By Melissa Wuske
Chinese Artists Point to Christ
Roger Cui is the leader of Cornerstone Art Associates, a group of six Chinese artists with a vision for Christ. They live in a colony of several hundred artists just outside Beijing. The group is part of the revolutionary movement of the gospel in a county deeply rooted in Buddhist tradition.
In China the study of Buddhism goes hand in hand with studying art. But Cui deviated from the norm when he began following Christ after his mother’s church prayed for his sick daughter. In the wake of her healing, he saw something different in the Christian faith. Now Cui wants to share the hope he’s found: “Evangelism is sharing the good news. To do that, you can use words, but we use visual art to let others see God’s message.”
Cui and other group members have the opportunity to discuss their faith and art with other artists in the colony, and their reach is growing broader. They had their first exhibition at Threefold Vision Training Conference in Hong Kong. They displayed work in a variety of styles, from Eastern to Western, from nuanced to boldly declarative.
The conference itself is evidence of God’s movement in China: about 1,500 people gathered—and neither government hacks into the registration site nor the ensuing logistical issues could keep these believers from raising their voices in song.
Young Teen Confronts App Gender Discrimination
Maddie Messer is 12. So it’s no surprise that she plays a lot of app-based games. But when she noticed that she and her female friends were often stuck with male characters, she did something a bit atypical for a young teen: research. She focused on “endless running” games like Temple Run, and here’s what she found: nearly all had male character options, but less than half offered female characters—and many of those required players to pay to be female.
Maddie addressed the problem by writing to The Washington Post to share her research, insights (“The lack of girl characters implies that girls are not equal to boys and they don’t deserve characters that look like them”), and humor (“In one game, ‘Survival Run with Bear Grylls,’ you can put the character in a Santa Claus suit for $1.98, but there is no girl to be had at any price. Does this mean that girls aren’t capable of escaping a bear, but Santa is?”).
Maddie’s message is getting a response: Natalia Luckyanova, one of the creators of the popular game Temple Run, promises that free female characters are coming, and Disney says it will no longer charge $30 for the female character in one of its games.
Best Place for a First Date
Ever wonder what restaurants to go to on a first date (or where to people-watch some first date couples)? The dating app Clover, which lets users select locations to meet a date, pulled data from its 200,000 users to give the answer. Starbucks, Chipotle, and Panera top its list of 30 date locales.
For people ages 18-24, Chipotle is the top restaurant; Cheesecake Factory is tops for those 25-34; and those 35 and up favor Olive Garden. Starbucks is the top coffee shop choice for all ages. Clover also found that women prefer coffee shops for first dates, while men prefer restaurants.
Melissa Wuske is a freelance editor and writer. She and her husband, Shawn, live and minister in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Find her work online (melissaannewuske.com).