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Hussagram: Joy!


Liesje Brouwer and Deborah Haak (far left and far right, respectively), *cino volunteer staff and resident community members, present “Joy,” a collaborative art piece, at Florence Church of the Brethren Mennonite on Sunday, January 21. ¬†Florence’s theme for this year is “Embrace joy” and they will display this piece in their worship space for part of the year.

Using donated materials, this piece was created last summer at the Huss Project during one of our Family Fun Night events. A group of Resident Assistants from Calvin College helped Liesje plan the piece and each wooden tile was then painted by children from the neighborhood.

Liesje wrote an artist statement to accompany the piece:

One of the reasons we chose the word “joy” is because “ridiculous joy” is one of *cino’s core values. Over the summer, I saw this joy every week when we faithfully gathered every week for crafts, games and food at the Huss Project — even when we weren’t sure anyone would come. Lately, I’ve been thinking that ridiculous joy is having a big vision despite a small wallet, and being able to laugh and sing at the end of the day. How can we decide to have ridiculous joy in the face of big projects and hard obstacles? Well, we can do small things with baby steps and do them well. We can paint big murals to reclaim run-down buildings as places for creativity. We can bring out that ping-pong table and start a game. Ridiculous joy is about making signposts of life and growth, even though we’ve considered all the facts. Ridiculous joy is doing things that don’t compute. To me, joy is more deep set than happiness or completeness. Joy is found in process, in the journey. Everyone has something to contribute, whether you choose to stay in the lines or not. I think God delights in us as “in progress” people as we contribute to a greater picture.