The photo above is the hands of a Pakistani refugee in Hong Kong, who shared his dreams with me and inspired me to grow and build into Barefoot Love back when this all started.
One night I decided to pick up a paintbrush and mix some colours around with water as a way to cope with the stressful and overwhelming season that was my life. I figured instead of worrying about things out of my control or eating my emotions, I could at least do something to express ALL the emotions inside me (without becoming the Cookie Monster). Every night for months, I would learn from my art teacher (YouTube) and I started to realize just how transformative, powerful, and joyful it can be in being immersed in the process of just simply creating and sharing it with others.
Fast forward three years later, Barefoot Love has grown into something much more and grander than I had ever imagined it to be. At most, I had thought I was creating some Christmas cards to encourage one person and remind them that God hasn’t forgotten their hopes and dreams (Read his story here). Ironically, it has become a vehicle that God has used to constantly remind me that He hasn’t forgotten my own hopes and dreams (funny how that is often how God works in our lives). When our default goes into viewing Him as an imposing judge that demands our service, He lavishes us with love and grace instead.
This year, I find myself in another season, one of transition and anticipation. I know where I am is not where I’m supposed to stay, but I cannot see beyond the fog just yet (perhaps a season that many feel in Hong Kong as well). But I’ve come to realize that even in the fog, there is abundant grace and these little pieces of manna that is just enough for the day to get me to trust a little more and take baby steps outside my comfort zone just a little bit more.
As some of you may know, I am a full-time teacher that runs Barefoot Love Co. as a social enterprise on the side. This past year, there has been within me a growing desire to build this little dream of mine into a thriving creative company that not only creates beautiful custom designs and cards to empower charities, but also to engage corporations and schools through service learning art workshops and provide long-term employment to creative young adults, especially ethnic minority youth that come from disadvantaged backgrounds. As I started to voice out this little dream, there has been so many people from a wide range of backgrounds that have provided such help and encouragement along the way. From individuals working in corporates to freelance artists to NGOs to people from different faiths, everyone has been so generous in providing much needed expertise and networks. Thank you for those of you who have offered their time and expertise in meeting with me!
Please do keep me in your prayers as I decide what to do in the coming school year and to plan strategically what this looks like in my everyday, may it be finding a business partner or changing my teaching position or downsizing or moving to an island away from my responsibilities and decision-making 🙂 (I’m just joking).
And if you, as part of my extended Barefoot Love Co family, know how you can help or be involved in building this next chapter, I would love to have coffee with you!