Monday, July 9, 2012

Bill Drake in Tata, Hungary for an outdoor concert/fundraiser. Watch to hear more!

Tata from OM Arts on Vimeo.

OM Arts International Excelling in arts in missions imagine - illuminate - impact!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Another recap from a Bill Drake Band Concert... From a young first time missions dancer...

Bill Drake Hungary Tour in Pécel from OM Arts on Vimeo.

OM Arts International Excelling in arts in missions imagine - illuminate - impact!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Bill Drake Band Continues its tour of Hungary. This is actually the 4th year in a row that the band has traveled around Hungary. And they encountered a FIRST! They were invited to come and play/speak for a Refugee community/camp. One of the team members shares what she witnessed...

Bill Drake Band Hungary Tour Day 2 from OM Arts on Vimeo.

OM Arts International Excelling in arts in missions imagine - illuminate - impact!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

First day of the tour... Kecskemét.

Bill Drake Band Hungary Tour Day 1 from OM Arts on Vimeo.

More info on this town:ét

OM Arts International Excelling in arts in missions imagine - illuminate - impact!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Bill Drake Band Hungary Tour 2012

The Bill Drake Band Hits Hungary... Daily Video Blog
June 23, 2012

Bill Drake Band Hungary Tour 2012 from OM Arts on Vimeo.

OM Arts International Excelling in arts in missions imagine - illuminate - impact!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


This post is from Pat Butler, an OM Arts School of Mission teacher and coach... ENJOY!

Last night I witnessed transformation.

Saturday evenings, our students present their creative response homework assignments. It’s a highlight for many of us to see what they’ve worked on all week (or longer). 
Last night the dancers went first. We were all impressed at the marked improvement in them after only a few weeks—not only in technique, but in their ability to interpret a heart theme creatively. And then the last dancer got up, and brought the house down.
Holding back tears (unsuccessfully finally), she admitted that she had had to struggle with the assignment of the week—to describe "Personhood"—and she couldn’t understand what the block was. "I couldn't get the movements for the piece of music I wanted to use. Nothing was working, and I only had a short amount of time. I was so frustrated…”
In my experience, artistic blocks are significant precursors to breakthrough; I sat up a little straighter.
We had been teaching and discussing the issue of identity for weeks: identity in Christ, identity as artists, identity as true selves, the selves that pick up their cross, deny the false selves, rip off the masks, and follow Jesus. It has proven to be a major theme of the school, one that each one is grappling with in some way, no matter the life stage.
All that led up to a guest lecturer’s class and assignment: on personhood in Christ, simple being persons with Christ, not pastors, missionaries, evangelists, artists, daughters, sisters, mothers. Simply enjoying the gifts God has given, not trying to perform, do, or meet expectations, but resting, abiding, creating.
This dancer listed the number of statements that had been made to her in her young life, things like, "You can't do'll never amount to much as a dancer..." She described the conflict of only half believing them, and rebelling against them, and yet not fully embracing who she was and what she was made to do. And that's when the tears started flowing.

“…and then I realized what was happening."
Now she could hardly get the words out, but did: "'They' weren't the problem. I was my own worst enemy, telling myself I wasn't a dancer, only someone who liked dance, who used dance to work out for physical exercise. I had decided to just shift my focus to my skills as an administrator, and away from dance.
“Today as I worked in the studio, God helped me to see dance as a legitimate gift. He created me to dance, and I realized that I’m a dancer as well as an administrator. God is calling me to embrace both gifts.”
Big smiles erupted around the room. Anticipation was palpable.

“So I didn't finish the assignment, but I want to play this song for you and I'll just move around a bit."
With that, our beautiful dancer launched into what looked like a completely choreographed piece, with abandon and delight, her face now radiant with the most beautiful smile, free. The tears were now in our eyes—to see a person dancing with abandon before the Lord, as if none of us were in the room. It was a holy moment. I’ve seen it before—with non-artists as well as artists—when someone realizes who they are, who they were made to be, and the joy that that explodes in them as they spontaneously worship.
This was beyond dance. If we had had eyes to see, we would surely have seen the Lord dancing with her. This was worship, in spirit and in truth, and the glory of God was revealed in the glory of his dancer.
When she finished, there was a sacred silence, followed by a hushed: "We've never seen you dance like that before!..."That was truly YOU!"..."Your smile....did you all see her smile!?"
On and on it went, with God’s dancer alternately laughing and wiping tears, until finally she rushed off stage and into the arms of a fellow dancer, where she broke down in sobs. Those of us who knew something of her journey gathered around her—whether to hug, pray, cry, I don’t know. We were like athletes in a match rushing to a teammate who had just scored the winning goal. Our hero, who had broken free from the pack of lies holding her back from who she was and who God called her to be. And in the breaking free, God had tossed her both her call and a new identity.
We did hug, pray and cry. We blessed the work God had done in her to get her to this point. We prayed for her future, we prayed for the work yet to be done. But this pivotal dance would be a turning point for her, and a memory I will cherish as a highlight of the school. Turning artists into Christ-centered, spiritually mature artists is no small feat; we long for it, but can only set the stage for it to happen, and ask God to do the rest. That night, He seemed to roll up His sleeves and say, “Watch me work!”

