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12 July 2017


My teammate first saw the idea on the Internet. To be clear, he gets lots of ideas on the Internet. If we were counting, I'd guess that the majority of time when he sticks his phone in front of us and says, "Watch THIS!," we nod and then wait and then laugh out loud, loudly. Sometimes we say, "We could do that!," but really it might be a Pinterest Fail just waiting to happen. But sometimes we say, "WOW! That's cool! We should do that here."

This time, Ryan really made it happen.

You think potholes are bad where you live? Sure, they probably are, for a season. But those of you living in the States, if you complain, the city will mostly likely send a crew out to fix them and then you forget that they ever were. That doesn't happen here. Potholes, or rather- avoiding potholes, become part of the daily obstacle course of life. Another teammate (and lest we be accused of cultural insensitivity- he's Mexican), tired of the jarring hits on his car, decided we could start filling the potholes in the neighborhood. And last summer, that's what we did. With the help of crews from our short-term summer teams, we hit the streets and mixed up concrete and starting filling holes.

Then sometime in the winter, we saw the video. It showed examples of folks in other places topping off pothole repairs with mosaic art. That was a natural for this place.

We started making art with our neighborhood kids a year ago. In that time they have created drawings and paintings and self-portraits and collages of all sorts. This time, we are taking their art to the street; really, laying the art into the street and capping off the pothole repairs with the mosaic tiles. Over the course of this summer, we have laid down tiles with Esperanza and Gozo and Amor, literally bringing hope and joy and love into our neighborhood roads. Our kids and volunteers have designed flowers and ice cream cones and animals and abstract colorful designs. We are patching our streets with beauty. 

Street art doesn't last. It's temporal. Cars drive over our art and the tiles crack and will eventually disintegrate. And maybe, then, we'll do it again all over again. But no matter, the message we keep is from Him who is eternal, the Creator of all things who made us in His image to create. We can tell our kids that He too is making all things new and that our Jesus, he does not disappoint. And whether in the street or anywhere else, that is the most beautiful message of all.

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