In which Anne has an Art Show for Mexico


Annie came to me a few months ago and very seriously informed me that she would like to have an Art Show. FOR MONEY. She wanted money. I had a chuckle but said, sure, why not?

But when I asked her why she wanted money, she said it was for poor kids. Not just any poor kids. Her poor kids. You see, her Sunday school class sponsors a little boy at Casa de Luz Children’s Home in Primo Tapia, Mexico. She prays quite seriously for José at bedtime, his picture is on our fridge right beside Betty from Rwanda and Akash from India.

The children at Casa de Luz have captured her heart.  The thought of kids her age not having their mum or dad, not having a meal, not having school, being sad or alone, broke her five-year-old heart and she decided to do something.

What could she do?

She could make art. 

We made Anne’s Art Show into a homeschool project, she worked every day for an hour picture after picture after picture, she learned how to count by fives and tens so she could figure out the cash. She created more than 60 works of art. We learned about Mexico. She practiced her handwriting by writing out the invitations. she coloured the big Welcome poster I made for her.

“Mum,” she said with her Serious Eyes, “I don’t have one of those card machines so make sure people know to bring real money.” She wasn’t satisfied until I’d carefully printed CASH ONLY on her welcome poster. She knocked on doors in our neighbourhood, invited her friends. They were so wonderful, everyone took her so seriously, they showed up with cash in hands, ready. One friend offered to curate her gallery openings someday and it made Anne’s day.

We had her little art show, put out cupcakes and balloons, but it promptly rained, like it does in the spring. We moved it inside, it was so crowded and loud. Anne loves to perform and she informed me that she planned on making a welcome speech at 3:30. So at 3:30 on the dot, I informed her that it was time for her speech. She loudly welcomed the neighbourhood. “You can buy my art!” she said loudly, “for the poor kids. I made lots of art so you should buy lots of them. Some of them are, you know, birthday pictures but most of them are just regular pictures that you should put in frames. And then I’ll send ALL OF YOUR MONEY to Mexico.”

She sold almost every single picture.

We tucked all of the proceeds – all $26! – into a plastic baggie and dropped it off with her Sunday school teacher.

It was all her – all her idea, all her work, all her own generous, tender, loving heart.



So proud of my girl,

  • Jenn

    Love it!

  • Kim Van Brunt

    I love how you honored her idea, explored all the different facets of it, and helped her succeed while letting her do the work. Beautiful job, mama.

  • Beth Lehman

    that is awesome!!!

  • the Blah Blah Blahger

    How wonderful!!! Your Annie has a great big huge heart!!!

  • from two to one

    This tender-heartedness simultaneously breaks and emboldens my heart.  This is what I think of when I hear Jesus tell us to have childlike faith and wonder.

    • Sarah Bessey

      You and me both. 

  • ashley santiago

    this is too sweet! God bless her heart. May this experience ignite something bigger

  • Kelley Johnson Nikondeha

    my guess is that this is just the beginning… this year an art show, next year?  love her heart + your heart, it equals a win for God’s Kingdom!  Congrats to Anne on her first show.

    • Sarah Bessey

      Thanks, Kelley. I figure something for Burbanza next?!? 😉

  • Jennie

    Does she have any pieces left? I’d like to buy one.

    • Sarah Bessey

      Emailing you…

  • Lindsay Tweedle

    This just made my night. Love it!

  • Amber

    sooo beautiful.

  • Abigail Kampman

    Dear sweet heart!!!!  Love her, love her, love her.

  • Glenda Childers

    I love this story. Reminds me of my girls when they were small. I love it when God tugged their generous hearts.

  • Mrsmellalieu

    That is one lil girl who is so loved that she cant help but give it away.

  • Aubry Smith

    I just teared up. What a beautiful little heart (and a fantastic idea!!). I know you’re SO proud.

  • pastordt

    No words for all this sweetness. Except maybe this one…ah….(smiling contentedly, thinking “I knew that girl was a genius.”)

