When artist Julie Hunt looks at her landscape paintings of Rwanda, she remembers the sun shining on the water, the warm breeze, the people who cared for her; people like Frank, the careful driver who drove long days, and Canadian Baptist Ministries’ global field staff Janice Mills and Laura Lee Bustin who’d so carefully planned and booked and organized all the details of the short-term mission trip. Most of all, she remembers the music . . . sung by the women in their churches.

“I remember the grace of the people, the peace and joy that glowed on their faces as they spoke of the CBM literacy project and how reading has changed their lives . . . transformed them,” Julie says.

Julie was part of CBM’s She Matters 3 short-term mission trip to Rwanda which saw a team of Baptist women from across Canada visit Rwanda in early January 2017.

She didn’t paint her pieces while in Rwanda though. On some of the less busy days in the schedule, she had photographed  the landscapes with her cellphone while at the Seeds of Peace lodging, She’d sketched as well, making colour notes as she drew.

On Julie’s return to Canada, she morphed those sketches into the paintings that grace the front and back covers of live magazine’s May/June 2017 issue. She looked at some of the photos before beginning to paint, but she painted mostly from memory, even when it came to the colours. “I painted what colours struck me at the time being there,” she recalls. “I also work from a particular painting palette from which I mix my colours . . . mainly Maimeri and WN Cotman water colours with an MGraham dark green mixed in there.”

When Julie Hunt looks at her landscape paintings of Rwanda she remembers Franscois. Franscois’ husband had threatened to put her out of their house if she didn’t go to school. Today Franscois is the secretary of a farming cooperative and a farmer. Her life had changed forever the day she got the courage to go to the literacy school run by the AEBR and CBM. In six months at the literacy school, Franscois could read and write.

Grace indeed.

Enjoy the covers of the May/June 2017 issue of live magazine. And remember that when you financially support Baptist Women or participate in the Great Canadian Bible Study, you change the lives of women like Franscois. We’ll run Franscois’ full story in the July/August issue of live magazine.