connor creative art center
Connor Creative Art Center is one of our Art Healing centers located on the property of the Touch A Life Care Center. It is a place where the Touch A Life children can express their emotions in a creative and noninvasive way. Led by our Ghana Art Director, Kwame Dadzie, the children engage in expressive art practices to expand and enrich their world view. Learn more about Connor Deal, the inspiration behind the first Art Center, by reading his parents’ story below.
Reflection written by Connor’s parents, Ron and Nan Deal.
One cold winter night in February 2009, my wife, Nan, and I went to a movie. It was a Saturday, and we needed to get out for a while. We went to see the movie Taken, starring Liam Neeson. The movie is about a father whose daughter is abducted—taken—for the purpose of child trafficking, or sex slavery to be specific. As any good father would do, Liam Neeson hunts down the men responsible and saves the day. We returned home that night to find Connor, our 12-year-old middle son, complaining of a headache. Little did we know that at that very hour, Connor was being taken. We gave him an Ibuprofen and sent him to bed, confident he would feel better in the morning. But his health didn’t improve.
On February 17, 2009, just 10 days after his first headache, Connor stopped singing. He passed away and was gone from this world. He was taken.
A mutual friend told Randy and Pam Cope about our loss. They, too, had experienced the unspeakable loss of a child when their son, Jantsen, age 15, died in 1999 of an undetected heart defect. With great compassion and shared experience, they ministered to us. Pam invited Nan to go to Ghana and work with rescued slave children. Helping children in honor of Connor seemed to be a worthy effort and something that he would have loved to do. In 2010, Nan, my sister, and a small team of women went with Pam to Ghana for two weeks. By God’s grace, while surveying the rescue efforts, Nan and the team unexpectedly found themselves rescuing two young boys!
And that’s when she heard Connor’s voice; he was singing again. Our Connor had been taken, and now we were helping rescue kids in his honor. Connor always loved and cared for young children, and he loved most things creative: making art, scripting movies, building with Legos, writing stories, drawing. Bringing healing to children rescued from slavery just made sense. So we kept doing it.
Meg Bourne, one of the team members, began dreaming about building an art center for the kids. It would be something that would embody Connor’s spirit, offering education, therapy, and a creative outlet to rescued children. That dream is now becoming a reality.
Connor Creative Art Center continues to be a place for fun and creative learning, offering caregivers the opportunity to rehabilitate kids recovering from trauma. We are helping children move through their difficult experiences as they find God’s healing and recovery.
You may not have ever lost a child, but you can make a difference in the life of one. Help us sing Connor’s Song.
– Ron and Nan Deal
To learn more about Connor’s legacy, please visit Connor’s Song.