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Bethel Girl Wins Art Contest

She didn't think she could win, but at 12 years of age, God has used her talents and she has become a nationally renowned artist.

When 12-year-old artist Lilly Tjeng decided to enter the Robert Bateman National Wildlife Week Writing and Art Contest she really didn't think she had a chance. Lilly had entered contests before, but they were mostly local. This contest was national and besides, she was not an expert on wildlife or the environment.

"I feel that this contest has opened up my eyes to God's great nature … "

She also faced another problem; the Easter deadline was almost past and between her school work and arranging to have 500 copies of Special Gift printed and signed to raise funds for her church, she wondered whether she could submit it on time. Lilly and her mother Indra attend Bethel Gospel Tabernacle in Hamilton, Ontario.

Lilly completed her watercolour Arctic Journey (Two polar bears) and sent it by UPS on April 21, 2003. Then on May 4, just three weeks before the church launch of The Gift campaign, Lily was informed by phone that her painting had won first prize in her age group, one of only 12 winners from 10,000 entries, and was chosen for the calendar cover.

When other pre-teens are preoccupied with things like music and clothes and being popular, Lilly says, "I want to do something that matters to show other kids what they can do. There are greater things in life like getting involved in a good cause."

In her acceptance speech Lilly confessed that she regretted that she'd never really paid attention to the environment before. "I feel that this contest has opened up my eyes to God's great nature and now I look at it differently."

This precocious and courteous young girl, who turned 13 in the summer of 2003, has a message for all Christians. "People should get involved and use their talents because you never know where it will take you or how God will use them. Look at me," she adds. "I never thought that I'd be an artist but the Lord has taken me there."

For more information visit her web site

Rick Hiebert is the editor of Testimony.

Originally published in Testimony, December 2003.




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