Each day at noon, we do a program at a caravan park, a place where people from all over Northern Ireland come to spend their vacation. At one place, it was raining and we had to set up inside a building that housed a small concession stand and a game room. Imagine telling a Bible story while all around you children are playing game machines with loud sound effects. Still, 3 little boys sat on the floor in front of me and really listened. A mother and another group of children sat on a pool table and also listened. Sometimes it is easy and sometimes it is hard to share with the children, but always we are blessed. Also, as Sam pointed out, many of the children who appeared not to be listening really listened well. Please pray for these children to remember what they heard and trust in Jesus.
At another show, it poured just before we started and right after we finished. In between, 50 people, children, teenagers, and adults gathered at the playground to listen to a story about Jesus, watch a puppet show, and listen to testimonies. Most of these people would have been quick to tell you that they are Christians, though most would rarely attend church. Even fewer could have told you how to become a Christian. These children grow up with some head knowledge of God, but with no heart understanding of who He is and how He can change them. Please pray for the children who came to the show to discover the awesome reality of Jesus Christ.
THE SHANKHILL ROAD
If you followed the news as Northern Ireland experienced their “troubles”, you will remember that the Shankhill Road was an area where they experienced some of their worst problems. Bombs were often found in this area and some exploded. People died in the bomb blasts or were shot and everyone lived with fear. Children grew up learning to hate. Though the time of the troubles has passed, its legacy remains. This community would proclaim itself to be Christian, but most of its churches have closed. Those that remain open are mostly empty. This is a hard place for the Gospel. People know just enough about Jesus to think that they know it all, but the reality is that they do not personally know Jesus.
We are working with a group of older ladies who for years have made an effort to reach these children. They need your prayers as they are growing discouraged.
The children that come every evening to our programs are not from Christian homes. They bring themselves to church to hear about Jesus. They come with little Bible knowledge and a deep need for Jesus.
Each night, I tell them miraculous stories of unbelievable things that God did in the Bible. Strangely, they never question the truth of those stories. Often in America this summer, I had children ask me if the story about Jesus I told really happened. These children recognize truth, but have a deep need to trust in this truth. Only Jesus can change this place where they live and put love and forgiveness in their hearts. Please pray for them.
MORE PRAYER NEEDS
All of us feel the attack as we prepare to leave tomorrow, Friday, for our ministry tour of cities in the south of Ireland. Several band members in Reality are very ill. More, the puppet team seems to be experiencing an unnatural exhaustion. We have also had some equipment problems. Please surround us with your prayers!