How Art Draws People Toward the Unreached

drawings of unreached

How Art Draws People Toward the Unreached

The Lord asked a young woman a simple question. Her answer started her on an adventure that mobilized thousands around the world into prayer for unreached peoples.  

What’s in your hand?

Well I can sing a little bit and I can draw a little bit” was Julie Bosacker’s answer when God asked, “What is in your hand?

Many of us feel left out of the action at times. At one point, Julie thought her testimony lacked excitement. Her team was on outreach and she was on “in-reach,” preparing meals, and changing baby diapers. Julie’s story shows how God uses what’s in our hands for His glory.

An Incarnational Message of God’s Love

During an interview Julie shared what prompted her involvement as the illustrator for The Personal Prayer Diary and Daily Planner published by YWAM Publishing.

It started over thirty years ago with a small YWAM outreach team in the wilds of Bolivia. The team’s goal was to serve the unreached in the region.

Julie was touched by the sacrificial love of a young couple on the team.

Kevin and Katherine’s wanted to plant themselves long-term within an unreached tribe in the jungle-covered land. The couple was expecting their first child. They desired to give birth to their child in a remote Bolivian village. They would have no access to a hospital. Their hope was to be completely accepted as part of the community. They believed this was God’s way of bringing His incarnational message of love to their target people group.

The Genesis of Creativity

Julie, her husband Steve, and their toddler Keith, along with their team, set up residence in the community. It was a small town in the upper-Amazon basin. The team connected with local families as they trekked daily into the bush. Julie stayed back to tend to the needs of her little boy and prepare meals. She described her team as heroes of the faith.

As she prayed for the team. She asked the Lord how she could support them while they were out doing heroic deeds.

The Lord answered with a question.

What is in your hand?” Her answer, “I can sing a little bit and I can draw a little bit.

Julie said, “His response was as clear as day.” God said, “I want you to begin to put the faces of the unreached before praying Christians.” The start of Julie’s contribution to the Prayer Diary was birthed. She returned to the States and began making drawings from photos of people she knew to be unreached.

God’s Heart for the Unreached

As she shared with missionary friends, her passion for drawing the faces of the unreached grew. In the late 1980s, one of her friends connected her with YWAM Publishing. They discussed the possibility of using her drawings as part of their publication. From then on, each month in the Prayer Diary begins with one of her illustrations and a description of a people group.

drawings of unreached peoples
Drawings of unreached people inspire us to pray

God’s plan was evident to Julie from the beginning. She and her husband joined YWAM in preparation for careers addressing world hunger. After a Discipleship Training School, they joined a YWAM ministry aimed at serving poor and unreached peoples through community development and church planting.

However, God’s call during her outreach in Bolivia, led her to focus on drawing unreached people.

A Window into the Heart of Drawing

When asked about her background in art and present approach, Julie was very specific. She always had a love for drawing, but she began drawing in a serious way when the Lord spoke to her about making unreached people her primary subjects.

Her approach for more than thirty years has been consistent. She prepares herself in prayer before drawing. She asks God to reveal His heart for the people group. Then, she takes her time as she draws, looking at the drawing from all angles, and continuing to draw until it fills her with joy.

Julie always starts with the eyes. This gives her a window into the heart of the people she’s drawing.

Growth and Change…Dynamic Processes

What stands out to Julie over the years is God’s willingness to help nations and people groups move towards His purposes. She is amazed at the change among those who have been identified in the Prayer Diary.

Bringing them into focus has stirred hearts all over the world to pray. She joyfully reflects, “I can think of many people groups that have had great social change a year or two after the Prayer Diary has focused on them.

As a visual processer, Julie sees how art and prayer are powerfully connected. She describes art as a visual element that connects the human emotion with the faces of those they are praying for. God’s gifts and calling are meant to touch hearts and trigger our prayers.

Art, a Visible Communication of Faith

Is there a role for artists in the church or on the mission field? Hebrews 11:1 tells us, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.”

Julie describes art as a vehicle that visibly communicates things that are not yet, as though they are. She believes that hope propels faith in the church and in missions.

It is delightful to see the fruit that has come from the Prayer Diary. “I believe that having many thousands of people in any particular month praying for the needs and lives of people around the world has to have a significant effect. I have been incredibly privileged to be a part of that team,” says Julie.

Your Gifts

What do you hold in your hand? Do you believe God can connect your gifts with what’s on His Heart for unreached people groups?

Ask Him about His purposes and where your gifts can fit into His purpose. If you’d like to talk to someone about this further, sign up to speak with a YWAM Bridges Coach. Find out more about that here.

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