The ‘Art’ of Evangelism
Annette Spurr

Annette Spurr

A picture speaks a thousand words. And sometimes it can reach people in a way that words alone simply can’t.

That was certainly true of an art exhibition held in Hobart, Australia earlier this year…

‘Life?’ featured paintings and pencil sketches by local artist, street evangelist and author of ‘Let’s Go! Fearless Evangelism’, Helen Devenish.

The first section featured paintings that asked questions or made statements about life; like ‘where did the universe come from?’ and ‘what is the meaning of life?’ Each painting was accompanied by a response by an atheist (Sam Mazur, a prominent Hobart atheist) and a Christian (Helen Devenish), both pictured below.

The second section included 52 pencil sketches,

featuring family, friends, and kids from Helen’s street ministry. Each subject wrote something about their life to accompany their sketch. The topics included teen pregnancy, abortion, homelessness, mental health, and bullying, to name a few.

Lily wrote: There was a time in my life when I lost my way and I hit rock bottom. I had no parental figures in my life: I had no stability, no love or happiness. My parents broke my heart, they each started a new life and left me behind. I didn’t think I was good enough for them and I hated myself because of this.

I met Helen and her family in the early months of 2015. Still to this day I have the ongoing support and guidance from Helen and her family. 

Helen has spent a lot of her time giving myself and others great advice, praise and knowledge. She has been a mother figure in my life. I learnt to value myself, to believe in myself and most importantly to love myself. I am very blessed to be acquainted to the Devenish family.  

Phil wrote: I’ve been through a lot in my life. In recent years I have been going to Church on the Rock (Love Hobart) and I feel like my self-esteem has lifted and I’m able to communicate better. I feel like I belong. I also like to help serve in the kitchen by doing the dishes and I’ve recently learnt how to make toasted sandwiches. Since I started attending the prayer meeting 18 months ago I have started praying out loud and I’ve come out of myself a lot even though it’s outside in a park.

I can handle things in life a lot better now and I’m off the drugs and cigarettes after decades of addictions, and I give thanks to Jesus. I still need to get off the patches and the puffer.

I also thank God for women pastors like my pastor Helen. I see the benefits of the way things are done by my pastor, and I think the street ministry is great. I used to think she was one in a million, but now I think she is one in 3 million! A couple of months back I had a really down day and the temptation to go back to the smokes was so strong. I turned up at my pastor’s house desperate for help and she prayed for me. As I was driving home after the prayer, all the desire to smoke again just went away. That was so amazing.

Many entered the exhibition as atheists and left in tears, questioning their world view. The artwork provided a unique opportunity to discuss faith and the meaning of life.

The event coincided with ‘Dark Mofo’ Festival, a shamelessly anti-Christian celebration in Hobart, which this year featured three giant inverted crosses and a man buried under a road in the CBD for three days.

‘Life?’ shone out as a beacon of light to many in the darkness and is an encouragement to all of us that we need to be evangelists, spreading the love God not only where we go, but by displaying our God-given talents.

Images courtesy Greg Faull

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