Hi! I’m an art student who took one too many gap years in Belfast N. Ireland. In the Fall of 2016, I move to N. Ireland where I worked a 6-month internship at Belfast City Vineyard and Storehouse. While there I was shocked by the number of homeless young adults that struggled with addiction and/or depression. My heart broke as I saw heroin taking and harming the lives of those who were no older than me (20 at the time). As I got to know them I found out that most of them came from a childhood of abuse or neglect, a past that I too had been through. I aspire to make sure that they know they have someone who cares about them by meeting them where they are and offering a listening ear as they share their stories. Along with being a friend, I freely give art as a tool to help people out of poverty and depression. On my journey art has helped me to cope with depression and the challenges of life. In return, I delight to give art as a tool to help others out of their difficult situations.
What I do:
I focus on 3 main elements when working in Belfast.
1. Build Relationships
As I have gotten a chance to know the homeless, I’ve found that the number one thing they need is to know someone truly cares for them. As I’ve built relationships with them I aim for them to know they are unconditionally loved, so they can begin to grasp how infinitely loved they are by Jesus.
2. Create Art
I have partnered with Belfast City Vineyards’ compassion team, together we have started to run a weekly art class for the teens in Belfast. Along with the art classes I have begun to run a watercolor workshop at a drop-in center each Wednesday. The workshops give people a chance to have breakfast, catch up with friends, and explore the creative fun of watercolors. This is an important aspect of the ministry because I believe that any form of art can bring purpose, passion and emotional healing into one's life.
3. Forming Family
A family is something we all need. A family is a community that will love us despite what we bring to the table and is a tribe that will encourage us to reach for our dreams. For those who have lost their family, I strive to help bring back this community in their lives, the goal is to make sure they know they have people around them that support their dreams and care about their future.
I have found it important to spend quality time and remind my friends on the streets that they deserve to be loved and cared about. Thankfully I have been able to fund my work with the homeless out of my own savings for the last couple of trips. Will you too consider partnering with me financially so I can continue to love and care for the homeless community in Belfast?
To go to Northern Ireland my goal is to raise $8,480 for the rest of 2018 (8 for 18). Though I will be in Belfast for 2 years, I plan to use this money to help me with the first financial hurdle.
*Update: $6,679 left to raise- All money from different sources added into the total left*
The funds will go towards:
(for the next 4 months)
Plane Ticket: $1,500
Art Supplies for ministry: $260 ✅
Living expenses: $1,740
*Thanks to everyone who has donated Art Supplies to cover the $260 in the budget!
The first and last online donor will get a care package with some Irish goodies and 2 art pieces created by me!!!=]
Little and Big ways you can help...
Financial, every penny DOES count...
$15 pays for a months phone bill
$65 pays for a month of art supplies
$265 pays for food for a month
$650 pays for a month of rent
Please share the link to Gofundme with friends and family. Sharing and building awareness with others about the work happening in Belfast helps in such a huge way! Also feel free to contact me if you're interested in hearing more about Belfast and the work that is going on there.
Thank you so much for all your support, for it is a dream to continue to be able to do this!
With the deepest gratitude,
- Rachel Ko
- GoFundMe Team
- Lisa Horlick
- Heather Kirk
- Katie Wilson
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