Imagine doing a puppet show for 400 Buddhist children. Picture their teachers making faces at you as you tell the Bible story because they do not like the Gospel. See their smiles and hear the laughter of the children as they enjoy every part of the program. Consider the frustration of the teachers as they realise that the children will not hear their objections because they are having so much fun!
Watch as one little boy claps when Jesus calms the storm. Multiply your joy by three because this privilege was ours at a school where we did three shows. God allowed us to present a clear and wonderful presentation of the Gospel to over 1200 Buddhist children in a single day. Praise God!
An adult came to us and said, "I am very touched by this program. Something has happened to me." She was crying and thanking us. Local Christians have an ongoing work in this place and will continue to share with these children and adults.
The mountains are a new area of ministry for us and a wonderful place to work. We went to a small village where half of the families with children had left after a Typhoon. They brought together 2 small, remote schools and many children prayed to receive Christ. We heard them calling on His name!
When the children saw our white faces they were afraid at first. They said, "Teacher, why do they have blue eyes?"
This single show took us almost 3½ hours. We arrive, meet with the principal, share and have tea. Then, we set up all of the equipment. It seems that we are always up stairs. The program takes an hour. We spend the next hour or two visiting with the children and teachers, eating lunch with them and repacking all of the equipment.
The days are long and full of blessing. Never have I seen such and outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit in Taiwan! It is awesome.
Two newspapers have printed our pictures and done an article of us. The China Times, the most popular paper, included Pastor Peter’s contact information and suggested that they schedule shows for our return trip in March of 2007. They titled the article, "The Agape Puppets are bringing joy to the mountain children." Neither our friends of us requested this coverage God arranged this opportunity.
The most important thing that we do is the training and equipping of our Chinese brothers and sisters.
We have been practising with one of our teams so that they can do a drama in Chinese on Wednesday. Please pray for them. Please thank God for Melody who has translated all of our teaching materials into Chinese and recorded dramas in Chinese.
On Saturday we trained a team in the mountains. Members from more that a dozen mountain churches, gathered to learn how to share with their own children with the tools we use. Most arrived more than 30 minutes early, anxious to learn and having started very early in the morning. They were so hungry to learn! Ask God to strengthen them.
All of our friends have been so kind to us. They took us to a special Hakka town where we could learn about the culture.
We ground our own tea, enjoyed special cookies, and were given special hats.
Later, a church elder took us to his friend’s tea shop, an enormous building where the man displayed dozens of award winning teas. We were showered with kindnesses, gifts, and the best fellowship. The most treasured memories are all of the wonderful stories that we shared with each other. We live oceans apart, but God has given us the same hearts. Truly, one of the dearest joys in heaven must be the sharing of all the great things we saw God do, without having to use translators. We are blessed!
Tomorrow, we leave again for 2 days in the mountains. We will go much deeper this time. Please pray!
Sam Shaw & Assistant Director
Heather Kelley & Puppeteer
Mykayla Kelley & Puppeteer
Hannah Sager & Puppeteer
Jonothan Bova & Puppeteer