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Sophia Tekola

Tell us a little bit about your sense of calling, and how your creative self coincides with this call?

I love helping people. In fact if I loved everyone with grace, strength, kindness and compassion, I will have lived a full life. And that’s what I plan to do. Sometimes that means taking a homeless person out for dinner, volunteering with search and rescue, or giving a smile and conversing with a stranger.

However, currently this has me preparing for a trip to St.Thomas. I will be there for the summer and I will go back this winter, if all things play out. This summer I will be growing relationships with the people on the island, building community, and figuring out how to best use my God given talents to help people.

In due time I will be opening a home on St. Thomas for kids with disabilities and kids who have not been adopted. Ideally this place would also be a school where all kids regardless of ability can thrive in a loving environment. Access to education and technology will help each child have a fair start in life.

All children will be welcome regardless of  skin color, sexual orientation, gender, status, wealth, or any qualifier under the sun. I want everyone to know how much they are loved and wanted. That is the reason behind this home and school in St.Thomas.

My calling is Brave Love. Going into uncharted areas and loving with everything I have. I put that love fully into everything I do because the act of loving is all in. Otherwise, you’re just liking something. And I am called to love.

What are your creative inspirations?

Writing and painting. I have a lot to say and sometimes words aren’t enough. To tell you the truth, I am always learning new languages to find out how to say exactly what I’m feeling.  And when I come up short, I paint. Something abstract and not from this world – rather from my spirit. I paint in a way that I hope inspires others to think outside the box. I paint the way I live and think. Sometimes my canvas is just as messy as my life. And that is a beautiful thing.

Who have been your primary encouragers in your creative journey?

My life has been a ugly, yet beautiful canvas God continues to paint. And the one person who has been watching the paint dry with me is my friend Carissa.  She has been my encourager, confidant, friend, sister and light in a world that tries to steal my creativity, my spirit, my heart, and my soul.

Why are you excited about the Story Shop?

A woman run business, led for women living real lives. Having real stories. And seeking real joy amongst the reality of living in a broken world. Yet loving regardless.

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