About a month ago I received an amazing email from a total stranger, and I'm so excited to share it with you! Ok, that must sound really strange. But bear with me!

Below you will see a woman.  She's a woman I met in India back in 2010, 
and she has leprosy.

Notice the hands.  The evidence of her disease is irreparable. And even though she is in remission, she is still considered an untouchable by her community.  The fact that we went through this leprosy colony with the sole purpose of touching these neglected souls - letting them know that we did not consider them untouchable, but rather as beautiful children of God - is not a common occurance for them. Visiting the leprosy colony is one of those moments in life that changed me.

So you can see why, when I received the email below, I was moved.  Really really moved.

"... I don't remember when it was, but a few years back I must've seen some of your photos online after you all also came back [India] I was so blown away by how you captured everything. I remembered meeting any of people in your photographs. But I saved a few of the photos on my computer like I do when I come across anything I love. 
Catching up to speed...I'm now a junior in Studio Art at Auburn and haven't been able to get away from thinking about or painting the people I've met overseas. Last semester, I painted a portrait based on the photo of the woman you took at the Leprosy Colony in the picture below. I spent about a month trying to figure out who took the picture to get permission before I painted it, but no one could give me any leads. 
I went ahead and painted it though, just knowing I could never show it unless I found the photographer and got their permission. 
Good news is, [someone] was finally able to direct me to you the other day when I mentioned it to her! 
So I'm just wondering if I can have your permission to show the painting? Because it was your original artwork, I need to make sure I'm in no way taking away from what you did. 
Your permission would just mean that I can submit it to things like student shows, or for a scholarship entry. 
If this isn't OK with you, I totally understand. Let me know what you think!...
Again, I LOVE your work! 
Have a blessed day!"

Of course I said YES!  Abigail (the artist) has allowed me to share her artwork on my blog and I could not be more excited!  Isn't it amazing?  Now if I could only get a copy for my home! 

Unfortunately, Abigail doesn't have a blog (yet!) but I will be emailing this post link to her, so be sure to leave her some love! She deserves it for SO many reasons!  Thank you Abigail for turning part of my heart into your art.  I really truly love it. 

If you would like to support our return mission trip to India in January 2013, you can visit my store or sponsor my blog with a featured ad.  Every penny will be used to help us go back and share the love of Jesus with beautiful and deserving people, just like the woman above.