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Glamour Myth

There is a myth out there that many subscribe to. It is the myth that
International Travel is glamorous. There are some times that this is
true, when people of means are able to purchase a level of service
that rivals the privileges afforded to ancient kings - full flat beds
in First Class, being waited on hand and foot (literally on some Asian
Airlines in First Class), and meals that are prepared by gourmet
chefs. And then there is what I call "Reality Class", that arena of
service that is granted to those who can barely get on the plane - by
standby, or by cheap fares. The following journal entry is a
description of one such journey - one I actually took a few days ago,
that I thought might shed some humorous and real light on what this
can really be like:
"I have just arrived in Amsterdam - flew all day yesterday from
Bangkok, Thailand, through Moscow, to Amsterdam.  It literally
involved walking blocks from the hotel with luggage, sweating heartily
from the 99% humidity in the tropical air, taking a sky train, then
switching to a airport train, standing in lines for TWO HOURS at the
Bangkok airport, almost missing my long-haul flight to Russia, being
literally squeezed into the very last seat on the plane, which was at
the very back (!) But I am sure what would have been absolutely
HILARIOUS would have been the bird's eye video of my changing my
shorts into long pants in the Areoflot Airlines A330-300 at 36,000

You see, I had worn shorts and t-shirt on the journey to the trains,
etc., cause I knew I would be hustling out in the tropical air, and I
knew I would turn into puddles of sweat if I had worn long pants and
long-sleeved shirt - so I brought the change of clothes so I could
change on the plane once I cooled down.  Well, trying changing pants
in a space the size of a small microwave, where you don't want to put
your feet on the floor without shoes cause an inebriated Russian kinda
"missed" if you know what I mean!  So I'm standing on my shoes after I
have taken them off, and trying to pull of my shorts and put on long
pants, half leaning against the folding door, and half standing on the
vacuum toilet, in the middle of violent turbulence!  It's a wonder the
stewardesses didn't send in the KGB on me, as I was banging my elbows
and knees on every vertical surface in there!!!

Then after landing, I experienced a CRAZY Moscow Airport, where you
needed to be Sherlock Holmes to discover where the Transit Desk was,
and therefore another tight connection (plane was boarding when I got
to the gate!), landing in a very NICE Amsterdam Airport, but then to
figure out the bus system!  I had to go in and out of the Airport to
the Bus Depot 3 times!!!  The wonderful Dutch lady at the info desk
kept giving me the wrong platform information, and I could just see me
standing in the cold missing my bus, or on my way to some destination
that I couldn't pronounce!!!  Finally got on the right one, and asked
the Driver to alert me to my stop.  He was very gracious after I told
him I was an ignoramus from America where we have no knowledge of what
public transport is!!! I really don't know the last time I had a more
crazy 36 hours!"

Thank God for Psalm 46!

posted by Bill Drake

Bill Drake is the Field Leader for OM Arts International as well as the founder of the Bill Drake Band. Please visit his website for more information.

OM Arts International Excelling in arts in missions imagine - illuminate - impact!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Artists with Personality

Written by Jon and Erika Tello
Sunday, 26 February 2012 22:46

After countless hours of planning, praying, and preparing for the launch of this pilot program, it was finally here. The students arrived in the flesh and as they did our mounting anticipation melted into grateful joy. The weekend was spent in a flurry of activity to orient the students to their new home, lay ground work for the coming weeks of teaching, and build community among the student body.

During the orientation process we uncovered some fascinating information about the personality of the student artists who compose the Class of 2012. It turns out that 76% of the students are of the "Idealist" personality type. Idealists can be described as: creative, enthusiastic, humane, imaginative, insightful, religious, subjective, and sympathetic. They are generally visionaries who operate largely on their feelings and intuition resulting in extraordinary goals for making changes in the world. And we have 13 of them embarking on this adventure in arts ministry! Only 15-20% of the general population claims the "Idealist" personality type. As a result, most of the students went from a life of being in a small minority to belonging to a unique community where they are part of the large majority. Faces lit up around the room as students gained awareness of their new reality and the camaraderie they shared.

While it is energizing to see such like minded individuals come together in this School of Mission we realize the similarities among the group also presents challenges. The remaining 24% of students (four of them) are split with half being "Guardians" and half being "Rationalists". We are thankful for the balance they will help bring to the vision and performance of the group by infusing organization, detailed planning, and practicality to the mix.

