THE REST OF THE STORY
Yesterday, like so many days in the past week, we stood in the streets sharing Jesus with whoever passed. Sometimes cars would even stop on the road to listen. We were even blessed with sunshine! Usually there is so much that happens at these that we are never told. Some people come and talk to us and tell us what they are thinking, but most will listen to a few shows, watch the puppets and the Bible story, and then head off to finish their errands.
However yesterday was very special. First, a little girl came up to me that had come to the show last year. She said. "I love your stories. I still have your pictures from last year and so does my friend. I remember the story." I was so delighted that after all this time she had still remembered the story she heard about Jesus.
Reality, the Irish band that we are traveling with was at the same town in July of this year. A man interrupted their program and they were not allowed to finish. Everyone was discouraged, but yesterday they heard they heard a story about what God had done during the part that they had been able to do. A young women from Bejing, China had stood and listened to the entire program. She talked for a long time with Michelle and told her that her mother was a Christian that was praying for her. The young women did not believe in Jesus Christ. Yesterday we found out that she had come to faith that day and was now in a Bible study with her husband and was attending church. Half a world away, her mother was praying for her and those prayers God answered on the streets of Ireland.
Everytime we stand on the street, I find myself asking one question. How will these people who never come in our churches hear about Jesus if we weren’t out on the street. Yesterday there was even a Muslim family that listened to the puppets and the band.
Anna, our French puppet director, was sharing on the streets of Galway and a man throw a cd at her head. There is always some group of drunks that passes by and yells at us and sometimes curses. Some people smile, listen, and are happy till they hear the name of Jesus. Then they shake their head in disgust and walk away.
All of these things, we see as blessings. We are happy to have these experiences. God’s word says, "Count it all joy when men curse you and persecute you." We have real joy for the privilege that we are given, but our hearts break for these dear people that have such hatred for God. Each night before we go out, we pray and ask God to help us show them God’s love. All of us understand that except for Jesus in us, we would behave much worse. Only Jesus’ love changed us and only His love will change these people. Please pray for these people to hear.
We are working with a church in Castlebar that John Wesley founded in 1785. At night, we have twice set up outside on the green and done shows. The first night I saw a little boy whose face I can’t forget. His eyes were full of such pain and longing. He volunteered to help me with one part of the program, when I chose someone else, I saw how disappointed he was. I quickly added another part into the story and asked him to come and help me. He smiled! He listened to the entire program but left just before we finished. No one at the church knew his name. They said they had never seen him before. He looked to be about 12 years old and was very shy. I really can’t explain to you the burden that I have for this one child, but I know that God showed me this one little boy. Please pray for him to come to faith in Christ. God knows his name. I want to see him in Heaven and hear that he lived his life for Jesus Christ. Pray!
Today we leave for Dublin and we’ll do shows there Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Please pray for these last shows and ask God to do great and mighty things among the people who listen to the programs. Nothing happens unless you pray.
Linda for the team,
Sam and Slivana