Waking Dead Tattoo
Ezekiel 37: 11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.’”
What is Waking Dead Tattoo? Waking Dead is a tattoo studio that focuses on bringing people to a place where they can see God in a practical way. Lets face it, a tattoo studio is probably the LAST place someone might expect to find Jesus. Most people who get tattoos generally wont ever step foot in a church. Why? Because most people in the church will judge or condemn them for getting or having tattoos. Culturally, tattoos are becoming more and more accepted in the States, but here they are still considered by many the markings of a “dangerous person” or a “criminal.” If you have tattoos, society frowns on you, avoids you, and pushes you away. As a result, the tattooed community feels that God doesn’t love them and they are pushed even further from the saving grace of Jesus Christ. We feel this is the reason God has opened Waking Dead Tattoo. To show this people group that the heart is the most important thing to God. You may look like a “criminal,” but what does your heart look like? What kind of fruit are you producing? Are you fitting into the stereotype the world wants you to be, or are you letting the world see your good deeds so that they may praise your Father in heaven? These are the questions we encourage our clients to ask themselves.
What are some practical ways Waking Dead Tattoo reach out to the community? Since we are located in the poorest county of all of Costa Rica, many people resort to getting unsanitary tattoos from their friends using old needles, razorblades, and broken ink pens just because they want a tat. This results in some very ugly tattoos and the potential spread of diseases and infections. Since we offer clean, safe tattoos at very inexpensive prices, people are more likely to come to us than their friends thus eliminating the spread of disease and infection. We also do affordable cover-ups to cover old gang sign or drug tattoos.
We have also found that developing relationships within the neighborhood is the best way to start effective ministry in new areas, both for us and the mission teams that come down. Nothing develops these relationships like finding the biggest, baddest dude on the block and offering a free tattoo!
How to does Waking Dead Tattoo help guide people who are debating on getting a tattoo? I have heard it said that “tattoos are a sin.” I have also heard it said, “God could care less if you get a tattoo.” Many of the people that we talk with are struggling between these two statements and they wonder, should I or shouldn’t I? What we encourage them to do is to seek God and pray about it. I believe that tattoos are a personal conviction between you and God. Personally, I am not convicted about getting tattoos. And I feel there is more in scripture showing that God cares more for your heart than for ink in your skin. The only scripture saying not to get tattoos is in the old testament and immediately afterwards it also commands us to make sacrifices (which we don’t do because we are free from the law). However, it is my personal conviction that if I’m going to get a tattoo on my body, that tattoo will point to God. One thing that I will NOT do, is push my personal convictions and freedoms on other people. I encourage them to find what God says to them about it. If God tells you “no, don’t get a tattoo,” then it becomes a sin and you shouldn’t get one. It is more important to be obedient to God than anything else. Romans 14: 22-23 touches on a similar issue regarding eating meat or not eating meat. Granted, this is NOT the issue of putting ink in the skin, but it does show how we deal with convictions. The scripture reads, 22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin. For this reason, we encourage seeking God, because we do not want to be the cause of someone’s sin.
Is Waking Dead Tattoo fully funded or could I help support this radical, life-changing ministry? Waking Dead is not fully funded. The small price we charge for the tattoos goes back into the rent, utilities and the supplies needed to do tats. Since the tattoo studio comes secondary to leading short-term mission teams, there are sometimes weeks that we cannot be in the studio to help pay for rent. We are praying that God will bring a handful of people to stand beside us and help support the vision of Waking Dead Tattoo. There are a few ways you can help support this ministry. 1) You can donate towards the rent and utilities. (Rent and utilities is $350 a month). 2) You can donate a free tattoo that will be used to develop stronger relationships for ministry. The average free tattoo is about $40. 3) You can donate towards the general supplies fund to get more sterilized: inks, needles, tubes, and cleaning supplies. If you feel God is calling you to help support this ministry, simply donate through Paypal on our Donate page and put “Tattoo ministry” in the comments box to let us know that you would like the money to go to Waking Dead and not our personal support.
How can I pray for Waking Dead Tattoo? Please pray that the Spirit of God would fill the studio so that when someone walks in they can sense something different. Pray that effective doors of ministry and conversation would open between us and the clients. Pray that we will be safe and that plans to harm or rob us would be destroyed before they are ever attempted. Pray that the funding would come in so that this studio could stay open. Lastly, pray that our skills as artists would continue to increase so that more and more people would be drawn to this place because they know they can get beautiful artwork at inexpensive prices.