Global partnerships. Local livelihoods.

Mam and Thy VennAlmost two years ago I traveled to several countries in Asia. I met many amazing people on that trip, including one I have written about before: Thyvenn, who currently paints watercolor bookmarks and note cards we well. Thyvenn is pictured at left with Mam from Thailand.

Recently I was blessed to travel again to Asia, to attend the Global Studies Intensive in Thailand and Myanmar. I was delighted to learn that Thyvenn would be attending, and he and I were able to spend some good time together talking, laughing, praying, and crying.

Since I met him, Thyvenn has been planting and leading one church and beginning work in another village outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital. He has also continued painting and showed us digital images of a number of his recent paintings. It was unanimously agreed that he is a young man of tremendous painting talent!

When he heard me share about my previous meeting with him, he asked to speak to the group, and then shared about how painting for him is not just a way to work or to make money, but rather a way to express what God has placed in his heart. Later that night he told me that he often feels like no one understands this heart’s desire and that he started crying when I shared because he felt like I understood.

Then Thyfenn told me the story behind one of his paintings. He was out riding his moto one day, and as he passed through a village he had never been to, he saw an old man whose home was very close to the river. He felt led to stop and ended up swapping stories with the man for a couple of hours.

When he returned to the village the next week, he could not find the man, so he went to some others in the village and asked where the old man was. They told Thyvenn that the man had died. Thyvenn has a very soft heart and a deep desire for people to know Jesus, so he was heartbroken.

On a later trip, the hour was getting late and Thyvenn thought about stopping. To honor the man, Thyvenn slept in his now-empty house. In the middle of the night he woke up and noticed that the moon was exceptionally bright and it made the entire surrounding area very beautiful. He took a photo and shortly thereafter painted the picture from the photo.

Now when he sees this painting, he remembers the old man, the beauty of the moon, and the wonder of the God who made them both. And I remember both of those plus my good friend Thyvenn.

SEED is honored to partner with skilled artists and artisans like Thyvenn, and to be able to affirm and empower both their skills and their heart’s desires.