Dying Buildings, Living Stones 2014-15

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There is a village in the hills of western Poland where a palace built in the 1500’s stands next to a three story hospital built about 100 years ago, used during the Second World War as a hospital and mental institution. Fire and war did damage to the roofs, neglect and weather made large holes in the doors, and turned halls, chambers and courtyard into forest and glen. About 25 years ago, the sister buildings and the grounds on which they stand caught the interest of an Australian family with little more than a vision for missionary service and restoration in the community of Lwowek Slaski. With patient work, the palace became the home to Elim Christian Center, perhaps born of the original inscription that was carved on its gates in the 1500s: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord makes his face shine upon you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26). Today, the sister buildings speak—a bubbling, joyful language, but also in sighs and murmurs. Both have been reclaimed; the palace is restored to use, a dwelling place for a community seeking to serve others. The hospital dies peacefully, and these paintings are a memorial to that old “condemned” building—nonetheless reclaimed and enlightened —as the life of light, roots, leaves, moss, and vines fill its interior.

欧洲波兰西部一个村庄,有一座建于公元1500年的宫殿,旁边是一个大约建 于100年前的三层楼的医院。二战期间, 用作医院和精神病院。战火毁掉了整 个屋顶,天长日久,无人打理,地上坑坑洼洼,院子、门厅杂草丛生。大约 25年前,一个来自澳大利亚的,并不富裕的传教士家庭——Herweynens( 赫文生)一家,带着要服侍当地社区(Lwowek Slaski勒武韦克社区)的异象 和心志,收购了宫殿和医院这块地盘。以巨大的耐心和努力,宫殿最终改造成 了“以琳基督之家”,符合了公元1500年刻在大门上的碑文―――“愿 耶 和 华 赐福给你,保护你。愿耶和华使他的脸光照你,赐恩给你, 给你平安。”(圣经民数记6:24-26)。 如今,这两座姐妹建筑依然在无声的诉说,一个是快乐、知足的语言,而另一 个却发出了叹息和私语。两者都被收回了,宫殿已重建,居住着爱人,服务 别人的人。医院却是一片安宁。这些画作是为了纪念这个已经破损医院建筑— 通过光、树根、树叶、苔藓和藤蔓,让你看到今天它仍然活着。

An aerial view of the castle, with the hospital on the lower left.

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