It was my intent to write all of these stories about delights and wonders weeks ago. However, I greatly underestimated how many things I could catch from the almost 500 children who came through my house this Christmas! By God’s grace I did not miss a single tour, but I did not have the energy to finish writing my letters to you. I am feeling much better and very grateful. It’s actually lovely to get really sick, because when you get well, you do so appreciate your health! I am a very, very grateful person! I hope that you enjoy the following stories.
I learned so much from the amazing people that we work with. Each day I am happy because I think about all the people that we have equipped all over the world. I know that they are continuing to do programs for the children and this gives my heart joy. Nemesio is the director of a team in Peru. I wish you could see the way his eyes twinkle and his wonderful smile. Recently, they were planning to go and do a puppet show for some children. However, their transportation did not arrive. I am afraid that if this situation had happened to you and I, we would have called and canceled. But that is not what Nemesio did. He and his friends gathered wheelbarrows and pushed all of their equipment to the show. They understood that a promise made to a child is sacred. I encourage you to pray for Nemesio and his team. Thank God for their good example! Look for ways that you can live with greater commitment to Jesus Christ. This is my heart’s desire for myself.
THE FRENCH TEAM
Through the years, many of you have read about our French director, Anna, as she has joined us in other countries for ministry. She has traveled with me in Europe, Africa, and Asia. At home in France, she also does puppet ministry, and I want to share with you something she recently shared in her newsletter. Please enjoy her words.
“The weather here has been dreadful for the last few days, as it has in a large part of Europe. We have had snow and severe cold, and things were up in the air as to whether we would be able to go out today. Sleet fell most of this morning, and it was raining as I left home at the beginning of the afternoon. But the weather was dry the entire time we were out! It only rained a little bit once we had finished our work! Furthermore, I was concerned about what the ground would be like: ice on the ground would have made things interesting… But there was no snow, no slush, no ice! And relatively speaking, it was not cold this afternoon.
“We found ourselves "in competition" with a group of students down from Paris to help out with the fund-raising. They had a set of promotional dances which they performed several times during the afternoon right next to us to music as loud as our own. But God turned what could have been a problem into a blessing. They were very happy to work side by side with us, alternating their songs and ours throughout the afternoon. It was not so much competition as co-operation. They stayed and watched us after they had finished their programme, and one of our friends was able to give some of the young men Gospels. They were surprised to be given something free, and delighted to accept!
“Mostly in this country, people are not interested in the Gospel. Today, however, there was incredible openness in the crowd.
“I am just absolutely blown away by the way in which God has answered all our prayers about this event. Every single little thing we brought to Him He did for us, and more. It always amazes me that God should care for such as me and deign to hear my prayers. Truly we serve an awesome God – and then some!!”
CHRISTMAS TOURS AND THE MIDDLE EAST
This Christmas, I was blessed to have 500 children, teenagers and adults visit my home. I was able to tell all of them about the real meaning of Christmas and how they could know Jesus Christ here and now, as more than the baby in the manger. So many of the children asked me to be their grandmother, and asked if they could come and live with me. One day, I was very sick with food poisoning, but I had promised a group of children that they could come on an afternoon tour. When I spoke with one of my puppeteers, Heather, earlier in the day, she could hear in my voice that I was really ill. Amazingly, she changed her schedule and came to help me. Whenever I became too ill to continue, Heather would take over and share beautifully with the children. We were able to do the tour and see God do some wonderful things. I am so grateful for Heather’s faithfulness! Truly, she understands that a promise to a child is sacred.
Sometimes God just asks us to be faithful, but we don’t get to see what He does with that faithfulness. This day was different. There was a little boy on the tour whose father had died in the past year. God was kind to me. I was able to encourage him with the hope that God had planted in my own heart. I understood his pain and was able to offer him comfort. I was so glad I did the tour. I think often in this country, we have forgotten how to persevere. If you and I are going to participate in God’s great rescue plan, then we must all learn to persevere.
Another wonderful thing happened that day. There was a dear lady on the tour who listened to the stories I told about the children we’d shared with around the world. God touched her heart, and she and her husband gave generously to make it possible for me to leave for the Middle East this coming Tuesday. Again, I could not have imagined how God would answer my prayer for the necessary funds for this trip through a Christmas tour!
Please begin to pray for the Middle East trip. Please ask the Father to pour His Spirit on the children that we will be sharing with, as they live in very difficult places. Please pray for our existing team and the new team that we will be planting. Thank you for your prayers!