IMPORTANT CORRECTION to a pervious email!!! We meant to writeÂ
Remember all of our shows in the street are done in the open air.
That is why we kept asking for you to pray against the rain. We have
not stopped since we arrived, doing our first show straight from the
airport. Please forgive our mistake.
Can you imagine living in a place where people seldom marry and often
switch partners? Your best friend’s father is also your father and you
mother may have several children by different men. Drug, alcohol,
verbal, physical, and sexual abuse are common experiences. Murder is
not something you read about, it is what you have seen. It is a very
hard place for children.
God’s word says, "Where sin abounds, so grace abounds." As we did
the show, we saw his great grace. In this dark place, many adults and
children gathered to hear about Jesus. Even when it started to rain,
they stayed. Nothing discouraged them from hearing about Jesus and
Afterwards, one family was so very kind to us. They served us warm
mugs of tea and let us use their hairdryer to try and dry out our
clothes. Their kindness warmed us more than the tea.
On top of a hill overlooking the mountains of Mourne, surrounded by
the prettiest green pastures that you can imagine, we did a puppet
show for children who did not want to listen. One little boy picked
up a large rock about to throw it at us and suddenly dropped it.
Others started to leave and turned around and came back and sat down
to watch the show. God was gracious and many did listen. We were
really praying and yes, it rained on us again. We have grown
accustomed to being wet.
THE SHANKHILL ROAD
Through the years, this place has often been in the news as people
reported on the "troubles" of Northern Ireland. Many homes there were
burned out a few years ago and are now boarded up. Rival Protestant
terrorists groups struggle for control of the area. Giant murals
decorate the walls of the apartment buildings proclaiming various
slogans. All encourage the children who see them to grow up hating.
The children here are often ill behaved and not welcomed into many
of the churches. Tonight we worked with a lovely little church that
really cares about these children and sees past who they are to who
God can make them.
As a finish to this show, Sam juggled with knives. These were tough
kids and they really liked the knives! Sam used his juggling to share
with them how only Jesus could deal with the pain of their sin. He
does a great job sharing with children!
All of us, including the people who normally work with them were
amazed at how well they listened. We talked with them very honestly
about how God changes people from the inside out. We told them the
story of Joseph and encouraged them to let Jesus take away their hate
and give them forgiveness and love.
Please pray for these children! Ask God to give them the courage to
believe that love is possible. Ask the Father to turn them from hate
to belief in Jesus!
For 2 days, we did afternoon and evening shows in Dublin on the
streets. We had the expected problems with drunks. We had dancing
drunks, streaking drunks, and one who tired to kiss the dancing bear
Four drunk young men arrived in the middle of the Bible story. I
said the name of Jesus and they immediately began to curse me and
worse, curse Jesus Christ. Their timing was incredible as this was
the place in the story where I always quote the scripture. I said,
"Jesus said, ‘Forgive your enemies. Pray for people who hurt you.’" I
truly did not change what I always say in the story. When they heard
these scriptures, their mouths fell open, they walked away and gave
us no more trouble. The word of God is very powerful and convicting.
Young people who had been at our shows in other cities, some 2 hours
away, came to Dublin to see it again. One family found us by accident
but was so excited because their little girl had been begging to so
the puppets again. So many adults came to see the band, but stayed to
watch the puppets and listen to the Bible story. Awesome!
When we arrived, some acrobats were set up in the spot that we
wanted, but God even used that problem to help us. The young men were
African immigrants who finished their show and graciously gave us
their spot. More, much of the crowd that they had gathered stayed for
our show. The next day some different performers would not give us
their spot even when we offered to rent it from them for 2 hours.
Again God used this problem and we were guided by the local police to
an even better location. So many times on this trip to Ireland, we
have seen God take big problems and turn them into big blessings.
Dublin is a very international city and we had the opportunity to
share with people from North America, South America, Europe, Asia,
and Africa. A lady who was from Israel told me she was very touched
when I shared with her that many American Christians were praying for
her country. A man admitted to us that he had ruined his marriage with
an affair. I encouraged him, since he was a believer, to remember his
spiritual responsibility to his family. Pray that he will find the
strength in Christ to go to his children and ask their forgiveness.
Presently, they are so angry with him that they will not talk with
Aemon is a homeless man that we meet in Dublin. Ann, the lady in
charge of feeding the entire team, befriended him and noticed him
standing in the rain listening to our show. The rain was really
coming down and he had no rain coat. She went to a nearby store
bought him a rain coat, prayed that he would still be standing there,
and was delighted that he was still watching the program. Denver, a
young man helping pass out tracts and CDs, saw that he was hungry and
bought him a meal.
Our new friend seemed genuinely touched by the kindness that he
received and helped us move all of our equipment for the 2 days that
we were in Dublin. He also asked for CDs and tracts to give to the
other men at the Salvation Army Shelter. More, he stopped drinking!
He explained to us that for many years he had lived in America. He
said he wished he had never left because there he had a life. When
you see someone on the street, you never know where they have been,
and what they have suffered. I beg you to really see people and not
walk past them without trying to see them as Jesus would see them.
Please pray for Aemon. Please ask God to give him continuing
strength not the drink. More, ask God to give him a deep, strong
faith so that he can stand against all temptations.
In Jesus, Linda for a very wet, tired, and happy team!!!