Would you stand in the wind and rain to listen to a Christian band? Soaked and cold, would you stand another 30 minutes to watch a puppet show and hear a Bible story? Hundreds gathered in the streets of Tralee as we shared and did exactly this! Most of these people do not know Jesus Christ as their Savior, but they were hungry to have what they did not possess… Hope, love, peace. Most would have been taught that being good will get them to heaven, but the law only shows us our sin. They crave mercy and grace.
Their need humbled me. I love Jesus, but I do not demonstrate in my life such hunger for Him. I want to love Jesus more because of what I saw lost people do standing in the rain and cold!
Please pray against the rain every day, but thank God for the way that He is moving even in storms! For several days, we were literaly soaked, but all of us continued to do the shows because the crowds, hundreds of people, never diminished. People came to us and told us that they stayed because they thought if we were willing to stand in the rain, it must be worth hearing. We have no easy access to dryers as most people to not own them, so all of us have had wet clothes and we have seen hair dryers used to dry out disassembled keyboards. No one cares. No one complains. We have joy!
The face of Ireland is changing. Everywhere we go, fields are being filled with houses. Sunday morning, we worshiped with people from Nigeria, Ghana, Slovakia, Northern Ireland, India, Seychelle Islands and America. The world is moving here and we have had the opportunity to share with people from all over Europe, even people from Latin and South America.
In Galway, the most interesting drunks always attend our shows, along with hundreds of other people, families and couples. This time one danced to our music and mimed me for the better part of two hours. He kept his beer cans stacked close by and informed us that he had been Jesus and still was from time to time. Patrick was a very well educated and troubled man. Beg God to deliver Patrick from darkness into light.
None of us could believe what we saw God do in Galway! Following an amazing time of prayer, where we all prayed and confessed our own sin, we went down town. These evening shows generally start at about 8.30 and run towards midnight.
Reality, the Irish Christian band that we travel with, shares and sings three songs, then the puppets do two songs and I tell a Bible story in between. We finish with testimonies and go back to the band. For every single part of the program, including the Bible story, crowds of hundreds clapped and sometimes cheered.
None of us could believe their response to the Gospel. What was shared was not a watered down Gospel that avoided words like sin and death, but a clear explanation of Jesus as the only way to God. All of us talked about His hope, His peace and His joy and they crowded around to listen. Even the Bible stories that I told grabbed their full attention. People kept coming up to different ones and thanking them. How do you explain these things outside of the power of prayer? As you pray, you are our partners in this work, thank you!
Reality is an amazing Irish band made up of people that have normal everyday jobs. They are not paid, they have not been to Seminary and most of their ministry expense they pay for themselves. For up to 30 years, some of them have continued to minister, though they have often seen little response. They are in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s and travel as a family, bringing all of their children with them. All agree that in the last few years there is a moving of God’s Spirit in Ireland. Please pray for them by name; Stephen, John, Dana, Michelle, and Sharon. Please pray for the support team (family and friends) that travels with us by name; Julie, Raymie, Anne, Claire and Valerie. Also pray for their children; Brandon, Jade, Nikita, Jade and Lauren.
Ask God to give us great love for one another, a sweet Spirit and joy as we serve.
Sam Shaw Irish Director
Jade Rodgers Irish puppeteer