This past week, students began diving into the course material including the Biblical Foundations for Ministry through the Arts, Spiritual Formation of the Artist, and the Cross Cultural Artist. In teaching we are also keenly aware of another discovery we made about the student body. Our group only prefers two of the four basic learning styles. 65% of the group are primarily Reflectors and the remaining 35% are primarily Activists. This means that in order to best digest the course material and experiences that come their way they will need a lot of space and time for reflection and opportunities to directly apply the knowledge in an active way.

While this is just a glimpse of the 17 lives that have descended on this valley in the Alps, we happily introduce to you the inspiring group of students God handpicked for such a time as this. We look forward to what God will do in and through them in the coming weeks and are glad to have you join us on the journey.

To keep up to date with the school of mission - please visit the SCHOOL BLOG.

OM Arts International Excelling in arts in missions 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bonfires and the Extraordinary

We wanted to share this post with you from one of our teachers and mentors over in Italy at the school of mission. Pat has also asked for prayers and the first wave of spiritual attacks has begun!

Also, stop by the School of Mission BLOG from time to time.

OM Arts International Excelling in arts in missions imagine - illuminate - impact!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

and we're back!

Sorry for the long hiatus, but we are BACK! We've been working on a rebranding and relaunch for OM Arts International and we are officialy LIVE! Thanks for your patience.
Feel free to drop by and sign-up on our newsletter list as well as participate in a focus on prayer and fasting for the International School of Mission that begins Friday in Italy!
Stay tuned for updates on what we're working for 2012.

Blessings and peace_

OM Arts International Excelling in arts in missions imagine - illuminate - impact!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Connecting to a Community Through Art, One Life at a Time.

An OM Arts International team touched people's hearts with their art forms this past summer on a short-term missions trip to Belgium. On one particular day, the team used various art forms to reach people in a park with the Gospel. A homeless man listened to the worship music and heard some of God's word. His eyes filled up with tears. Katie who sat singing with the group moved out of her comfort zone and sat beside him. 

This simple act was enough for this Portugal born immigrant to start pouring out his heart. Katie could do nothing more than listen as best she could to the cathartic release in Portuguese. He stayed for the next few hours enjoying fellowship and music. As some of his homeless friends came by we saw a change in this softened man’s demeanor. He became flirtatious and began to drink again. Just as it seemed that he was returning to the only world he knew he pulled out a very small and obvious precious picture of a young girl: his daughter. He gave the picture to one of our team members and ask if she could draw it bigger for him. Homeless, an alcoholic but still a father who kept this treasure close to his heart. We now understood why the letter from his ‘Almighty Father’ had touch him so deeply and brought tears to his eyes. We all have experiences that God draws on to illustrate his love to us. He is the Great Artist!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bill Drake Band Rocks Hungary.

As Bill Drake performs on stage, a peace and joy radiates on his face as he tells the large auditorium of Hungarians the hope they can have in knowing Jesus.

“I love to see people come to know Jesus,” said Drake smiling, sitting casually with a cup of tea. “Transformation is an intentional process and we are contributing to an intentional process,” he added. “I hope our tour flows where God is intersecting … providing the piece of the puzzle where God wants when we arrive at a city to perform.”

The tour Drake is referring to is a two-week long venture, first beginning at two children’s camps teaching arts and then on to the rest of Hungary where the Bill Drake Band and dancers will perform, sharing the message of the Gospel

The band, comprised of five men from the USA, performs various worship songs, many written by Drake himself. Performing is not a new thing for Drake. He has been touring with the Bill Drake Band for over 20 years to many parts of the world and has visited Hungary five times with his first visit in 1993.

Drake said nations like Hungary who have faced oppression in the past, are usually those who have the most impact upon hearing the message of Christ. “We come in with the message ‘you are precious, meaningful and a valuable contribution,’” said Drake. “It’s empowering stuff.”

The band’s first performance in Érd, Hungary on July, 19 drew a large audience, many who braved the heat of the auditorium to hear the testimonies of band members as well as witness dances put on by the dance team. 

The energy of the band members was evident as they performed. Despite the warm temperatures, the band enthusiastically clapped along to the music and encouraged the audience to do the same. “Jesus Christ is the reason we sing and we want to dedicate this concert to Him and sing to Him!” said Drake.

What stood out to Drake was after the concert, two members of the local media approached him for an interview, while also giving him encouraging feedback about the performance. “The local paper said it was one of the best classic rock concerts he’s been to,” said Drake. While the “TV reporter was very impressed with the authenticity of the testimonies and could tell they were straight from the heart,” said Drake smiling.

