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Dear Brandon Vogt and Bishop Barron,
Thank you Brandon and Bishop, if I may be informal, and your colleagues and staff, for bringing me closer to Christ and Catholicism through Word on Fire. Also, the Bible is accessible to me for the first time through the Word on Fire Gospels with its commentary and art.
I am 65 years old and would previously be considered one of the “unaffiliated.” In retirement, I developed a secular meditation and yoga routine. Friends directed me to Ignatian meditation and discernment and Word on Fire.
My morning routine now is prayer of gratitude, praying to the Lord (I still feel unworthy) and a Lectio Divina through Discerning Hearts. I then do my yoga routine while listening to Word on Fire podcasts.
I am currently in a dynamic faith Sycamore group of five at St. Joseph parish in Western Colorado, and plan RCIA next season.
My alms giving this Lent has taken a unique twist. Perhaps I am misguided in my notion that the Lord has given me gifts for a short journey. I would be a poser to presume “the Master has need of it.”
1) I recently became aware of the beauty of Shona sculpture.
2) I worked to understand Shona sculpture, family-centered Shona culture, Shona and Zimbabwean history and politics, and Zimbabwe’s ties to Christianity. I explored the best way to buy Shona sculpture such that the proceeds go to the sculptor.
I found AVAC Arts which works with a large sculptor community at risk of suffering from poverty and its trappings as well as the impending food shortages from the downstream effects of the war in Ukraine.
3) I acted by purchasing a sculpture through Terrence Musiyiwa at AVAC Arts in Zimbabwe, which has led to a deep trusting Christian relationship.
This crazy alms project has led to commissioning Owen Mlungisi to create a sculpture of the Word on Fire logo. With the help of Mary Emily Chernoff and Kurt Crenwelge, it will be sent to your Irving, Texas office.
Attached are photos of the evolution of the sculpture, and Owen Mulungisi. Terrence Musiyiwa and Owen Mulungisi are okay with the use of their names and the photos.
Perhaps this gesture will increase awareness of Word on Fire in Zimbabwe and understanding of Shona Christian culture internationally.
Grace and peace to you,
Kim Gibson is a retired hematologist and oncologist living in Colorado who currently works in breast cancer survivorship. He is married and has an adult son and daughter. In the summer of 2021, he was captivated by an abstract springstone sculpture of Gedion Nyanhongo whom he met at an arts festival. This led to a near obsession of Shona sculpture and all things Shona. He is fascinated by geopolitics and economics and tries to contextualize his information sources. Foremost, he is trying to deepen his Christian faith.