Monday, March 21, 2011

Part of the Solution

if you are reading then you’ve likely seen me reference Part of the Solution, the missional arm of the Masterpiece Conference. many of you prayed for the college girls attending, the nations being impacted through them & even for me as i pressed into Jesus during this season of life. some have asked to see pictures & hear updates. grab the pop corn and be amazed.

amazed at the desperation, the depravity

how little we know, really know, what it means to suffer

i mean really suffer

and by “we” i am speaking of me… sucking down a starbucks venti, pecking letters on a laptop in a bed three times my size. 

just hang with me…keep reading. you will be amazed.

at His heart for his people, all people. every nation, tribe & tongue.

amazed at His holy work in the world… in the lives of the oppressed

the most needy of the needy.

amazed at how He is calling ordinary people to participate in His extraordinary plan. 

ordinary people who want to touch eternity…. people who are touching eternity.

the entrance of Part of the Solution - “Touch Eternity”toucheternity

a little back story… Masterpiece is a ministry of Breakaway, a college bible study at Texas A&M. last i know of, 7,000 plus college students attend on a regular basis. i am one of thousands before and behind me whose life was changed through Breakaway.

fresh out of high school, jamie and i carpooled every tuesday night… getting there in just enough time to squeeze onto the balcony. hanging on every word and on the edge of our seats.

our debrief sessions lasting hours and ending with more questions than answers..all the while God increasing our faith, drawing us closer to Himself.

(jamie, if you’re reading this i owe you a phone call! missyouandloveyou-okaybye!)

over a decade later, a new director named ben. follow me closely, this gets confusing… ben’s sister, mandy, was and still is one of my favorite people. the kind of people that God uses to shape your life… to speak words of redemption over you without even meaning to. you know the kind.

i hope you do.

so mandy was in our wedding almost 9 years ago. (she & her husband are missionaries in Madagascar now & have two little ones.) click here if you want to learn more about how they are touching eternity!

flash forward…mandy’s brother ben leads breakaway and his wife, donna, is the director of Masterpiece/ Part of the Solution. she also leads worship and is an incredibly gifted artist. if you don’t already have her albums get one. get them all. i promise you will thank me later. so God gave donna the vision for Masterpiece and somewhere in that vision He included marci & i.

rabbit trail: just to confuse you further, marci’s husband, trey, works at Grace with ryan and they are in a secret club. well, it’s not so secret but they do do have a name for their accountability group. i will refrain from sharing it here… not because it’s obscene but because i’m still in trouble for posting our tacky sweater christmas photos from 2009! you’re welcome, trey.


by now you know this is going to be a long post but my nickname wasn’t motor mouth for nothin.

motoring on… i love these two women and am grateful to have served alongside them. we were friends before Masterpiece but i know their hearts in a much deeper, sweeter way as a result of working with them. they know & believe that He is the Solution and they invest their lives in eternity.

it took many many more people to pull off Part of the Solution…too many to name. but we could not have done it without the men & women who turned out to move furniture, build sets, hang signs, drill dozens of pallets together & a million things more. you might have been one of the lucky recipients of my desperate emails asking for manpower, tools or random materials. see pictures below to know why i was asking for your trash.  

getting ready collage

before i dive in, you will want to pause the “90s greatest hits if you were a foxy playlist” on my right side bar (toward the top of the page). another inside joke that will have a few people rolling- others rolling their eyes. never mind me.

music paused- and we’re off!

we designed a physical space where girls could be a part of what God is doing in the world. i encourage you to click on the links in this email to learn more about the ministries that help bring Hope & Healing to hurting people.

even if you have to pop in a few times, please come back to read about the amazing work going on in the world & how you can pray, give or even GO!!!

pots collage1market place collagethe Part of The Solution entrance included a market place highlighting Into the Streets of Ethiopia and Sseko Sandals.

Into the Street’s goal is to tackle poverty and loneliness in Ethiopia one child at a time. All donations support their basic needs, including formula for orphanages as well as educational programs & materials. Click on this button to learn more.hope

POTS 269 (2)

Sseko Sandals is an amazing ministry changing the lives of young women in Uganda.

