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Chase Park Warehouse
Athens, Ga


MEIRA Missions

Prepped + Ready

Meredith Raiford

Preparation is key. Just like I needed a visa to get into the country, I need a clean surface and inspiration in order to create something worth while. Saturday and Sunday were spent prepping the surfaces that I began drawing on this morning. With the help of some awesome staffers and short term missionaries from a neighboring country, the walls have been scrubbed, washed and repainted. Its amazing how much a simple coat of fresh paint can change a space. The exciting part is that this is only the beginning.

Initially when I left for this location, I was only supposed to paint logos and work on touching up unfinished murals. On the first day here those plans shifted. As this ministry works in large part to reunite street boys with their families, the story of the prodigal son carries a whole different meaning and weight here. The idea of me depicting that story on one of the blank walls was thrown out by the director and quickly decided on.

A project like this requires time and a lot of research. With three weeks to complete this painting as well as the other projects, there just isn’t time to sit and research before I begin painting. But my wonderful provider has once again been preparing me for quite a while unbeknownst to me .

Two months ago as I was beginning to move out of my home in Athens, I found a book that my aunt had mailed to me a couple of years back. At the time she sent it, I had every intention of reading it, but school was hectic, and I kept putting it off. It got relegated to a shelf where it sat patiently; waiting for the moment when I would need it. Packing a bag to head to the beach for a weekend this May, I grabbed the newly found book along with a handful of others and threw it in my bag. Once I started, I could’t put it down.

I hungrily read every word the author wrote of the Father’s love and the painting that changed His perception of God. The Author is Henri Nouwen and the book is a dissection of the painting and story of The Return of The Prodigal Son. I’ve spent my whole summer studying the story and preparing for the painting I’ve just discovered I will do. What would normally take me several days or more to sketch and plan took me thirty minutes. God’s hand is all over this mission and this ministry. I honestly don’t know why I’m surprised any more by stuff like this.

So now all of the ground work has been laid. The preparation is finished. Today the chalk comes out, and the fun begins! With any luck, my next post will have progress pictures.