Sharing faith and art

Local woman leads painting party for a church mission

Submitted photo
East Waterford resident Judy Mummau and interpreter, Keila Fulgencio, direct a painting class in the Dominican Republic.

EAST WATERFORD — Judy Mummau of East Waterford travels to various venues with her business, “Painting Parties by Judy.”

In early May she left the country.

Mummau, along with daughters Julia, 13 and Valerie, 11, went to the Dominican Republic to conduct painting parties in a small village.

Her longtime friend and missionary Lori King had invited Mummau to the Dominican to provide painting parties for the small community.

Lori and husband Mack and their three daughters, of Port Royal, and have been serving as missionaries with Every Day Ministries since the spring of 2016.

Submitted photo
Youth who participated in a painting party directed by Mummau stand outside a church.

Mummau and her daughters were in the Dominican May 4 to 10 where they visited an orphanage for girls. They then conducted three painting parties at the local church.

Mummau instructed a group of single ladies to paint three crosses on a hill. She did a second class with children ages eight years and older, guiding them through the process of painting palm trees on a beach.

The last class was designed for couples as each participant painted one side of design on his or her own canvas. When the two canvases were held together, it became one piece of artwork featuring two love birds on a branch.

Mummau worked closely with an interpreter who followed her verbal instructions and repeated to the participants.

“They understood very well,” Mummau said of the non-English speaking people at the church.

“This was something they had never done before,” she said of the painting party experience. This was also the first opportunity for those in the church to come together for something other than Sunday worship.

“They have no real fellowship other than the church services,” she said.

About 20 participants painted at the parties. Mummau said she had brought an extra set of paint brushes just in case she needed them.

“At the first party there was a little girl, maybe age eight sobbing. It turns out she was crying because her grandma’s painting was so bad!” Mummau said, “We all cracked up laughing!”

So Mummau got out her extra set of brushes and set the child up with her own canvas.

“Her face lit up. She was quite the artist!”

Another surprise occurrence was during the couples’ party. The pastor and his wife were planning to paint together but the pastor became ill upon arrival. Mummau’s daughter Julia was able to sit in and help complete the project.

Mummau said it was sometimes difficult to adjust to the culture of tardiness. She said it was “normal” for the parties to begin 30 to 90 minutes past the start time.

The Juniata County artist and her daughters spent their week inside the home of the Kings catching up and making memories. Mummau was also able to share her faith during the Sunday worship service.

She and her daughters returned home in time for Mother’s Day and in time to get back to more painting parties at venues closer to home.