(the sandals are also the coolest ever- see picture below on the top/left) textiles

Sseko \say-ko\ Designs was created to help women continue their education. The Ugandan school system is designed with a nine month gap between secondary school and university. These nine months are intended to allow time for students to earn money for tuition before continuing on to university. However, in an impoverished and male dominated society, many of these young women struggle to find fair work during this time.

Sseko Designs hires recent secondary school graduates for this nine month period to live and work together, while earning money that will go directly towards their university education. These women will not make sandals forever. They will go on to be doctors, lawyers, politicians, writers and teachers that will bring change and unification to a country divided and ravished by a 22 year-long war.

so check out Sseko sandals…maybe even sport a pair this summer.

testing 1,2 …is this thing on?

i hope you’re still with me because what’s next will make your head spin and your heart break. that’s because we are talking about As Our Own.

No girl dreams of a future as a slave laborer, forced to work in organized begging or the sex trade. But this is the horrific reality for millions of young girls caught in the poverty cycle throughout India. As Our Own has seen the plight of these children firsthand and is actively rescuing them out of treacherous situations and welcoming them into their care where they are loved and nurtured “as our own” children.

donna had the incredible vision for the As Our Own booth- it’s hard to use the word incredible when describing a brothel but what you are about to learn is incredible. incredibly tragic.

and don’t be fooled by the smiles on these precious girl’s faces. they serve with As Our Own and were helping to get the booth ready.

POTS 301 (2)

pay close attention to the statistics written inside the walls of the brothel.

POTS 348 (2)

i cannot begin to fathom these numbers. sweet Jesus move my thoughts heavenward as i go about my white, middle class day - strapping on nikes, sipping iced lattes & googling the latest-greatest-party blogs. give us eyes to see the hurting and hearts to put love in motion. POTS 346 (2)POTS 359 (2)

POTS 342 (2)

these are pictures and prayer requests of girls that have already been rescued.

POTS 306 (2)

do you see it, we can touch eternity? let us not grow weary in doing good!

POTS 358 (2) we provided journals for girls to write in… to be sent to the children & young women in India. the college women also had the opportunity to paint pictures.

i have updated this post to add a few pics, courtesy of black tag photography. thanks, julia!girls journaling journalsgirls painting

we also had a henna booth which was always full!

henna1 henna pictures from julia at black tag photography


next up is Living Water. 

Unlike war and terrorism, the global water crisis does not make media headlines, despite the fact that it claims more lives through disease than any war claims through guns. Unlike natural disasters, it does not rally concerted international action, despite the fact that more people die each year from drinking dirty water than from the world’s hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, and earthquakes combined.

This is a silent crisis experienced by the poor, and tolerated by those with the resources, technology, and the political power to end it. Yet this is a crisis that is holding back human progress, consigning large segments of humanity to lives of poverty, vulnerability, and insecurity.

Living Water International, is addressing this most basic of needs by helping deprived communities acquire safe, clean water. Our goal is to substantially ease the global water crisis while addressing root causes such as injustice, oppression, and abject poverty. As this happens, communities and worldviews are transformed—both among those in desperate physical need, and among those who have been blessed with much.

(if you have not already done so pause the music on the right side bar).

here was our booth for living waterPOTS 292 (2)

girls had the option of going on a water walk. what do you mean, waterwalk? well you see those HUGE yellow jugs of water? imagine carrying one in each hand and walking.

for miles

well, our water walk was a short loop outside and then back again but you get the point.

