On Monday, we are leaving for Brazil. Please hold us in your prayers. We are working with Gerson and Fabianna Simoni, two of the most committed puppet directors that we have. They have endless enthusiasm for reaching the children with the Gospel. They are like family to me, and I am very excited about going to Brazil and working with them.
Last year they sent me a note at Christmas and I loved what they wrote. "We are very happy sharing Christ’s love through our ministry Agape Brazil with thousands of people." Their joy is contagious.
I will also be traveling with two Americans, Sara Wilson and Hannah Sager. These two young women have been a great blessing in my life and I know that they will bless thousands and thousands of children in Brazil.
We will return home June 30, so please be faithful in your prayers. We are targeting children in some very poor places where there is little knowledge of how Jesus Christ can give people hope and peace.
Russian Puppet Shows
We finished our time in Russia doing puppet shows in some incredible places. The Monday before we came home, we found ourselves in a Tatar village doing a program in a public school. We were so blessed that God would give us this sweet privilege. The principal was so excited and smiled throughout the entire program. The children loved everything they saw and heard. Remember, we were in a Muslim village and our entire program talks about Jesus Christ. Only God could do something this amazing!
The next day, we visited an orphanage for mentally and physically handicapped children. It was much like many of the orphanages that we have visited in Eastern Europe. The children were not wearing very good clothes, the place smelled terrible, and they seemed very sad. No one was really smiling when they came in to the program, but they were all smiling when they left. Many of the children had very severe birth defects. One little girl’s eyes were almost on the side of her face. Many of the children struggled to walk and some of them came in wheelchairs. When these children were born, it was the attitude of the government to encourage parents to give up their children to the orphanage. Most had never known a mother’s love or a father’s hugs. It is heart breaking to stand in such a place. If not for the reality of the Father’s love and the sacrifice of the Son, we would have nothing to comfort these children with.
Our next show was with children who were very healthy and financially comfortable compared to most children that we met in Tatarstan. They thought that they were very cool and did not want to listen to the puppet show. However, God can call these children to faith and touch their hearts just like the children in the orphanage. Many of them even came up after the show and thanked us. They seemed surprised that they had had such a good time.
Russian Puppet Teams
While in Tatarstan, we trained and equipped two puppet teams, one in Chelney and one in Kazan. We only had one set of puppet equipment with us, but we found a team who already had a stage, curtains and a sound system. They also had some puppets but desperately needed more puppet equipment and story telling supplies. Through the kindness of a northern businessman and a missionary to South America, God provided all of the funds to buy everything they needed. We are very grateful to Lake Pointe Church in Texas for carrying all of this equipment to our friends in Russia. They gave up some of their own space so that we could get this equipment to them in time for their summer ministry.
Please pray for these two new teams as they were very excited when we left and were making many plans. Ask God to give them wisdom and enthusiasm.
What do I do when I am home?
Between Russia and Brazil, we have been blessed.
1.The USA team practiced for a recording session for the Great Storyteller website that we are working on. Then, we had a great filming session for several hours one Sunday afternoon. However, we will not be able to use the material, because a thief stole our friend’s camera. Please pray for the thief to come to faith in Christ! He stole many things from our friend, but the camera was loaded with Gospel presentations. We would love to see him come to Jesus!
2.We did 2 puppet shows at churches and saw some children put their trust in Jesus. Praise God!
3.I was given the opportunity to share about what we do with an Optimist club. You can call and schedule a similar opportunity.
4.We spent one whole day packing for Brazil and more days than I can count gathering supplies.
5.We made some new puppets and worked on the summer schedule, along with several other projects. We also developed a puppet brochure that you can request and use to share with people about the work with the children. Yes, we are tired, but happy!
Again, please pray for our trip to Brazil and remember to pray for all of our friends in Tatarstan.
Love in Jesus,