AN OCEAN OF CHILDREN
In the last 2 days, we have done 8 programs and told an ocean of children about Jesus Christ. We have heard them pray out loud and in soft whispers. Many of the children are desperately shy and though we felt in our spirit that they were praying, we did not hear a sound at 2 of the programs.
Our friend Cornelius talked with many of the children after the program. He asked them if they had prayed and asked Jesus to be their Savior. Their answers confirmed our hopes. Only 2 that he asked said no. So many children had trusted in Jesus. Praise God!
Five of these programs were done for the sons and daughters of farm workers. The children have very little and most of them have homes that are hard places to live. Alcoholism is a problem for many children and we shared with so many little ones who suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome.
Still, for a little while, they laughed and smiled. The children arrived at shows in giant vegetable trucks, standing, and packed like a tin of sardines. They came in pick-up trucks and some walked. At one program, we stopped the show as over a hundred more children arrived. We backed up the stage 3 times trying to make more room.
They sat on packing crates or stood. They sat in plastic yard chairs or on the concrete floor. No one complained. As I saw their faces fill with wonder, I think of all of you who gave to make this trip possible. Your money was well spent on these children. Your prayers have opened their hearts to truths that will change them forever. Most have never seen puppets or anything else that we bring with us. By God’s grace, we use all of these things to make a lasting impression on their hearts for the Gospel.
It is hard to forget a big Irishman who juggles big clubs and tells about Jesus. It is difficult to ignore the reality of God’s love when Silvana tells you about the Father’s care. They will not forget Meg’s story or the way she sung about the hope we find in Jesus Christ alone. Always, the children will know that nothing is impossible for God because Billy put a giant needle through a balloon and it did not pop.
They are surrounded by the most spectacular scenery. The mountains that surround their valley climb into the clouds. The fields their parents work yield a rich harvest of grapes, apples, pears, and apricots. From their homes, they hear the sound of the baboons in the early morning or late in the evening. They say, “Baa hoome”. Fish eagles can be seen regularly on the farms. It is an amazing place to live!
Please pray that these children will let the wonders of creation point them to the cross. Please pray that those who plan to continue working with these children will be wise and faithful.
These children have such deep hurts. They desperately need the love of the Savior. Pray for them!
Many of the homes in this place are about the size of 2 or 3 puppet stages. They are made out of what other people throw away. It is cold here now, but you can imagine the smell in the summer. Sanitation is a big problem. Roads suddenly dead end and GPS units do not work well.
We set up in the middle of the street and backed our stage up against the truck we are traveling in to the shows. It is actually a uniform delivery truck and once someone even asked us to give them clothes.
The children came to watch a puppet show, but mostly they came to receive half of a sandwich. When you are hungry, such a small gift becomes a feast. Every week, the people that we worked with feed the children. Many have come to faith through this ministry. They tell Bible stories for their hearts and give them sandwiches for their stomachs.
We met one older lady who had only known Jesus for 2 weeks. In her hands, she clutched a Bible and clung to it with passion. Please pray for this ongoing work.
This is a terrible place to live where you cannot walk after dark. Rape and murder are normal problems. The children suffer physical and sexual abuse. They are hungry, dirty, and eager to have someone, anyone to see them. Please let your hearts break for them and pray for these children.
Sam & Silvana