Orlaith is one of the angriest little girls that I have ever met. She tried to throw a chair through the puppet stage. She and he friends did bury us in plastic cups, magazines, and trash of every kind. They threw anything they could find at the band, then the puppets, and me. More, they cursed all of us, made sexually explicit gestures, screaming in our faces, and challenged us to give up on them. They laughed at us and made fun of the Gospel, and us but none of us got angry.
We left that place broken for these children. They crave love. One little girl mocked one of our team’s little girls who was sitting in her mothers lap. She made fun of her because it was something she wanted so much, to be loved. As soon as she got up, the little girl climbed in our friend’s lap and pulled her arms around her. She continued to sit in Julie’s lap and even sat quietly through the prayer. When I heard this story I cried for Rosemary and her great need.
In order to do a puppet show; we had to make a human wall of kneeling, smiling band members to keep the puppets from getting pulled out of the stage. Still, there was a group of 8 little boys who stared in wide-eyed wonder, enjoying and listening. Many adults were listening to the Gospel. Hungry to here about hope and love.
Orlaith would come up to me and scream in my face during the show. She flipped chairs and cursed. I bent down, smiled and said, "I know why you are angry. I know that someone hurt you very bad, but this will not fix it". Her eyes grew big and for the fist time that night, she was quiet. I told her about Jesus who could fix her broken heart. Her anger came because she was sexually abused and could not make it stop. I ache for this little girl to know Jesus so that when she is forgiven, she can forgive the people who hurt her.
These children live in a very bad housing estate where there is abuse of every kind. The children experienced physical and sexual abuse and learned very young to use drugs and alcohol. Little children smoke. Sexual activity starts at a very young age. No one gets married and they have no understanding of love that lasts a lifetime
Ballina is a place that there is little hope of God’s light. It is a very hard place to talk to people about Jesus, but that is what we did at two street shows Thursday afternoon. Christians sharing tend to be somewhat fearful of the response that they will get because of past problems. Sam was even asked not to use his chalks and draw pictures last summer by people that he worked with.
We prayed and asked God to open doors. We did not want to walk in fear. God was so good to us. Some local people, who did not believe as we do, were still so excited about the show that they asked us to come again and offered to advertise it. Many people accepted the bands free CDs, listen to the Bible stories, and even returned to attend a later program. He brought with him his three daughters and all of their children and thanked us for coming after the show. He does not believe in Jesus Christ as his saviour but he was drawn to what he saw and heard. Please ask God to call him, his daughters, and his grandchildren come to faith in Jesus Christ.
Still this is the very hard place for generations, people here have been taught that being good is what God requires. They do not understand that none of us are good but only faith in Jesus will save. Most do not attend any kind of church except on special holidays because it holds no meaning to them. Beg the father to show them real faith.
Please pray for us as we travel to Dublin today to do street shows. Ask the Lord to call many to the shows to listen and many to faith.
In Jesus, Linda for
Sam Shaw-Irish team leader
Jade Rogers-Irish team member