October 23, 24 and 25, 2008 - West Chicago, IL
See Wheaton Academy's website for more.
WHAT: A student festival of art honoring the LEAST
WHY: Relationships with the LEAST have transformed our hearts, minds, and lives.
“What you begin to learn is that giving and serving have little to do with what we have; they are expressions of who we are.”– Kori Hockett (Assistant Principal, Wheaton Academy)
“The LEAST have shown me what it looks like to rely on God completely. And frankly, they do a much better job of relying on God than I do.” – Erica Nellessen (Student, Wheaton College)
“We might possibly need the LEAST more than they need us so that we can learn that quality of life doesn’t come from material possessions – it comes from within and from what we care most about.” – Rae Thompson (Student, Wheaton College)
"Whether it is the financially poor or the poor in spirit, the LEAST have shown me to love at a simpler, in-the-moment kind of way.” – Matt Hockett (Video Teacher, Wheaton Academy)
"We all have seasons of life when we are the LEAST, and it could be a year later when the wounds that we have, which are still healing, are exactly what enable us to see and recognize them in someone else." – Quinn Riebock (Professor, Universidad Tecnica Particular de Loja)
“My faith is more like what Jesus longs it to be, I have found purpose and joy and significance I never had before, and I experienced community with my friends both here in Chicago and across the globe in Zambia that I had always wanted to find." – Chip Huber (Dean of Spiritual Life, Wheaton Academy)
“I have learned how easy and wrong it is to stick people in a box.” – Tom O’Connell (Student, Northwestern University)
"Interacting with the LEAST in Africa, I realized that all of our lives are connected. We need each other." – Mark Fernandes (Student, Wheaton Academy)
“I was reminded that regardless of distance, I share in the support and the caring of this Zambian community through prayer.” – Aimee Daniels (English Teacher, Wheaton Academy)
“The kingdom of God shows up in the weirdest places, amongst the people that seem least likely to inherit anything. And yet there it is, exploding through basketball sneakers and worn down jeans.” – Ryan Souders (Assistant General Manager, Cleveland City Stars)
“When working with the homeless, they forced me to listen, not just hear. They broke my heart and mended my heart.” – Josh Burick (History Teacher, Wheaton Academy)
“I see how the LEAST give the little they have to provide for my needs, knowing full well that I, more then they, am often the LEAST.” – Caroline Helmke (Student, Taylor University)
“Even though I was able to give her a few material things, she gave me a gift that could not have been bought – the joy that comes from having hope.” – David Petersons (Student, Houghton College)
“I stood there holding a little boy with a head enlarged and deformed; he had hydrocephalus. And through that moment, my soul would not stop thirsting to know the healing power of God's mighty hand.” – Susanna Frusti (Student, Bethel College)
“Working with a woman with Lou Gehrig’s disease at a nursing home, I saw greatness in the LEAST. All accomplishments and titles, riches and fame, forgotten…. but the lives she touched remained…and that made her great.” – Rachel Proch (Nursing Student)
“Those that the world has so tragically labeled “the LEAST” ironically have some of the most valuable and needed perspectives to make this world whole.” – Lauren Tomasik (Student, Wheaton College)
HOW: Step into this process.
Consider Micah 6:8.
“And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
Reflect on your relationships and community experience with the LEAST.
Respond to one of the following questions:
- How have the LEAST taught you to act justly in our world?
- How have you been impacted by the love and mercy you have received from the LEAST?
- How have the LEAST moved you to a life of humility?
- How has your view of God changed through time spent with the LEAST?
Create a piece of art that honors the LEAST:
- Theatre – one act, monologue
- Photography – one or a series of photographs
- Dance – choreographed narrative piece or otherwise
- Video – short film, public service announcement, music video, mini-documentary
- Visual Arts – painting, graphic design piece, drawing, sculpture,
- Music – instrumental, vocal
- Writing – poetry, short story, essay
- Other – art forms not mentioned above
WHEN: Submitted pieces must be received by October 6th, 2008
Festival will take place on October 23rd, 24th and 25th, 2008
For more information about the Wheaton Academy community response to poverty and AIDS, visit http://www.projectleast.org/