Ultimately, Drake said the band is here to help mobilize the local churches and assist in missions work. “We are here to help … not here to be famous, but rather be a part,” he said. The Bill Drake Band continued on touring to other Hungarian cities and towns sharing the important message of Jesus.

The Bill Drake Band is a ministry of OM Arts International.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Brokenness is the Beauty.

The Hungarian word “Csodalatos” means “brokenness is the beauty”. English words fail to convey the exact meaning! Perfect love, total wrath, graceful beauty, complete brokenness, malicious cruelty and compassionate kindness all occupying the same space in one climatic moment. Such was the truth that God gave the Artslink, Dancelink and Bill Drake Band team for Baja, Hungary from 10-17 July 2011. The results were eternal.

An arts and English camp, a city square concert, regular team devotions, nightly praise and worship - all great opportunities for God to work on participants and short-term workers alike. The tipping point came on the Wednesday evening when the leader of the Dancelink team, Cheryl Vigereaux, spontaneously began to dance to the song "How Great Is Our God" in the little cellar that had been converted into a chapel for the language school where the team was based.

Sharing in devotions the following morning, one of the team broke down as she tried to convey a vision she had seen during that dance - the bricks in the cellar exploded outward in an array of blinding light, and all of a sudden Cheryl, who hadn't missed a step, was dancing before the King of Kings, who was on His throne. God was pleased with this worship, and was pleased to see the missions team from Operation Mobilization team glorifying Him with their talents and gifts.

Later that day, Hungarian translator Bence, exhorted participants to share what they were experiencing. One after another, they related how loved they felt here, and in that love, they were experiencing God. Bence related the love of Christ, which compels us to share Him, His truth and His love. A number of Hungarians were in tears, and a number gave their hearts to Christ. “It was an awesome evening,” reports Bill Drake, “but nothing prepared us for the explosive response we were to experience the following evening outdoors in Baja City Center.

“Hundreds of Hungarians were drawn to the vibrant sound of our bands, the colorful power of our dancers, and the awesome spectacle of our visual artist's graffiti wall, painted on a huge canvas during the last song of the Bill Drake Band concert that night. Moving away from the keyboard, I pointing to the graffiti wall at the front of the stage and asked the crowd if they would like Jesus to do in their hearts and lives what was so colorfully and skilfully displayed on the canvas: Csodalatos. Wetting their hands with paint, many came forward to make their mark for Christ.”

Praise God for His presence in Baja and the miracle of new life in Christ for many young artistic Hungarians who encountered the Ultimate Artist.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Expressing God's Love in Europe Through Art.

OM Arts International, a ministry of Operation Mobilization (OM), organized an evangelistic outreach this summer in Belgium using art to connect with the local community. Over the course of a week, many conversations took place as the team of short-term missionaries spent time immersed in the communities, giving their hearts in worship and acts of love in the form of personalized drawings, love letters from God and flowers.

A highlight of the outreach was working alongside “The Well”, a community of believers who meet in what they call “expressions”, all over Brussels. Ripple is a new "expression" gathering that began in February. They meet in a local café and are experimenting with the use of art in their meetings. “We held an ‘open mic night’ in their usual café venue sharing poetry, songs, pieces of art and testimonies,” reported Karen, leader of the outreach team. “It was great to be immersed in the community to do this event with local people inside and outside the café.

Praise God for the many encouraging conversations that took place during the week, and for the on-going relationship Ripple has begun in the community.
Why not consider going to Belgium on an arts missions trip in this December!  Click here for more information! Tell your friends!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

O.M. Arts School of Mission Scheduled to Open in Italy!

Go anywhere in the world and talk to anyone committed to arts ministry.  Over and over again, you’ll hear the same thing: “God is moving in new ways through the arts.”  So much is happening that clearly God’s hand is behind this movement.

That is exactly how we feel about the upcoming OM Arts School of Mission.  For years Operation Mobilisation (OM) has been dreaming about pushing beyond short-term mission trips to start placing long-term artists as cross-cultural witnesses for Jesus. An obvious step in that direction would involve an intensive arts-in-mission training. But when and where?

Then suddenly, late last year God started answering those questions.  The OM team in Italy offered it's new facility, Forterocca in a beautiful Alpine valley.  The dates became clear: mid February, 2012 for 11 weeks.

What artist hasn’t dreamed of taking three months to dedicate to their craft?  The OM Arts School of Mission fulfills this dream and more.  Not only will the schedule dedicate plenty of individual studio time, but the student artists will gain a widened perspective through ample teaching and immersion in the local community. 

The OM Arts School of Mission is not the place to go and learn your craft.  Instead, it is the place where already dedicated Christian dancers, musicians and visual artists can spend time infusing their lives and their art with God’s heart, beauty and power.

