Youth With a Mission’s Alyssa DeMey talks about the significance of tattoos in her life, being part of a tattoo ministry in London and how she believes Jesus allows us inidividual choice when it comes to body art.
I did a Discipleship school with Youth With a Mission (YWAM) in New Zealand in 2017. While in New Zealand I got into tattooing and doing small designs for friends. I felt God asked me to continue perusing the trade and I was reminded of YWAM Radiant in London. I knew they had a tattoo ministry in a café called THINK.
There can be controversy over tattoos in Christian circles. Sometimes Christian mention Leviticus 19:28: “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourself.” When this was written, it was a common pagan tradition to cut, mark, or scar yourself for the dead - or as a ritual act done to please the pagan gods they served. So I believe that God giving this instruction was to help remind the Israelites to not worship their ancestors or other gods, but to serve God and him alone.
I believe that if your motives are right than it’s really up to your personal conviction and what you feel like God is telling you. And I do believe it varies from person to person according to their own relationship with Jesus and what he is calling them into. I grew up in a Christian home in Colorado, USA and was raised in a community that is super Jesus focused. I got my first tattoo when I was 18, it’s Hebrew for: “Sweet and loving King, strong and mighty King” as a reminder of who God is.
I believe that if your motives are right than it’s really up to your personal conviction and what you feel like God is telling you.
I moved to London to join YWAM Radiant, and I’m still in the learning process of being a tattoo artist at the moment. It’s kind of wild to me how many people are willing to give you creative freedom, I’ve had multiple people say: “You design something and I’ll get it”. It’s in that time that I love to pray and ask God for a picture for them! One time I got a picture of a burning match for a friend who isn’t a Christian and felt like God told me to tell him that God sees him as a match that lights fires in people’s hearts to do the things they were created to do. He found it very encouraging and to this day has a memory of who God says he is on his body with him at all times.
THINK café in Camden is a ministry of YWAM. We have a coffee shop, hair salon and tattoo parlour. Basically it’s an open house. Whether someone wants a coffee, their hair done, or a tattoo, our doors are open and we try to use every interaction as a chance to show someone God’s love!
I got my first tattoo when I was 18, it’s Hebrew for: “Sweet and loving King, strong and mighty King” as a reminder of who God is.
Tattoos are important to me because I just really love and value the art of it, there’s a weight and intentionality to every line. I love how on purpose it is.
I have about a dozen tattoos, almost every one is centred around Jesus, but abstract enough that people would have to ask me what the meaning behind them was. Anything to get people to ask me about Jesus really! But I also have a few that I just enjoy aesthetically, or they give me a laugh. One of them is a mountain scene that wraps around my forearm that to me represents Colorado - or home - and it’s a reminder to me that my home is actually in Jesus, so wherever in the world he calls me I can feel and be at home.
Check out THINK cafe’s Instagram page here.