At one place where we shared in the mountains, a little boy told me he thought the world would be better if the Greek gods were still in charge. I explained to him that they never lived. He was a precious blond haired little boy who desperately wanted something or someone to make his world right.
His father is not in the picture and his mother has cancer. I explained to him why the world is broken and how only Jesus could fix our problems. He put his trust in Jesus at the show, but needs your prayers.
He was one of hundreds of children that we shared with in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee. I heard so many stories like his story from so many children. They would talk to me about their deepest hurts. They are desperate. They do not understand why their parents are not together. Most of these children know very little about the Bible, even though they have grown up in America. Please hold all of them in your prayers.
For 20 plus years, I have been doing programs in youth prisons. The kinds of crimes that the young people commit are getting worse. In the past, most would have been shoplifters. Now, I was told that the prisons see more gang violence, child molesters, and other serious crimes including rape and murder. As we all drift further from God, our children and young people are learning from our examples.
Many of the young people had been victims and grew older, becoming the person who hurt them. These young people desperately need your prayers. God knows their names. They live without hope.
I am excited to tell you that both places were happy to receive New Testaments, Psalms, and Proverbs for the young people. My pastor, Travis Hutchinson, will deliver them and speak to the young people. He is a great speaker who is terrific at communicating the hope only Jesus gives. Begin to cover this time in prayer.
Please also pray for the staff. I talked with so many of the people in the 2 youth prisons who care deeply for these troubled young people. Please ask God to give them His wisdom and grace as they deal every day with very broken souls.
I have great hope for these young people because I know how the Father changed me – changes me. I understand that except for God’s grace in my life, their story could be my story. Jesus is their hope! He is our only hope!
As I was traveling home from Brazil, I was sharing with a young woman sitting next to me. I was telling her stories a about the children we serve. After quite a few stories, a lady who was sitting 2 rows up from us turned around and spoke. She spoke with a heavy, Portuguese accent and said, "Beautiful. That was a beautiful story!" I did not even know she was listening.
Each day is so beautiful to us. We are doing 2 or 3 shows every day and having the most fun. We are with children who listen intently to the stories and testimonies. Every place has invited us to come again. I remember a time when I had to beg people to allow us to come and many said no. This summer, the Father has answered all of our prayers. We have many open doors! Praise God!
We spent 2 nights at Presbyterian Evangelistic Fellowship’s family evangelism conference. This gave us a sweet opportunity to speak to all of the children and young people about Jesus, but we were also challenged by the preaching.
While we were there, we drove to Bristol, Virginia and did an afternoon puppet show. The children we were with live in hard places and their lives are not easy. Families are not often made up of 2 parents. What is normal for many of us is the stuff of dreams for these children.
All of us especially enjoyed a visit with a Christian magician friend of mine at Top Hat Magic in Bristol. He and his wife faithfully pray for me. More, they helped us learn many new skills so that we could better share with the children.
I am so thankful for the ministry of PEF and the sweet times that we had sharing in the area. For more information, call 1-800-CALL-PEF and make plans to bring your family to the conference next year!
Baltimore and Prayer
We are in Baltimore now doing shows, 2 or 3 every day. Tomorrow, Monday, we will be with 2 different groups of children. One show will be in the inner-city and one will be in a suburb. Our third show is at a Chick-Fil-A restaurant. Tuesday evening, we will be blessed to be at the Helping-Up Mission sharing with homeless men.
Please pour your prayers on all of these opportunities. Rejoice that God is giving us so many chances to share!
Linda for Heather, Christa, Paige, Seth and Jared