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Artist Reveals Jesus Statue for Family Birth Center

Community Needs

HANFORD – Artist Victor Issa is giving the community a sneak peek of the beautiful work of art he’s creating for the Adventist Health / Family Birth Center in Hanford.

The “Come Unto Me” sculpture depicts Jesus sitting on a bench with a child who’s cradling a golden retriever puppy. When the sculpture is complete, it will be bronze and include a mother golden retriever and her puppies at the feet of Jesus and a pregnant woman following her recently healed son as he runs to his Savior.

“I first created this sculpture for the Children’s Hospital at Loma Linda University five years ago on a much larger scale,” says Issa. “It was one of the most intense and gratifying projects I’ve ever undertaken.”

Issa was experiencing an emotional turbulent time then due to financial stresses, and this sculpture gave him peace.

“I want people to receive comfort and healing on a spiritual level, as I did when I first accepted the message of ‘Come Unto Me,’” he says. “I was going through turmoil in my life but connected with the message of accepting the invitation to trust in Jesus and put my wellness in his care.”

As for the golden retrievers, Issa says they represent life as we experience it. “Dogs are completely accepting of man and are not judgmental, but adoring to their owners and to their Creator.”

The Colorado native plans to travel to Hanford in September or October, when the sculpture is complete, to personally help with the installation in the Family Birth Center courtyard.

Issa was born in Lebanon and moved to Nebraska to attend college. His brother is a family practice physician in Fresno, so he has ties to the Central Valley.

Paula Silva, experience design producer for Adventist Health / Central Valley Network, discovered Issa’s work while researching ways to bring the network’s mission to the lobby and public spaces.

“The statue will only become more beautiful with time and as people touch it,” she says.

The Kings Regional Health Foundation provided the funding for the statue.

The Family Birth Center is projected to be open to patients in early 2016. The center will feature 11 private labor and delivery rooms, a six-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) operated by Valley Children’s Healthcare, 16 postpartum rooms, a café, gift shop and more.