Korte missioned with YiM – July 2016 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Here is the description about what my mission mural means to me.

The mission mural project is a thought-provoking activity that prepares a Youth In Mission participant, YiMer, to connect with the themes of Christ, community and culture. By taking pre-existing images from magazines or other media, a YiMer is able to create a visual language. This vocabulary can be used to describe the development of their understanding of these themes across their YiM experience. I took the project activity to heart, and used it to challenge and explore how I see these three ideas.

Korte Mission Mural

The background layer represents Christ for me, because despite stereotypes and appearances, Christ is in all of us. The images I took are from an Ethiopian Airlines magazine. This artists rendition of three men depicts various bottles of St. George’s, a popular beer in Ethiopia. These men are not your average saintly figures. However, the Imago Dei, God’s image, is in each of them. Regardless of race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, we are called to minister to the least of these.

Ministering is practically manifested in how we meet the poor and broken-hearted where they are at. I included bilingual phrases used to teach foreigners basic Amharic, the mother tongue of Ethiopians. These phrases include “Tenaystillgn” (How are you), “Migib” (food), “Yigbu Giba” (Please come in), et cetera. Christ said to the faithful that when they fed or clothed, or offered drink to the least of these, we did these to Him. A few of these phrases were ones that I used during a midnight food run I did on the streets of Addis Ababa. Handing out food and water to those sleeping on roadsides is illegal in Ethiopia, which added to the gravity of our situation.

Lastly, our cultures are becoming increasingly globalized. I included a cut out of the many destinations and pathways offered by Star Alliance members. These criss-crossed pathways are only a fraction of the many, diverse ways young adults are connecting across the globe. As Christ followers, we are called to be shapers of our culture. We are to be in the culture but not of it. It is that tension we are called into; to discern, to navigate, but ultimately be a light that illuminates a different way of living.

My parents live and teach in Ethiopia. At their school, my dad is in charge of all the native staff, construction, security guards, employment, and everything non-academic about the school. He is a servant leader and leads by example. All the staff call him St. George, because they love and respect him so much. Ironic that a Nazarene be celebrated along with the local beer of choice. Regardless it is high praise.