Most of the children who came to this show were attached to IV’s. These children are very, very sick and most will not get well. One little boy that we met was only 12 years old. He has bone cancer and the doctors had to amputate his leg at the thigh. His father talked with several of us and told us that it is only God who gives him the strength to face this terrible time.
Many doctors, nurses, and parents came and listened to the puppet show and the Bible story. Their deep concern for these children and for some, their personal pain, made them hungry to hear about heaven.
Years ago, when I first traveled in Africa with James Grant, our South African Puppet Director, I heard him give the sweetest explanation of heaven. It is what I have used ever since that time. I said, "Heaven is a beautiful place. There is no pain there. There is no hunger there. Everyone would like to go to heaven." These are precious words to a child who knows that he or she will not grow up. It so simply states the wonder of the promise that God makes to us who believe.
Best of all, the doctor was so happy with the program that he asked Bevan to come again and often. This is a wonderful opportunity for their puppet team at The Father’s Heart, a fantastic ministry based in Kosice that trains and equips Slovaks to reach their own children for Christ. Bevan Stein is the director of this exciting work.
Yanka is a little 13 year old girl whose mother has made very bad choices and now she pays the price. They live in a shelter at the moment, but in less than one month they will be forced to leave because they will have exhausted their allotted time. Last night, Yanka cried after the puppet show, begging Dodo’s wife Mishka to pray for her. She said that she is very afraid and does not know what will happen to her. Her story is similar to so many children here. They face hunger, cold, and homelessness because of decisions that they did not make.
If you want to partner with a ministry here to support a child who would otherwise be homeless, please contact Bevan Stein at this email address: email@example.com. It will cost $100 per month to provide for a child like Yanka.
It is so sweet that we are allowed to go into schools and share Jesus love, with the children. One deputy administrator was very happy with the content of our program and surprised by the quality. She said, "We pay for many programs and they are not as good as yours. Please always come again." It is strange the things that God uses to open doors for future ministry.
Poverty and Riches
The Slovakian economy is improving every year, with more shopping places and more expensive cars on the road. However, it still has the poorest economy in the European Union. There is a small middle class, but most people are either very poor, or very rich. Mostly, they are very poor. True poverty has been best described not as the absence of things, but is the absence of hope. The Gypsy children here have no hope. Jesus Christ is hope and he alone can comfort these children. They ache for the love of a father and God alone can fill there heart’s with a fathers love. These children grow up despised. They are denied access to restaurants, cursed by people who see them, and judged by the color of their skin. There is no way for them to hide who they are. If change comes, it must happen in men’s hearts by the power of the Gospel. Please pray for us to have wisdom, show love, and be light in the dark. Pray for Slovakia!
Sam Shaw & assistant director