Not too long back, some of the people who were designing the curriculum got to sit down for coffee with Jim and Anne Mills of Creative Arts Europe.  Throughout three decades of service there are few, if any, who are more familiar and involved in being a witness through the arts in Europe. Quite simply, Jim declared that to his knowledge there is nothing comparable to the OM Arts School of Mission currently available in all of Europe.

So, it seems that God is placing the OM Arts School of Mission on the leading edge of reclaiming the arts in Europe for His kingdom.  What believing artist would not want to be a part of that? Significantly, this valley is where the Waldensian movement took root in the Thirteenth century.  Despite deadly persecution, the Waldensians were fearless in training missionaries to preach the Word of God not in Latin, but in the common tongue of the day.  Now in this same location, we get to once again train missionaries to communicate His narrative in a culturally relevant way.
The dream for this school began with God.  It will only be fulfilled through God.  The prevalent cultures of Europe and the art world are awfully alienated from God.  But with the original creator on our side, who are we to walk away?  Pray the school meets its maximum potential.  Imagine the reconciliation possible in countless lives and whole cultures as a steady stream of artists are prepared to live out the truth and beauty of Christ in their lives and in their art!

If you or an artist you know are ready for a stretched faith, you don't want to miss this historic opportunity.  The OM Arts School of Mission will have limited space for each of the three different disciplines.    More details, as well as application info are linked here for
   visual artists

Questions?  Send them here.

by Mat Carson, Director of Training, OM Arts International

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Arts Team Connects to Community in Belgium.

Four young missionaries serving with Operation Mobilization (OM) in Belgium met as a 'visual arts team' in May, 2011 along with a team of creative students from Colombia International University in the USA. Their goal was to participate in the team's first street art evangelistic outreach.

These musicians, visual artists and actors spent their first week working in Brussels with a church group who holds their gatherings throughout the city in local cafes.  Their days involved praying and creating art that expresses the area, as well as community pieces of art involving local participation.

Evenings brought interactive worship events in local cafes and prayer for the area. One of these events planned was in the Marolles neighborhood that OM has been working in with the hope of starting a church.

The team then moved on to Leuven to do similar things but with the goal of generating interest in their new art club that aims to help Christians and non-Christians meet together on a regular basis. From this club they plan to start Alpha courses based around the artistic themes.

Even though this creative arts team finished their outreach, there will be another arts missions trip to Belgium in December. Consider being a part of this exciting Christmas arts missions trip for performing, technical and visual artists!

Excelling in arts in missions.  imagine - illuminate - impact!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Music Has Impact on Church Growth.

A ministry team from OM Arts International called "Heart Sounds International" (HSI) recently returned from a challenging field project in the Peruvian jungle.  This trip centered in a camp called Aurora along the Amazon River where HSI joined with 20 persons making up five teams gathering for a variety of ministries—medical, sports, literacy, children's clinics, and various practical projects.  

Results of the Urarina gathering

More than 100 Urarina from small villages had come to Aurora, many traveling for days by boat. The HSI team met two Urarina pastors and started asking about their music traditions and how they composed music. The pastors had written three new songs in the Urarina language, and the HSI team encouraged the pastors to collaborate and write a song based on the words of scripture. The pastors were happy to participate in this historic moment, creating the first scripture songs in the Urarina language. Before long seven Urarina and Spanish songs were recorded, mostly in a melodic style from their mountain region.

Back in the 90s, the president of Wycliffe shared that when the translators got the new believers to sing the newly translated scriptures, using their own melodies and music styles, churches grew rapidly. When that did not happen, churches grew more slowly. Missionaries shared that with Urarina pastors a few months ago and encouraged them to write worship songs in the Urarina language. To the HSI team's delight, that connection of scripture and local music forms had moved from continent to continent, and then to the far flung communities along the Amazon, where the HSI team had the joy of recording new Urarina worship songs that one day may be sung at God's Throne.

Excelling in arts in missions
imagine - illuminate - impact!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Hope for the Little Children of Atlanta's Sex Industry.

UniShow performed recently at several venues in the Atlanta area. For two evenings UniShow had the great privilege of partnering with NightLight Atlanta for outreaches in the inner city.  NightLight Atlanta is a ministry that reaches out to women and children exploited in the sex industry.  Dustin and Katie of UniShow joined the kids club outreaches in two "neighborhoods" of Atlanta and shared about Jesus with the children.  At each event Dustin shared the Gospel and led kids in a prayer to receive Jesus.  After leading prayer at one outreach, Dustin explained that those who just prayed to receive Jesus are now children of God.  One boy who had prayed threw his fists in the air and said, "Yes!"  These kids desperately need to know they matter and have a heavenly Father who loves them extravagantly.

Dustin performing for an AWANA program.

Read more at UniShow's blog.

OM Arts International

Excelling in arts in missions

imagine - illuminate - impact!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Beautiful Gift of Art.

