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As we continue to raise funds and awareness for the upcoming 2015 I AM ART camps, we would like to introduce our team members. The first team member we will introduce is Kerrah Pyper, a recent graduate who has decided to take a leap of faith with Athentikos and CTM, contributing her skills and time to the fulfillment of the I AM ART initiative. Kerrah will be a part-time intern with Athentikos for the next year. During her time in Guatemala, she will assist to facilitate four of our I AM ART camps. So if you are on one of our teams this next year, you will get to meet her! Here’s what she has to say:
Where are you from? What do you love about this area?
I am from Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a small city in southwestern Michigan. I love that I have the freedom and opportunities to live out my Christian faith in this community and I love that this city is filled with people I love, including my friends and my family.
Where did you go to school? What was your major(s)? Why did you choose this? What is one fun memory from college?
I graduated from Calvin College this past spring (May 2015) with two majors: Spanish Education and Art Education. I choose to study both art and Spanish because I have been intrigued by both my whole life. I love the process of making art and also enjoy the process of learning new languages and cultures.
A great memory from my time at Calvin was spent abroad on month-long education trip last January to Mérida, México. In Mérida, I lived with an amazing host family that treated me like their own daughter. I had a wonderful time, learning about Mexican culture, forming relationships with my host parents and siblings, and practicing my Spanish.
What is your art focus or favorite form of art?
I am primarily focused on ceramics and painting. I especially love to make pottery on the wheel. But honestly, I love all forms of creative art.
You have been in Guatemala a week now, what has been the most interesting thing you have seen? What have you enjoyed most about Guatemala? Where do you hope to travel while you are there?
After being in Guatemala for a week, the most interesting and conflicting thing I have seen are the slums in and outside of the garbage dump. I have never seen anything like them before in my life, and it was definitely and new perspective for me of how many people in Guatemala live and survive.
I have enjoyed learning about the Guatemalan culture and exploring the beauty of Lake Atitlan which is situated in the middle of three large volcanos.
I hope to travel to Antigua because I have heard that it is a beautiful city.
Where is the most unique place you have traveled other then Guatemala?
Costa Rica would [be] one of the many unique places I have traveled. I spent a month with a group trekking through the jungle and white water kayaking. Costa Rica is unique in its beauty. Never have I been to a place so beautiful.
What drew you to serve in Guatemala? How will you be using your gifts/ passion/ talents in Guatemala?
A few months ago I was asking God to show me what He wanted me to do with my college degree in Spanish and art after graduation. This past February I received my answer. A missionary from Guatemala, Joel Van Dyke, came to speak at our church. He shared a need for someone who is passionate about art, speaks Spanish, and who is graduating this year to work with the I AM ART camps in Guatemala. When I heard this, I felt that God was calling me to join Him in this new initiative. In Guatemala, I will be using my artistic and Spanish language abilities to help work for the I AM ART camps provided by Athentikos and I will also be working for an organization called Guatemaltecos Extraordinarios in Zone 3 in Guatemala.
You will be an intern connected to the CTM ministry. What are you looking forward to learning and growing through CTM?
I am looking forward to learning more about what it means to serve in another country. CTM will provide me with theological training every Friday and through this I will have the ability to question and eventually solidify my own theological beliefs. I am excited to grow as a Christian leader and servant through my time at CTM.
You will be serving in Zone 3. Tell us a little of the program there and how you will be serving?
I will be working for an organization called Guatemaltecos Extraordinarios (GE) in Zone 3 that is situated in the slums right next to the large garbage dump of the city. GE provides a school for the kids of the community that have been expelled from the other schools in the area. This school works at providing an education for these at-risk youth so that they can overcome the situation they have been born into. Since violence, crime, abandonment and abuse are very present in this area, GE works to allow the youth to express their pain, but also have a place to come where they will always be loved and accepted. I will be serving this organization in any way that they see fit and I also look forward to teaching the youth how to use visual art as a form of expressing emotions, feelings, and ideas.

Kerrah Pyper will be volunteering on both I Am Art camps this fall (Casa Bernabe & Oasis). We look forward to getting to know Kerrah in person and having her on board this amazing and wonderful journey!

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