POTS 297 (2)

POTS 295 (2)so glad you are still with me. or that you came back to keep learning & asking how you might get involved.

many of you have heard about Compassion International but may not know much about the Bite Back Campaign. this campaign helps to provide mosquito nets for people in Sub-Saharan Africa. did you know that 2,000 children die from malaria EVERYDAY?

check out this amazing, mere 2 minute video

the bite back booth included bunk beds/ nets/ sheet rock walls with stats

POTS 312 (2)POTS 308 (2)you’re almost there, i promise.

and are you not more thankful as a result of reading? or maybe, like me you are overwhelmed by the deep suffering i warned you about when i first started this epic post.

can i tell you my hope? i am praying that everyone reading (yes, you) will choose to do something.


buy water to give water.

provide a $10 net.

pray for young, enslaved women and their children.

we can touch eternity TODAY. 

next is Campus Crusade – our sending arm at Part of the Solution. did you know that Crusade has a ministry presence in 191 countries!? girls attending Masterpiece had the opportunity to pray for specific countries on our atlas. i don’t have the final count but many indicated praying about going overseas.  POTS 291 (2)pray for the nations pic girl praying Today, nearly one-third of the world's language groups representing 340 million people are still waiting for the Bible in a language that they can understand clearly.

One Verse is a program of The Seed Company that enables you to support local Bible translators as they make God’s message available in the language of their people.

we adopted an isolated people group, the Rutara People. in just 2 days, the women of Masterpiece helped the Rutara people have all of John 15 & 16 translated! POTS 265 (2)one verse

we are on the home stretch, friends.

next is a local ministry called HOPE Pregnancy. HOPE provides resources and support for young women with crisis pregnancies. counseling and parenting classes are also available. did you know HOPE gives away 80 THOUSAND diapers a year?

for their booth we set up a nursery.

POTS 284 (2)

the girls filled the crib with donated diapers.

POTS 285 (2)

the other half of Part of the Solution was creating a space for the Cup of Hope Coffee House.

POTS 322 (2)POTS 323 (2)POTS 145 (2)

our passage for the weekend was from Isaiah 61

for the stage we built a back drop from old corroded tin. and by we i mean the amazing crew of men that worked their tails off while i stood and watched. kidding. sort of.

with the help of a few oh-so-fabulous-girls i painted:  “they will be called OAKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, a planting of the LORD that HE MAY BE GLORIFED”.

to tie in our passage we had trees throughout the conference… outside the entrance, on the stage, etc.  the color in this pic is off because we were playing with the stage lighting but you can make it out enough i think.

stage collagefriday night was the coffee house concert with three amazing amazing artists:

 jill dezwaan  jill

sarah degroat 

degroat erin woods (artists pictures are from black tag photography)

erin woods

i have blogged before about this album from jill dezwaan, one of my favorites! other artists at the coffee house were sarah degroat…here’s sarah getting a look at her album, Old Moscow, for the very first time!sarah

other Masterpiece musicians were donna stuart,


jourdan johnson


 christy nockels

 christy nockels

and lizi bailey.


click on their names to learn more or browse music.

during worship, jamie wells worked on this painting. (pic from julia)

jamie wells painting

she & her husband are phenomenal artists… check out their work here. and do not leave this post without watching them in action. blows me away.

and Masterpiece would not be complete without one of my favorite modes of art, dance! Talitha is Masterpiece’s very own dance company, led by stephanie lee.


pull out the blow horns, we made it!

wheeewww… i was determined to finish this post tonight and it’s officially tomorrow (12:23 am)…far too late to wrap this baby up in a way that pulls everything together. chances are your brain hurts anyway. 

so let me just say, i still have a few lamps & a chair that does not belong to me. if you loaned me items and are sitting in the dark or on the ground, shoot me an email! in the mean time they are in safe keeping.

thanks for reading. thanks for praying. thanks for being a PART OF THE SOLUTION.

sweet dreams.


  1. AMAZING, Andrea! I am in awe--what a ministry you provided! I definitely have to check out One Verse. Bible translation is very close to my heart!

  2. WOW! I am sitting here with my jaw on the desk. What an amazing job you have done!!

  3. Chill bumps, tears, big lumps in my throat and HOPE. Thanks for sharing. I so wish I could have been there in presence, but know that I was with you in prayer. I am going to share with some of my friends locally that I think would be interested.

  4. wow!! what an event for God's glory & truth!!

    looking through your pics i realize donna stuart looks an awful lot like a girl i knew in college. come to find out i knew her when she was still donna barker. small world!

    blessings to you and yours!

  5. my heart is hurting but there is HOPE! beautiful ministry!! thanks for sharing it!


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