- An artist's experience of touching a life through the beautiful gift of art.

"The more I make art, the more time I spend in the studio and the more I develop as an artist, I've discovered something about it. Art is a therapy.

For me personally I could also say that it's a spiritual experience.  Usually God speaks to me while I'm creating.  He speaks truth into my life as I push the contrast in my drawings or struggle to mix the colors I want.  I've noticed that I become the most productive with my art during times of struggle.  I need to paint to get my emotions out.  My emotions seem to bottle up...but then when I paint, they just pour out onto the canvas and I feel a release as I paint.

I am a planned, detailed person, but I purposely do not plan out every detail of my art projects from beginning to end because I know that not planning is better for me.  It stretches me, challenges me, helps me become more spontaneous in my art making...and also in life.

And I recently had the opportunity to try some art therapy with someone else.

You see, there's this woman I know.  She's British and her story is an extremely sad one.  She married a Muslim and she became a Muslim.  She was shunned by her family.  Her husband left her when she became pregnant. She is living in a room at a hostel with her son and struggling to make ends meet.  She is without a job.  Without a lot.  And she has a bitterness in her.  A bitterness that just seeps from her pores.  I don't blame her from her bitterness.  She has been through a lot.  If you could just sit down with this lady and hear all that has happened to her, you would be shocked.

One day recently, she came over for tea and we had the chance to pray for her as a group.  We prayed for a good bit and as I opened my eyes, I could see that she had tears streaming down her face.

"No one's every prayed for me like all are the first nice people that I've met here."

I invited her over to the art center the next day to sit and create with me.  She enthusiastically accepted the invitation.

On a Monday she entered the studio, wired up as usual by what had happened that day.  Tense and bitter--that's how I would describe her at that moment.  We sat down to draw and paint and I believe we spent the next hour or two just creating and chatting.  And you know what?  As we created together I noticed how she relaxed and laughed more.  She smiled.  And on top of it all, my friends and I had the chance to share quite a bit about our faith in Jesus to her that day.

I was just so amazed how art literally enabled the entire experience.  I've never seen it work so literally and directly.  Something happened between the time she entered the art studio and when she left.  Art may not have solved all her problems, but I believe it definitely helped her release some of her built up emotions that day!

Thank you Lord for the beautiful gift of art."

Use your gifts as a performing, technical or visual artist!
Go on arts missions trips!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

International Short-Term Missions Trips for Artists!

Operation Mobilization offers international short-term missions trips designed especially for visual, technical and performing artists. Using artistic skills, one is able to work with a team to bring the Gospel message to those who don't know Jesus. Consider going on one of these trips or referring them to an artist you know as well as any journalists who may be interested in accompanying the team on a missions trip!

Transform North Africa:  July 4th-26th 2011
Come for the Transform conference in Rome, Italy, then fly to North Africa to form relationships with the local arts community, experience life in an Arab nation, and encourage long-term workers to reach out to others with the Gospel through art. Will include studio and gallery work, culminating in an exhibition.

Baja, Hungary:  July 9th-26th, 2011
Prepare to let Hungary inspire you! Lead art workshops at the English art camp and reach out to the local community by creating relevant artwork and seeking God's heart for the area.

Germany:  July 25th- Aug. 7th 2011
Serve teenagers and encourage them by facilitating the Artzone at TeenStreet, OM's international youth congress. Artzone is a place where teens can express themselves through art, learn new skills, and worship God.

Christmas Outreach in Belgium:   December 2011
If you have a couple of weeks free in December, why not pray about joining us to experience the Belgium culture and create some inspired artwork to exhibit at a Christmas market.

Further details about all of these outreaches and application information should be posted soon at: OM ArtsLink.  Please note that your portfolio and artist statement will be required as part of the application process. Any questions, email:

Find more information about arts in missions at:

Friday, January 21, 2011

Motivational Speaker and Extreme Sports Performer Inspires Audiences!

This is a great opportunity for your organization to utilize a world champion performing artist and create an event that is sure to entertain, challenge and inspire! Dustin Kelm of UniShow has a dazzling show and a powerful message for people of all ages! Schools, churches, youth events, camps, and other venues have tapped into Dustin's amazing talents.

Check him out at his web site:

 For more information about bookings please contact    770-631-0432 

P.O. Box 444, Tyrone, GA 30290  ph: 770-631-0432

OM Arts International
imagine - illuminate - impact!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Creative Arts Team Impacts Kyrgystan Through Music, Dance and Drama.

Recently a creative arts team made up of musicians, dancers, and dramatists toured in the country of Kyrgyzstan. As a local friend told the team, "The people here have seen a lot of trouble recently. They're tired of the fighting and problems. They're weary and they're open. We want to bring them His peace."

