Jessica's YWAM ONE School Fund

Within the supposedly unremarkable gestures of our lives lie the complexity of relationships, heritage, and cultural awareness. This complexity has driven me to make art not for art’s sake but to bless and provide insight in the community I am a part of. In 2016, I created a piece of performance art in New York City, where I made 2,340 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches - the same number of sandwiches my mother made for me throughout my years of school from K - 12th grade. I was trying to remake each of those sandwiches as an attempt to empathize with one small way she loved me. Ultimately, this piece helped heal my attitude towards my mother and transformed bitterness to forgiveness as I understood the dedication it takes to love your child. 

I performed this piece in a tight-knit urban community, and was humbled by the impact. Each day God brought a different audience that would come and sit in this oasis away from the craze of the city. They told me about their own anxieties, histories, or just kept me company while I made sandwich after sandwich. I felt able to encourage and love people through each conversation, and was humbled by how people related to the piece and opened up about their own lives. It wasn't so much about the final product, but about creating art that can bring healing and life to people. 

I used to think that my spiritual gift of healing meant laying hands on people. As I've prayed about this gifting more, I feel convicted that my art is the way that God will use this gift. I am not exactly sure what that will look like, but I am hoping this YWAM program will help me take the next step. 
 
When I read the description on the ONE School for Artists website, it resonated within my spirit. Starting in January, this nine-month program incorporates lectures, museum visits, exhibits, nature walks, studio time, worship, intercession, critique, and reflection in order to equip artists in co-creating with God, allowing Him to use their skills and talents to bring "His beauty and truth into the darkest and most broken places." We will travel between three different YWAM locations: Barcelona, Spain, Alesund, Norway, and Baltimore, Maryland. All three bases are united by a similar vision for artists as "effective influencers of culture and the arts." 

I would like to invite you to participate in what God is doing in my life through the arts in one or two ways.

Firstly, I would like to ask you to prayerfully consider financially supporting me to attend YWAM ONE School. Through illustration work, I have earned enough to pay for just over half of the tuition, and I am hoping to raise the remaining $4,000. Any amount that you feel led to give is very appreciated. 

Secondly, I would love your support in prayer for the following things:

- that my artwork would be led by the Holy Spirit
- that I would be challenged and strengthened in my faith 
- that I would learn to see people the way God sees them with empathy and grace
- that I would be a good steward of the gifts and talents God has given me
- for peace while being far from friends and family

In return for your support, I will be sending monthly postcards featuring drawings or images of some of the artwork that I will be producing through the school. If you would like to be included in this, I ask that you would send your address, and add $15 to your donation for postage and printing costs.

Thank you for your prayers and for considering being a financial supporter for what God is doing in and through my life. I am happy to talk with you on the phone (Skype or Facetime) about how I was led to this program, or the direction I am pursing with my art. Thanks again for your love and support in my life.
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Organizer

Jessica Olah 
Organizer
Brooklyn, NY
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