Rose of Tralee Festival
Our hearts are so full of wonder at all we have seen God doing. In Psalm 74:16 it says, "Both the day and the night belong to God." We have seen the truth of these words here in Tralee, Ireland at the Rose of Tralee Festival.
At shows in the afternoon and even after 11:00 at night, we have seen hundreds and hundreds of people gather. They stood in the street, ignoring everything around them to listen to puppets, personal testimonies, Christian music and Bible stories. How could this happen? Thousands were hearing about the love of Jesus.
One heckler was a 50?? year old woman who was drunk for the performances last year and at almost all of the performances this year. She would come up to us and stare at us, copy Linda’s actions as she told the story and dance "badly" in front of the band. We actually prayed that she would not come back and cause us problems.
Later we had our eyes opened. We felt ashamed and had a complete change of heart, as we were told that two years ago, her husband that she loved very much and their only daughter were killed in a automobile accident. Having no hope and no real way to deal with the pain, she has been perpetually drunk ever since that time. Please pray for Valerie to come to faith in Jesus, her only hope.
ÂÂ. Praise God that we received the permit to perform at the festival. However, almost every time that we tried to drive our equipment past the police barricade, we were stopped and had to leave our vehicle on the side of the road and push the equipment trailer by hand, 5 city blocks.
ÂÂ. Crowds clapped for the Bible Story. When does a lost person clap for Jesus walking on the water? When do lost people, even adults, help make sound effects for a children’s Bible Story? Why do they stand for 1½ hours to hear how Jesus cares for them?
ÂÂ. Some people watched the entire program from the window of their second story apartment.
ÂÂ. A young man from Poland came to Linda after she finished the story and said in broken English, "Is very, very, very good!", then he bowed and kissed her hand.
ÂÂ. The generator, that runs Reality’s (and the puppet team’s) sound system and flood lights, refused to start. Praise God that Mike was able to diagnose the problem and fix it while a marching band was playing in the street. We were able to begin the program on time as soon as the marching band had passed.
ÂÂ. Sunday morning, we shared in a bi-lingual service in Slovak and English. Ireland is full of many Eastern Europeans. People from all of Europe came to Tralee to attend the festival and ended up hearing about the love of Jesus.
ÂÂ. At one show, a group of French students stayed for the entire afternoon show and talked at length with the band afterwards.
ÂÂ. A camera man recorded Reality singing, Sam sharing and the puppets singing for the Tralee Festival.
ÂÂ. At a local restaurant, we heard them playing Reality’s CD for their lunch crowd.
ÂÂ. The blessing of traveling with Jeremy Snow, one of the founding members of The Agape Puppets, is wonderful. It has been 10 years since he was a puppeteer. We are also blessed by the skills and talents of Heather Kelley, Brittany Hornbuckle and Katie Humfleet. Our team is completed by Sam Shaw, the Irish director and Luke Rodgers, a member of Sam’s puppet team who worked with the USA team for the past two summers.
ÂÂ. A local radio station interviewed, Steven, the leader of Reality. They will be playing their CD and the interview during the next week. Pray that hearts are touched by the testimony and music.
ÂÂ. Pray for Dominique, a doctor from England that talked with some of the band members for a long time, expressing a real longing for something more.
ÂÂ. Pray for three tough men who came out of a pub and approached the band members. They were concerned and prepared for a confrontation. The men then thanked the band for the message that we had shared. They told us that we obviously had a real passion for the things that we shared. You never know who is listening.
Thank you for praying for the team.
The Agape Puppet team in Ireland