Despite the still somewhat unstable political situation in Kyrgystan, the arts team were able to perform in many memorable places. One such place was a facility for disabled men that - while improving - has seen years of total neglect and decay. Just last winter 70 of 300 men died of exposure to the cold. Now God's Word is spreading, there are about 30 believers, and the physical conditions and atmosphere of the facility are changing. It was a great joy to share about God's goodness and have the resident men dance for joy with the team's music. Elsewhere, in prisons the team shared an original drama illustrating God's forgiveness, healing, and reconciliation; and at one university, the arts team's concert helped a local ministry gain 496 new contacts with whom they can follow up and share the good news of Jesus Christ.

OM Arts International
Excelling in arts in missions
imagine - illuminate - impact!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bill Drake Band Celebrates the Christmas Season in Lebanon.

“I enjoyed tonight. It was exciting to play on board Logos Hope. The audience's reaction was fantastic,” said musician Bill Drake after a Christmas concert in the Hope Theater. Keyboardist and singer Bill and his band played a set of Christmas carols and other numbers to a mixed audience of ship’s company and local Lebanese. In between songs, Bill shared about his own life. He told the audience how after a troubled upbringing nearly caused him to commit suicide, he had found peace by getting to know God. He introduced one song by talking about what the first Christmas would have been like. “I love Christmas as it’s such a natural message. To encourage Lebanese people with their Christmas celebration is a dream come true,” Bill added.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Portraying Christ Artistically in Christian Missions.

Ashley, a dancer and painter, returned recently from serving two years as a Christian missionary in Western Asia with a traveling performing arts team. She journeyed across the region, taking part in performances that shared stories of God's transforming power and love. She also held her own art exhibition, showing paintings that portray redemption through Christ.

She wrote about her experience, saying, “Visual communication seems to simplify things while explaining difficult concepts. Having an extended period of time to learn about the people and the culture allowed for my paintings to portray specific aspects of their lives, while showing Christ as the solution. I often approached a piece not knowing how I wanted it to look, but knowing what concept I wanted to portray. I needed to release my grip on my work and learn to trust God to work through what I created. Results weren't always tangible, but God's peace came through the work and the surrounding atmosphere and was seen and felt by the viewers."

Ashley also spent time learning the local language, choreographing dances and drinking tea. The OM Arts team is grateful to God for Ashley and her heart for world missions. Please pray for more like Ashley to serve God in missions through the creative arts.

More information can be found at: OM Arts International or Operation Mobilization.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thousands Find Christ at Sports Festival in Egypt!

An estimated 22,500 visitors made the journey to the KDEC Sports Ministry festival held outside Cairo Egypt this past week. Over 20 performiers dazzled the audience with their unique talents and then shared the Gospel during this three day event. World champions and talented Christian performing artists and sportsmen in events such as skate boarding, jujitsu experts, extreme power strength artistry, a unicycle stunt artist, freestyle motocross, a billiard trick shot artist, an illusionist, musicians, and many more worked along side Arabic translators presenting the Gospel during the day leading up to a large stadium worship service each night. Evangelists and pastors presented Gospel truths touching the hearts of the many thousands that were in attendance.  Over 6,000 people accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior! The event was broadcast via satellite TV throughout the Middle East and North Africa!

Dustin Kelm of UniShow, a ministry of OM Arts International, performed twice daily and along with the other sports artists, considered it a great privilege to bring the Gospel to the people of the Middle East. Praise God for the way He prepared hearts and harvested many souls into His kingdom during the event!

the crowd worshiping in Arabic!

Unishow before
and after, and ready for the show!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Watch the Performing and Technical Arts at Work on OM's Ship, Logos Hope!

For more information on how you can be involved in the arts in missions, visit OM Arts International. For information about doing ministry on board Logos Hope, go to OM Ships International. You can also watch a video of life on board Logos Hope. You can join the ship for 2 weeks or longer! No prior ship experience necessary! Go to Logos Hope opportunities.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Share the Gospel in Beirut this Christmas

Did you know that you can be a part of bringing the Gospel to thousands of young people in the Middle East this Christmas?

Through music, the Word of God, storytelling, and other art forms, the Gospel will be brought to Lebanon this December. The Bill Drake Band, a ministry of OM Arts International will have the opportunity to minister to thousands of young people in Beirut.

Working with local churches, the Gospel will be presented in schools and concert venues around the city. This is an unprecedented opportunity!

$12,000 needs to be raised to cover airfare, food, lodging and transportation for the team of 8.

Will you pray and partner with us to help illuminate the truth of Christmas for people who so desperately need to hear this message?

For residents of the USA, give securely online by clicking here.

Or give a support gift through your local OM office with the notation: OMUSA-9071BDBL10   Click here for your local OM office.

