, even in the midst of its danger.

    By Nicolli Schwartz