Paula Dubill's heart is to see artists understand how to serve both in and outside of their studios, and to see the breadth of opportunities available to the artist who loves God.
Her course of study included acquiring a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Printmaking from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA, 1982; a Master of Fine Arts degree in Printmaking from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, USA, 1985.
After traveling to Asia in 1987, she discovered that God had a niche for her as an artist in missions. She joined Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in 1988. She has since journeyed to thirty countries, teaching art in various locales with disadvantaged communities. Last summer was an adventure in northern Thailand with 45 refugee children and teens from the Shan tribe. They had escaped Burma and were absolutely delighted to create art in the Thai jungle! A real eye-opener for Paula was working for the first time with precious native American children and teens from a detention home and the poorest reservation in the U.S.A. with YWAM and Montana Women's Aglow.
She walked alongside the Vietnamese Boat People while they sojourned in Hong Kong for years in difficult detention centers, hoping for a chance at residency in a new country. Volunteering with groups like International Social Service and Save The Children Fund, Paula produced an art curriculum which was translated for use by 2,000 children in one detention center.
One of her best classes was with about forty Vietnamese men (and two women) who had never done art before, most of whom were fishermen. Traumatized burn victims from a huge riot created paintings and collages, which assisted social workers with their group work. Other experiences have included training Albanian teachers recovering from the iron grip of a severe communist regime. Working with Mercy Ships, creativity was used to bring restoration to teachers and children the year the long, terrible war ended in Sierra Leone. The greatest words she has ever heard spoken there were, "I now have vision and hope for the future."
Her longest residency has been in South Africa, where she has been privileged to work in local prisons and run fine arts courses for YWAM. Says Paula, "There is nothing like being locked in a prison cell with seventy inmates, all watching as you draw a portrait of one of their cohorts. God has placed me with many amazing co-laborers without whom I could not have accomplished so much. I continue to take great joy in exposing students in our YWAM discipleship courses to the wonder of creativity."
Seeing how God uses creativity and His love to restore individuals continues to be one of the greatest experiences of Paula's ife. She currently resides in Virginia, USA, continuing to work with YWAM's University of the Nations in Hawaii and various groups in Africa and Asia.