Relevents: Mabel López
Soldier Mabel López, creative arts coordinator for The Salvation Army Puerto Rico & Virgin Islands Division, talks with SAConnects about the role of the arts in worship, the book of Jeremiah, and God’s plan for all of us.
Creative arts can turn imagination into a game people of all ages can play. I’ve always loved acting and watching Broadway shows. I also teach classes in “pandereta’” (timbrel). I love the role the tambourine has in Salvation Army history. Salvationist women used this simple musical instrument to create powerful worship. Even back then, the Army used creative arts in street ministry. Now, when I see artists perform on the streets of Puerto Rico, I think, Is there a way we can incorporate this as a form of worship for the Army?
My husband is awesome! Soldier Richard D. López and I started our relationship as best friends. One day, we just clicked and realized we could be much more. We’re so different; he’s outgoing, and I’m the serious one. Our marriage has been a beautiful blessing. We learn more about each other every day. I can always be myself around him. A marriage like ours has its trials as we’re young and have many responsibilities at our corps. But the opportunity to serve the Lord together and to work for Him has helped everything fall into place. We met while worshipping the Lord, and we continue to work together for His Church.
I was a student in the Fortissimo Music Program in San Juan. The lessons helped me when I joined a marching band in college. I feel proud to have been a Fortissimo student and to have returned to the program as a creative arts teacher. When children spend an hour practicing the arts, that’s an hour they’re off the streets. They learn about God’s love and His presence. I was an only child. But because of Fortissimo, I always felt as though I had many brothers and sisters.
My mother Maura and I are the only members of our family now living in Puerto Rico. She has always been important in my life, even though for part of my youth, she lived in Spain and I lived in the Dominican Republic. She has been my counselor, my teacher, and, during the most difficult times, my rock.