1 Corinthians 12:4-6 (New International Version)
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
Ramon Piaguaje, a Secoya Indian born and raised in the rain forest of Ecuador, won the Winsor & Newton Millennium Art Competition, the largest painting competition in the world. His painting "Eternal Amazon" was selected from over 22,000 entries by professionals and amateur artists from 51 countries and was on display at the United Nations this past summer.
Ramon, who started drawing as a teenager over 30 years ago, was not introduced to oil painting until 1993 in Quito. The young man who has captured the attention of the art world was first encouraged in his efforts by Orville and Mary Johnson, Wycliffe Bible Translators working in his village. The Johnsons recognized a God-given ability and had encouraged him to keep drawing. When they left his village in the early seventies, having completed their translation of the New Testament, the belongings they took with them included 30 drawings by Ramon.
Since then, Ramon has met the Prince of Wales and the secretary general of the United Nations and "Eternal Amazon" has been viewed by ambassadors, artists, dignitaries, and members of the press and public from around the world. Ramon is quick to give the Lord credit for the acclaim he has received. "I can't take pride of the gift that I have as an artist, for it is God that has given me this talent, and I want to use it for his glory."
When the elderly missionary couple heard about the exhibit at the United Nations, they decided to surprise the South American artist. They entered the exhibition hall and found Ramon surrounded by many people. As he looked beyond his admiring fans, he saw the Johnsons and began to cry. They hugged and wept for several moments. In Secoya, Ramon repeated over and over to Orville and Mary, "You are the ones that should be honored, not me, for you came to give us the gospel, and I believe that is why I now can be here."
God has given gifts to each of us, not only to enjoy, but also to use to build up others.
Dear Lord we thank You for the gifts You have given to each of us. We ask that we would show us ways that we can use those gifts for You today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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