    • Sarah Bessey

      Ha! She is indeed!

  • Destiny

    Sky is the limit for this kid… her momma is teaching her to love well. love this story! 

  • Bethany Bassett

    Can I tell you just how much I love this? I love this. $26 of pure, hard-won love can’t help but make a difference to those kids in Mexico. If I’m so burstingly proud over Anne, I can only imagine how much more you are!

  • Melissa

    sarah i love this! this sounds like something my sweet eisley would do. these girls, with such tender, compassionate hearts. they challenge me. they soften the hardness that has overtaken parts of my own heart. thank you for sharing this. and what a wonder reflection of you as a mother:)

  • Linda Stoll

    Oh this is sweet, powerful, heart-tugging.  All those seeds you’ve planted and cultivated and nutured are already coming into blossom!  Can’t wait to read what she’s doing for Jesus in 10 and 20 years …

  • Katie Noah Gibson

    I love this. So wonderful. And that SMILE.

  • Lindsay Privette

    How wonderful!  I can’t imagine how awesomely God is going to bless her offering. She is so cool.

  • Brianna Carmichael

    Love this, and for me, the encouragement to help my kids pursue their dreams and ideas… make it possible and help facilitate while keeping to their idea, effort, etc.

  • louise

    This is absolutely heartwarming and very nearly made me cry!

  • Ladette Kerr

    That is so awesome! What a beautiful heart your girl has! :)

  • Anna Armstrong

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, Sarah, and your thoughts and words have been such a blessing to me. This post was perfect this morning. I feel like Jesus is whispering to me through the courageous big faith of Anne, “Just give what you can, just bring what you have.” I feel so deeply inadequate sometimes and fall into comparing myself with the accomplishments of others, but when I’m focused on them, I’m losing sight of the miracle: that me in my own skin with my little gifts is all He is asking for from me. There is joy and hope in that. Thanks for sharing Anne’s story and your story.

    • Sarah Bessey

      amen and amen, Anna! Thank you so much for sharing that – completely encouraged me today, too. 

  • Sillydoodah (Dawn)

    Love this! She’s talented too. :)

  • Anastasia Borisyuk

    Awesome! Gorgeous girl inside and out!

  • Christina Hall

    That little girl of yours is full of win!  I pray that I’m leading my kids to be generous in heart in their own ways, too.  

  • Leanne Penny

    Heart popping beautiful life moment!  Way to support her servants heart and recognize her serious sticktoitiveness!

  • Jessica

    This is adorable. I’m just going to point out that my mother encouraged me to make lemonade and sell it when I wanted to send extra money to a children’s home our church supported years ago; now I help refugees make jewelry and sell it to earn income. It’s starts with having a mom who believes in your dreams. Who knows where this could take her?

    • Sarah Bessey

      That is so encouraging, Jessica. Thanks!

  • Leanne

    My husband and I run an arts collective [just getting it off the ground now] whose aim is to teach kids to use their artistic gifts to serve their community/world.  I was told by someone a few weeks ago that ours is a “lofty goal.”  But reading this story gives me hope that that desire is there; kids just need people around them to encourage it.  Thank you for sharing this story!!

  • Jenn

    This post brought tears to my eyes. I love her heart and your nurturing of that generous spirit.

  • Tessa

    You have such a cool daughter!!!

  • Joanna Schupbach

    LOVE THIS!! I wish I had been there. I would have bought some art too. I’m always looking for good birthday pieces too! 😉 What a tender heart!

  • 300poundsdown

    Oh this is beautiful!! I just love it.  The pictures are fabulous.  So happy to have seen this today!!

  • Laura_InTheBackyard

    Oh my goodness.  Beautiful girl.  Beautiful heart.  

  • Handsfull

    That is just so lovely!  Well done Anne, for having such a good idea, and being brave enough to act on it!  Lots of people have good ideas, but not many actually make them happen.  Good for you!
    And good for your mum, for saying yes, instead of the easy no. :)

  • Heather

    love that girl and her enormous heart!