This particular hospital specializes in children with TB. We did the show outside and our team helped roll many children in their beds out into the yard. One used a walker and many were on crutches. Some were able to bring themselves. When we finished, a blond-headed boy in a bed wanted to see me, to say good-bye. He also told me he was in pain. Many of these children have bone disease and are really suffering.
Remember their pain as I describe to you their response to the show. They smiled, laughed, helped make sound effects for the story, clapped for the puppets, and truly enjoyed themselves. They were really happy, at least for a little while. That’s a lot when you are a child in a hospital. More, as they put their trust in Jesus, they have a hope and a joy that surpasses their present hurt.
The Director was particularly happy. He publicly thanked me, told his teachers to teach the way they had been taught today, and kissed my hand.
I had an opportunity to share with the English teacher and 2 other teachers after the show. I told them that I hoped they had seen joy in my face as I told the story. They said they had and asked many questions. I told them about Mike’s death and how Jesus heals a broken heart. They really listened. Later, the English teacher got me alone and told me about her own husband’s death. She began to cry and said, ‘In you, I see joy. I don’t understand.’
Please pray for this lady to find her joy in Jesus. Please pray for all of these sick children, asking God to heal their hearts and their bodies.
There are puppet teams that occasionally come to the schools and orphanages, but there is always a charge. Since the children cannot afford to pay, most have not seen puppets. Constantly, teachers tell us that they are amazed that we would do this for free. This is your gift to the children of Ukraine and the world.
At one village, a babushka (grandmother) came up to me. She was very excited and got someome to help translate. She said, ‘I like your teeth. You have good teeth.’
A teacher spoke to me today and asked how old I was. I told her 52. She shook her head and said, ‘You look like you’re eighty, but you move when you tell a story like you’re much younger.’ I smiled and thanked her. I think it was a compliment…?
All of us are extremely excited about our new puppet team led by Uri (George) amd Ludmilla. They have a wonderful team of young people with several translators serving as puppeteers. Their enthusiasm is boundless. They were already working with small puppets and being faithful. We cannot wait to see what they do with so much new equipment. Please pray for these new friends and partners in ministry.
Tomorrow, we travel 4 hours to our last location for ministry in Ukraine. Please hold us in your prayers. Everyone is very tired, but very happy.