In honor of our 15th anniversary, Bailey painted her rendition of the Gilgal story from the book of Joshua. Her special gift will hang in our lobby for all to see and remember God’s faithfulness. Here is the story behind her creation. Enjoy!
The Journey to God: Bailey’s Rendition of the Gilgal Story
Written by Jasmine T., Gilgal Resident
For 40 years, Joshua and the children of Israel wandered through the wilderness. It wasn’t until the disobedient generations had died off, that newer generations were able to make their long-awaited claim to a place of hope and restoration. That place was Gilgal. Since 2005, Val Cater, the agency’s founder, has opened her doors to women who were tired of wandering in the wilderness and wanted to submit their life to God. It took great strength and courage for these women to walk through Gilgal’s doors, but the possibility of transformation by the renewing of their minds, reeled them in.
To commemorate Gilgal’s 15th anniversary, staff wanted to present Ms. Val with a gift that was personal, sentimental, and that could tell the Gilgal story. They enlisted the help of a creative middle-schooler by the name of Bailey. On the surface, the young student looks like an average pre-teen. She enjoys spending time with God and her family, which includes her dog Buddy. She loves playing basketball and eating her favorite foods — crab legs and popcorn. But the works of art that this young lady produces, are definitely far from average. It’s hard to grasp the fact that her phenomenal pieces of art are that of a 12-year old.
Art has been her passion since Pre-K days. Her teacher caught sight of one of her paintings and realized she had an amazing gift. Taking the advice of her teacher, Bailey continued to paint. The young artist, who loves both painting and drawing, says she loves looking at other pictures to create her own works of art. She loves painting realistic animals such as lions, which are her all-time favorite. But when she was presented with the idea of creating a 3-panel painting about the story of Gilgal, she was really excited and ready to get started! She said she’s known about the Gilgal Center for a long time and “really wanted to do something nice for the program.”
Bailey read the story of Gilgal in Joshua and became very inspired. She wanted to incorporate everything that she had read, and transform it into what she thought it might look like. She was given the opportunity to do three panels, but she said the Lord led her to four. “Feeling God throughout the entire painting,” she vigorously worked panel to panel.
The first panel portrayed the receding waters of the Jordan, as the soles of the priests carrying the Ark of the Lord, rested in the waters. The second panel, her favorite, “spoke loud[ly]” to her. She loved the splitting of the water, and wanted to depict what she thought it might look like if she were actually there. Jesus was appropriately placed ahead, leading His people into the promised land, and she wanted others to experience the Spirit when they viewed it. As the third panel illustrates the memorial stones for the Sons of Israel to share with future generations, the fourth panel was, “God working through me completely,” the artistically creative 12-year old said. It exemplifies “the journey to Christianity and the journey up the mountain, while always looking back to bring others with you.”
Coming up on two months, the project started coming to a finish. Wanting to relay the message precisely, she felt the need to go back and add finishing touches. Although there are no obvious “mess ups,” Bailey exclaimed, “the mess ups are the reason I loved the painting so much!” Not knowing what the finished product would look like, she was “amazed to finally see how it would all come together.” Looking at her finished masterpiece, she felt accomplished and inspired. She knew it was “God [working] through me. He gave me the gift and I really wanted to use it for something He wanted.”
Bailey named her rendition, “The Journey to God” and prays that people will find their own journey to the amazing God who loves them and wants to help them cross over too. You can download a copy of Bailey’s story HERE.
19 Now the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth of the first month and camped at Gilgal on the eastern edge of Jericho. 20 Those twelve stones which they had taken from the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal. 21 He said to the sons of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ 22 then you shall inform your children, saying, ‘Israel crossed this Jordan on dry ground.’ 23 For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed, just as the Lord your God had done to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed; 24 that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, so that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” Joshua 4:19-24
As we commemorate 15 years of ministry, we want to thank everyone who has been a part of the Gilgal story. Change Happens at Gilgal. Thank you for helping us celebrate God’s faithfulness in restoring homeless women with addictions. To partner with us for change, visit www.womenofgilgal.org.