Lorette is a woman of faith who shows the mark of her creator through every brush stroke of her work. Lorette and her husband Dave have made some beautiful memories helping people in need across the world, and welcoming new immigrants to Canada. Lorette, a great storyteller, uses her art to glorify God. Her faith and art go hand in hand which I am sure you will appreciate in her work.
Lorette: I’m Lorette Brown, I’m living in Saskatoon.
David: Lorette, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Lorette: I was born in Waldheim, Saskatchewan. My father was a farmer, a great communicator. My mother and father were wonderful parents, teaching us about the love of Jesus. We had devotions every morning and evening with evening led by my father. They were committed to serving God and raising eight kids for the Lord. They took time with us, taught us responsibility and listened to us in order to meet our needs. My father passed away at 52 years of age from a brain tumour - brain surgery - then mother, being a prayer warrior, relied on God and his word to teach us the way, and the truth and the life. There were eight of us siblings. My oldest brother was married but seven of us were still at home. Mom was artistic and father was a great communicator. They were very astute in seeing what our gifts were and what type of personality each one had and encouraged us to develop in light of these. They taught us to submit our will to God’s will and this would give us the abundant life as we lived life in response to the love of God.
David: How did you get started as an artist?
Lorette: My mother and two older brothers and a sister were interested in developing their creative and artistic skills. Four of us siblings ended up teaching art in schools as a result. I learned from my brothers.
David: How did you use art to create change?
Lorette: I was taught by my teacher in school and by my teacher in Sunday school that anything you do is for the Lord. We did murals in school and we did artwork at home. I did a lot of artwork in making cards for my mother and my father when he was still alive.
David: Wonderful. How did you learn about IJM?
Lorette: We heard about IJM through some church but I’m not sure where.
David: What attracted you to IJM?
Lorette: I’ve had a compassion for the underdog and for the people that are suffering. I always wanted to be a missionary. In our church, about a third of the young people went as missionaries either at home or abroad.
David: Tell us about your personal justice journey. Why are you passionate about issues of injustice?
Lorette: Because I feel sad and very heartbroken when I see people suffering.
David: Is it maybe something you saw when you were younger? How did you become of aware of people’s suffering?
Lorette: Well my father and mom and the church were very crucial in me learning about what missionaries had seen. One of the missionaries, our neighbour, went to Ethiopia, into the hills to a cannibal tribe and he introduced Christ to them, and they never even ate him.
David: So, you were exposed to that at a young age?
David: What is your greater vision for the world?
Lorette: To train people, from when they are little to see the need around them and to be educated in a way that is culturally - so that they know what the culture is about. Don’t just go into a country and preach the gospel, but that they know and understand people.
David: What coming up next for you and your artwork?
Lorette: I have art exhibitions and I am planning another one. I’m not sure just when it will happen, but I have one every year, or maybe two. I’ve had several at Parkridge Center and I’ve usually sold up to 20 or 30 for sure. Then Food for the Hungry, through a pharmaceutical company through Holland has matched it 10:1 and 15:1 and even sometimes more. So, it has been a great income for missions.
David: If someone wanted to see or purchase your artwork, is there somewhere they could go? Could they contact you?
Lorette: People tend to know about my art. I have made cards and I sell the cards, 12 for $20, and then I use the money for missions. People get to know my artwork through the cards, at the church, at the schools, at different locations like health food stores, and they sell it for me and give the money because they know it will be matched 15:1. They can come to the house here. They know that I’m an artist and I have shown at a variety of places, so they know I have art. And I have been teaching art classes here to practically all the neighbours. And to people in the church and people in the schools so they know that I’m an artist and if they want an art piece, they know where to go.
David: What do you see or believe is the connection between art and justice?
Lorette: Art is a language. If you want to have anything known, you can show it through art. I taught at Teen Challenge for 10 years, art and relationships, and they would tell you things through art that they wouldn’t otherwise. Then you get a contact into their hearts and you can help them.
David: What is the number one tip or piece of advice you would give to someone who wants to use their own talents to create change?
Lorette: Be sure you’re in the will of God and he will multiply everything for you.
David: What was your favourite toy as a child?
Lorette: I liked to have plasticine to make sculptures and I liked to draw - and paint.
David: What is your other favourite stress relieving activity other than painting?
Lorette: Reading. I read a lot. Ben Carson said, when he was a little boy, he was a bad kid in school, but his mom learned, from people that she worked for, when kids read, they stop being bad. He started to read, and he was top of the class. He said, “if you want to serve God, read lots of good books and the bible.” He was the first to separate twins.
David: Who has had the biggest impact on the person you’ve become today?
Lorette: I think that I was always the youngest in a group, in the church or in the school and my friends would then be graduating into the next group but I’d have to stay behind, so I became a little bit irritated that I had to stay behind but there was a man in our church, he came over to me and he said, “you have the ability to talk to people, keep doing it.” When I went into teaching into the various areas of the world, I used that talent and I also learned to sing. So, I had a choir and I opened a Sunday school in Lestock when I was 22 years old. 32 kids came. One of the kids came to my door when I was sick and, “I want to accept Jesus as my savior.” She brought her sister who was in grade 6. She accepted Christ. They were the poorest of the poor in Lestock. Nobody regarded them at all. The father had a garden tractor and he built himself a cart and he hauled his family around in that. And they had no friends. And then, this grade 6 girl, Elsie Welch, she ran home and told her mom that she had accepted Jesus and how excited she was. Today, she is a world speaker. She has gone up North and she has started a mission up there and it’s called, Hero Work, you are a hero when you help somebody. Then when I left Lestock and I came back to university and took my degree. Then I found her sister who had come to the house and wanted to accept Christ lived in Saskatoon, and she informed me that Elsie is doing mission work all over the world. She has led more people to Christ than anybody I know and she’s a world speaker. She came to see me, and she said her husband left her and she went to Estonia, there was a ministry there and led many people to Christ. Then she said she had a vision through a prophecy that had been given to her that she would go to a very dark place and that there would be lots of kids. That summer she went to Cuba, and there were four men praying in a shed behind the house and she said, “where are all the kids?” They said, “you tell one and they’ll be here tomorrow.” The next day, 75 kids came, and she said, “I didn’t even have time to go to the bathroom.” 25 accepted Christ and their parents built a church and they were missionaries. And then they built three churches. And he didn’t have a car. He had only a bike, so Elsie raise $10,000 to buy him a car. And on the plane as she’s flying down, she sees on what is written, you can only take about $5,000 in and they’ll take the rest away at the border, so she started to pray. She lost her luggage, and nobody asked her for money, and she went and bought him a car. They have three churches now. She goes to any place. Jordan, when the people were fleeing from Syria, and she had 85 children under 10 and she saw to them all. She is still doing that. There is a really bad place and people are being healed right in her audience. She prays and they get healed on the spot.
Lorette would like to increase the income from her art to the work of IJM around the world. If you would be willing to donate to match fund Lorette’s art sales and generate more support to protect the poor from violence then please contact David Pollendine at firstname.lastname@example.org or 431 777 6057 OR when you give a donation to IJM simply add the note Lorette’s Art.