Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mehindi Job Training in South Asia Uses Bible Stories

I recently came across the following blog entry by a Christian worker in South Asia, Lucy Chilton (not her real name).  She describes her use of henna/mehindi designs inspired by the Bible while giving job training to local women at a beauty salon school and sewing center.  If you are a lady who is interested in this art form, and wonder how it could be used to communicate the Gospel in South Asia or anywhere in North Africa or the Middle East, I suggest you read on.  For the rest of you, please read on anyway and rejoice that God is using cultural art forms to draw his children to Himself!

You can also check out my earlier post on the use of some of these same henna/mehindi designs by another missionary here.

Here is Lucy's post:

So a lot of what I do every week is teach henna (mehindi) job training. It's a really popular art form here, and many women have it applied on their hands and arms for weddings or special occasions, or just for fun!

We have a collection of mehindi designs that are based on Stories from the Book. The different stories help us remember a variety of different designs and symbols we can use, and the designs help us remember the stories and share them with others.

So in each training I share the story a few times, then we act it out and try to get the ladies to retell it. Then we discuss the meaning of the story and practice the design. Sometimes I have them practice the design on paper first or work on particular symbols that are difficult to draw.

It's such a fun way to visit with a group of ladies and talk about good stories. People here love to listen and share stories that have a meaning or moral behind them.

If you want to know more about the designs and stories and how to start a henna group check out hennastories (dot) org!  Check out the Asian designs.


  1. Hello!

    I loved reading a couple of blog posts on your web site - this one and the one back in 2010 in which you have an interview with a missionary - about storytelling with henna in various parts of the world.

    The next edition of story4all Magazine (with a focus on Henna storytelling) is about to be released exclusively on the iTunes Newsstand and I believe that our readership would be delighted to read your posts too.

    I was wondering if we might be able to about reprint this post and also the interview from 2010 in our magazine?

    If you would like me to promote something for you, i.e. maybe a book or other resource or a link people could follow, I would be delighted to include this in the magazine for you. As this is an interactive magazine, once people have read the articles they can be directed to a web page or resource of your choosing, if other than the ones mentioned above.

    I hope to hear back from you soon.

    God bless.

    Bryan Thompson

  2. That sounds great Bryan! Email me at and we'll work out the details. Thanks.