Each day, no matter where I am, I know the Father gives me gifts. The sun that rises every morning is His gift. The lovely weather that we are enjoying makes it easy to get to our shows. The orange trees that grow in terraced fields all around me are His gift.
However, it is one of my favorite gifts when He lets me see and hear how He is moving in the lives of children, yesterday, we hear hundreds of children boldly and loudly trust in Jesus. I can close my eyes and still hear the echo of their voices. I was only 5 when I put my trust in Jesus, so I know that for many of these children, they began their adventure of faith yesterday. Praise God!
One afternoon, we went shopping in a bazaar, but they call it a “souk.” The spelling is probably not right. The stalls exploded with the most incredible lace tablecloth, a musical instrument called a “rababa”, brass and handmade boxes decorated in beautiful patterns with tiny pieces of wood and mother of pearl.
I laughed when I saw fake snow dripping off all the roofs. At my home, there is still real snow. The Christmas decorations are still up and I am enjoying them very much! It is strange seeing reindeer and a sleigh scattered amidst Roman ruins. Ruins are everywhere in the Middle East.
In one shop, we met a Nigerian Pastor named Ene. He loves Jesus very much and prayed for me. No one prays for you like an African pastor. He took my hands and began to pray for me, calling on Jesus to bind or stop anything or anyone that could keep us from sharing with the children. Three times I thought that he was finished, but he was still praying. His joy was a blessing.
Please pray for him and all the believers in this place. I suspected that he was a believer because of the light in his eyes, even before he told me. Another lady said the same thing to me on this day. Light does bear witness to light. Please ask God to bless and watch over “our family” in this place.
ANOTHER AFRICAN PASTOR- UGANDA
There is another African Pastor that I am thinking about right now. His name is Charles and he lives in Uganda. We worked with him when we were in Uganda. They have a ministry to single mothers in the church. This is a good work, but it is not something that I can do. I need to focus on the children. If the Lord has given you a heart for this type of ministry, please contact me. I will put you in touch with our friend in Uganda.
A lovely older gentleman named Mohammed is one of our drivers. He is Muslim and curiously drawn to the Gospel as he watches the puppet shows and listens to children’s Bible stories. Every day, he warmly greets us and does his best to help us, even though he has an injured leg. He has even invited Padraig to his village.
Yesterday, I was showing him something that I use with the children called, a “Joseph’s bag.” You can beautifully use it to share the story of Joseph and then the story of Jesus. My friend Lulu translated into Arabic for me. I wish you could have seen his face as Lulu poured the Father’s love into every word she spoke. It was a sweet and special time.
Please pray for his dear man to come to faith. It is not by accident that he is our driver. Truly, the Lord God placed us together that we might be light in his darkness.
YOU WILL LAUGH
After a show,the children guessed my age to be 100. They saw my shocked face and guessed 90. When I was obviously surprised again, they kindly skipped 80 and went to 70. Then they started going down in individual numbers…69, 68, 67…
Finally, I told them that I was only 57! They gasped loudly and then laughed, sure that I was tricking them. I smiled, pointed to myself, told them that I fly a lot, and that this is what happens when you eat airplane food. One little boy looked shocked and fearful as he said, “I flew on an airplane once, and I ate the food.”
Please pray for each day in this place. Ask the Father to make us light and give us wisdom as we are sharing in a variety of places, always in situations that require wisdom. Pray that we will always show His love to the children. Pray that they will have open hearts and receive God’s hope through faith in Jesus Christ!
Padraig and Jared