 Using the Arts to Spread the Gospel

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Go on a short term missions trip to the Mediterranean region this summer and tell your story! Watch the video of Transform 2011 to find out how!

Transform 2011 is a ministry outreach of Operation Mobilization.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Artistic Missions Team Reaches Out to Earthquake Victims in Italy

One year after an earthquake hit the town of L'Aquila in central Italy, citizens remain angry, depressed and frustrated. Except one.

A student asleep in her dorm when the earthquake hit, Antonella flew out of bed and cowered under a table, crying out to God to save her. In those horrifying moments, she gave her life to Christ—a true 'foxhole prayer', bearing fruit a year later. Miraculously, Antonella escaped; the stairwell in her dorm collapsed, but she found herself outside the building, running up the street away from the crashing structure.

Behind her, a human pyramid formed to rescue those trapped on the dorm's upper floors. Several students died, but most made it out to safety. If you ask most Aquilinos about the earthquake, they will share their grief, their anger and frustration. If you ask Antonella, she will answer that it was the day her life truly began.

An OM ArtsLink short term missions team visited L'Aquila with the desire to bring a message of healing, salvation and hope. A local pastor introduced the team to Antonella.  Her joy, energy and laughter were infectious. Antonella became the team's inspiration as they began to sketch, photograph, and paint her story.

“Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.” (Ps. 127:1)

While the goal was to bring a message of hope and restoration, God seemed to continually point to the corruption. That had to be dealt with first; if the city was to be rebuilt, its citizens would have to rebuild their hearts. Not an easy message to deliver! But in Antonella, a person whose heart had been radically changed, we had a compelling story. Rather than succumbing to the fear and blame, Antonella found her hope, strength and joy in Christ. The OM Arts team focused on that, producing 40 pieces of artwork that captured her story, and called the Aquilinos to examine their hearts. An exhibit was created in the town square and the final section portrayed the refreshment and healing that can come when God renews the heart.

The international OM Arts team literally created an outdoor gallery out of the rubble, fencing and scaffolding that surrounded them. They created a circular gallery, surrounding Antonella's “foxhole” table. On the table: her story, with a stone sculpture of the cross, created from the rubble by our artist from Hong Kong. Hundreds of people filed through, reading her story, or hearing it personally from Antonella, studying the artwork, reading the artists' statements, talking with OM Arts team members,  responding with written prayers on paper bricks, and posting them on our simulated “brick wall”—symbolizing a rebuilding of the walls of the city. Many lingered for over an hour.

Countless conversations and scores of books and Bibles went out to the hundreds of visitors that were welcomed. Antonella's story also went out in the form of 500 printed brochures. Seeds of hope and truth were sown and will hopefully be watered by our loving Heavenly Father, who desires good things for the people of L'Aquila.

On the cover of the brochure of Antonella's story was the following scripture.

“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”—Isaiah 54:10

Shortly after the OM Arts team visited the city, two more earthquakes hit. You can find dramatic photos of the earthquake here: L'Aquila earthquake.

Below, you can watch a short video of the short term arts missions trip to Italy.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

UniShow and Creative Arts Ministry in Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, Bulgaria & Kosovo

UniShow, a ministry of OM Arts International, recently ministered in Turkey. Dustin, a world champion unicyclist, performed shows in a plaza outside the largest shopping mall in Bursa (population 2.5 million). Two shows were performed and very well attended and the trial run of the different performance elements (music, dance, drama, unicycling and fire poi) flowed surprisingly well. Members of the show had lots of good conversations with people about the Gospel after each show and got contact info for follow-up from many more.

Next stop was Izmir where UniShow performed in a park, on top of a fountain. The fountain had just been turned off so it took the staff a while to dry it with fans, brooms and squeegees. It turned out to be a nice venue even though it was surrounded by water and had a water pipe in the middle of the stage.

The touristy city of Kusadasi was the next stop with a night show on the seaside at the Peace and Friendship Square. Dustin shared that because of God's love for us we can have a friendship with Him that will bring peace to our lives.

UniShow was challenged on this tour to make the most of every opportunity to share Christ. Thus, at a gas station enrout to Antalya, Dustin pulled out a unicycle and did a demonstration for the employees and we gave them Dustin's cards with his testimony written in Turkish.

UniShow performed for two nights during Antalya's Ramadan Festival at a seaside park. There was a very enthusiastic and loyal crowd that even silenced a protester who shouted that we had no right to come during Ramadan and tell them how to know God better. The rest of the crowd said he was acting shamefully and cheered for Dustin to continue his program. After the events there were many meaningful talks with people wanting to know more of our message of Love, Hope and Life.

Do you think this is a good way to share the message of truth about Jesus? Post a comment!

You can follow Dustin and UniShow on his blog: UniShowWorld
He is on tour August 10-Oct 21 to Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, Bulgaria and Kosovo

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