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Story Behind the Art
When Mothers Without Borders approached me about going to Africa, I told them I was not interested. For me Africa was a world away, “and besides,” I thought, “I am too busy.” Imagine my surprise when I found myself on a plane to Zambia in June 2007.
One of the first children I met was Kennedy, the little boy you see in the painting. At three years old he has lost both of his parents to AIDS and was found living alone with his six year old brother and ten year old sister. When I thought of those three children struggling to survive and the millions of others across Africa in similar circumstances, I felt an overwhelming hopelessness and said to myself, “No amount of money can fix this.”
Later that day while we were filming, Kennedy climbed into the arms of the man portraying the Savior. As I stood watching them, Kennedy turned towards me and our eyes met. At that moment I knew it wasn’t hopeless. I realized that the Savior could fix not only the problems of Africa, but of the whole world…and we can be His hands to do it.
For the first time in my life I felt what Isaiah meant when he said, “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces.” To Kennedy and all who struggle to understand why, I promise that God has not forgotten you.
Looking back I realize that my reasons for not wanting to go to Africa are likely the same as yours. We are busy and feel like we cannot make a difference, but I know now that neither is true. We are never too busy to lift another and every good work is known to Him who said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of…these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
About the Author
Liz Lemon Swindle began her painting career in first grade. Her first exhibitions were on the refrigerator, encouraged by her father. In the early 1980s she tutored under renowned wildlife artist, Nancy Glazier. In 1992, Liz began painting a subject matter she had long desired to approach: her faith. Her paintings are now held in corporate and private collections around the world and have been published in countless magazines and books. Liz and her husband Jon have five children and thirteen grandchildren.
by Benaleta - reviewed on October 20, 2011
When I saw this picture I cried... As an African member of the church I've never seen a painting with a dark person depicted before. This picture remained me of my son, and when I Brought it home he thought it was him, and Jesus became very personal to him. I also love the story behind it. Being African I know first hand the trails that people back home face. To the author, thank you for taking time and going there and for painting this beautiful painting. As the church continues to grow all over the world, I pray that authors will take that into account and portray that in paintings... Sometimes people in places like these think that God has forgotten them, but paintings like these speak to the soul… letting them know that He is there as well and has not forgotten them, because they see themselves in the saviors’ arms. Once again to the author, thank you.