Standing on the shoulders of Giants was something I kept saying on this past trip because I honestly felt this way. I was able to spend time with some talented graffiti guys that have paved the way for new upcoming artists. So thankful for all the hard work they have done to help Gospel Graffiti get to where it is today.

A few weeks ago felt unreal as I went onIMG_2824 a trip and it was an experience that I will never forget. I was able to paint in Chicago and St Louis. Gospel Graffiti crew is a group of Christian graffiti writers from around the world. Some are from Europe, California, Hawaii, Africa… all over. Once a year we all try to get together to paint for a week. This year we choose to do it in Chicago. We were able to serve in many ways, let me tell you how.

Downtown Chicago there is an amazing church called “Jesus People.” They started many years ago and they do a really good job at serving their community. They have a coffee shop, a women’s shelter, a skate shop, a huge building where many families live and they even started a big famous event called Cornerstone that went on for many years hosting cool Christian bands. One night my crew and I got to speak at their church service and Glenn Kaiser was leading worship. Glenn helped start the church. If you don’t know his story, he was a main pioneer for Christian music as him and his band helped the movement of contemporary Christian music towards the blues and rock music in the 70’s. As the crew and I shared our testimonies, the whole room lit up. You could see the smiles on people’s faces as they listened. I myself was encouraged because often being a Christian graffiti writer it can feel like you are the odd one out at places, as not everyone seems to understand the culture of being a “Christian graffiti writer”. It was good to have other people to relate with.

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It was powerful as all of us came together because we truly wanted to give God fame. We were able to paint a nice long wall for the Jesus People Church. The wall had the fruit of the Spirit written all over it along with some really cool characters. We also go to speak at their school to the teens.

What an honour it was to be hanging out with some really gifted artists. These “giants” are one of a kind as some of them get invited all over the world to cool places to paint and yet they still remain humble and care for others. Some of these guys have been painting for around 20 years and here I am, still have a lot to learn and yet they took time to show me new things. It was such a cool moment to be painting with them. Back in the day when Myspace was popular I would post graffiti videos of some of them on my page to show friends what Gospel Graffiti was. I was so fascinated by the message they would share and it really encouraged me to get more into painting. Fast forward to a few years later, they asked me to join the crew. Being with them in the States was a cool moment as I got to paint right next to them on the same wall. They taught me so much that week and now I’m so motivated to paint more.

chicago blog 2One moment that stands out is when we stopped at the restaurant Chick-fil-A. In the parking lot a man that we didn’t know came up to us to say “I can really sense that the Spirit of the Lord is here with you, keep doing what you’re doing.” We told him how we were encouraged and he went on to explain how he could genuinely see something differentchic f la about us and that we should keep doing Gods work. This man prayed with us in the parkinglot.

A key verse that I always hold onto is the one that says “Be faithful in the little before you get trusted with greater.” I think that is something we can all relate to as this same principal applies to work, sports, family and other responsibilities in life. For the past few years I have been trying to be faithful with the walls God has put in front of me and now I had a chance to work on something bigger than I have ever done before.

After helping out in Chicago we all went to St. Louis, Missouri for a huge event. There were hundreds of people watching and painting at this event. The walls were so long that I never got to see all of them. We came to represent Christ and he truly helped us to do our wall. We wanted to get a message across that would inspire other painters. On the left side of the wall we had the word FAME in the background with a bunch of fast tags all over in dark shades. On the right side of the wall we had the word FAITH with bright colours. The words written over it were “power, future, unashamed and purpose.” These were words we felt that should be up there. Something that brought this whole wall together were some of the characters in the middle. On the fame side we had someone looking down at their phone waiting for the approval of others. On the other side we had 2 characters. One was older than the other with his arm around the younger one encouraging him. It was an incredible event and many good conversations with people came out of it as they would come hangout at our wall. I’m so proud of the Gospel Graffiti crew and how they have taken time to invest into others.

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Coming home from this trip has helped remind me that everyday can be like a mission trip. We have moments all the time when we can share our faith in the casual things that we do. I would encourage you to keep boldly telling others about Jesus. Never loose the passion and stay connected to him through prayer. By the way, Paul the apostle could have been a graffiti writer. Check out Galatians 6:11, this is what it says “Notice what large letters I use as I write these closing words in my own handwriting.”

God Bless, Ms. KIR