By Bill McGrath

Our neighbor, Joel, is a quadraplegic. Not long ago he discovered his talent for painting. He holds a paintbrush with his mouth and creates some amazing works of art, which even many artists with the use of both hands would find challenging to accomplish.

This month Joel held an exposition of his artwork at the municipal building in the center of town. Much of his art is sold overseas, as he is a member of an art association that sponsors artists who paint exclusively with their mouth or feet. However, since his overseas sales is a relatively new development, and he is only now being recognized as an accomplished artist, his personal income is still quite low, and he can use all the help he can get.

Joel invited our daughter, Heidi, to perform at the exposition. She plays guitar and sings quite well, and was happy to donate her time for this special event. To accompany her she then invited her brother, Sam, who plays bongos, and Stevie, a blind neighbor of ours, who plays guitar and sings beautifully.

The evening was a tremendous success, with standing room only capacity. Joel’s beautiful artwork was displayed for all to see. A friend told all who attended about the unfortunate accident Joel suffered which led to his physical condition, and consequent desperation to find new purpose in life. He told of Joel’s subsequent discovery of the incredible artistic talent he now possesses, and gave glory to God for such mercy to bring forth wonderful works of art out of seeming defeat. It is a touching and true story of “beauty from ashes”.

Bill McGrath was a Project Manager of the Colores de Amor, a FCF Project in Morelia, Mexico.