Photo Collaboration with Melissa Livermore

Synago: to gather together, collect, assemble, to receive hospitably, come together

“the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind” Matthew 13:47

We hope these images display the simplicity and significance in life done together. The tensions, patterns, vibrance, conversations, testimonies and life that comes from pursuing beauty amidst the chaos and confusion.


Melissa and I boarded a plane together January 4, 2017, with one way tickets to Paris France. We were an unlikely and unique pair… Melissa was a cool and edgy performance artist with half her head shaved, I was a color wearing optimistic Californian with a camera in my hands and poems in my pockets. Two artists, one vision to reach creatives and authentically represent Christ through our art in Paris.
The winter was cold, our heater broke, french learning proved difficult and adjusting to each other’s living and sleeping habits proved to be an adventure. Joining a new team, adjusting expectations and diving into a new world came with highs and lows. Spring brought with her color and bloom. Relationships and connections with artists began to grow and the ice of winter thawed. Prayer became our common language as summer warmed us with hope. “Ministry” was not as glamorous as I had imagined but life was full and evident that anywhere our feet stepped was now a mission field. We took a mid-year retreat in August and reflected on all God had done over the past 8 months. Looking through iPhone photos on the train ride back to Paris we laughed, sighed and compared experiences. We saw the images next to each other, mine and hers and began to see patterns and beauty. We extracted moments and made meaning of the mess of it all. Side by side, each image a testimony of God’s faithfulness in our year. From a screenshot of FaceTime calls with far away friends, to flowers on our coffee table during staff meeting, the mundane became the magnificent.

-Hope Curran

Paris is the contrast between romance and reality, crushed expectations of her visitors.
Within the same moment light dances on the Seine and a dead rat floats through those glittering beams.
She is so fickle, always expect rain.
Always anticipate the thick layer of cloud weighing down, that from above becomes a vast field of cotton tinted with gold.

I remember sitting down with Hope in our living room saying, “this year I really want to grow in being honest with God, sitting in hard spaces and not immediately seeking resolution.”
I remember her wide eyes.
We laugh about that moment now.
Hope is effervescent, full of life and joy, and never meets a stranger.
I am reserved, pensive, and dive quickly into deep relationships.
Hope dreams, with a passion that invites others into possibility.
I brood, not always negatively, but never far from a spiral of angst and analysis.

We spent a lot of this past year trying to relate to each other as if we lived on the same end of the spectrum. Frustrated when the other was unable to enter into the spaces that we inhabit. Pride that said my way of seeing the world is the right or healthy or mature way of walking through whatever the other experienced.

But at the same time, somewhere, we saw the ways our personalities and perspectives were so much stronger as we worked together.

Letting Hope lead with her contagious joy and love of Jesus and admitting that the world is not as it ought to be, as I sat with people in the pain of a broken world, clinging to the promise that God is good despite the reality of sin.

That weekend in Switzerland we prayed, that weekend in Switzerland we took a leap into letting go and asking how we might come alongside each other.

And in that context we sat down to look back at the year through images, to see through the eyes of the other.

-melissa livermore

Respond creatively to your experience with a friend, roommate, teammate, family member or community. Learn to love creativity, stepping into each other's shoes. Take some time to remember, reflect, laugh, cry and make something from your experience together. We pray this is a way to engage in conversation and create together, finding connections and go into deeper dialogue through story sharing

Remember and reflect
  1. Create some time to sit down with your team, roommate or friend with your phone
  2. Open your camera roll. Pick a month to individually choose 4-5 images that represent that season to you (on an iPhone try using <3 sign or making an album)
  3. Together scroll through your photos side by side. Choose a pair that correlates and create a single image with the images
Share your image with us! Email them to hope.curran@cru.org or send to @hopefulforhome via instagram