What Happened on Denny Street?
We were at the Rose of Tralee Festival where thousands and thousands of people come, some of them from all over the world. Our spot, where we set up every day, is located on Denny Street in the very heart of the festival. Yesterday we had to stop because of a band with bagpipes that stopped in the middle of the street to play. There are booths everywhere and people are selling all kinds of things. Lights decorate the air above us. The young women who are competing for the title of The Rose of Tralee occasionally parade past us. The street is alive with energy and crowded with families who are very grateful when they find our free puppet show. So many families attend, but we are the only program especially for children.
All of us have been delighted with the crowds and amazed at the way they listen. As I’m telling the stories to the children and their parents, I’m always surprised that they are standing there and listening. I cannot picture Americans standing in the street listening to a Bible story. Every day, I see that this is a gift. The children have been willing to make sound effects and help me tell the story. I love telling people how Jesus can rescue them and seeing them respond to that rescue plan!
The street is a very fun place to be. A boy came up to the stage yesterday and grabbed one of the puppets during a song. People stand in front of the stage and hold their phone up to take a selfie with the puppets. Everyone in the crowd seems to have their camera out taking pictures. I never realized we were so entertaining! There is one thing that happens every time we do a show, and it makes me very sad. As soon as I say “Jesus” in the story, there are always a couple of families that pull their children away from the program. The children are always looking backwards trying to hear the last bit of the story. I try to time it so that they can hear what they need to know about the Gospel and how to know Jesus before they are too far away. Children have open hearts to hear about God. They are eager to hear how they can know Jesus. Please ask God to touch their parents.
We had a particularly amazing conversation with a couple on Friday night. We always finish the program with the band and the puppets singing, and Evangeline and Daniel, my grandchildren, do all the hand motions to the song. It is our big finish! During the song, I draw one last picture. The gentleman asked me what it meant, and I explained that it was my story. Then I used it to share with him how I met Jesus. He was happy to receive a Bible and a piece of literature that could better explain to him how he could know God. By his own admission, he was not a believer, but was drawn to us when he saw us on the street. How wonderful! Please ask God to call him to deep faith. He asked us to pray for him and his wife as their little nephew is being sexually abused and they are struggling to know what to say and how to help. He will have the right answers and know what to do when he can listen to God and hear His voice. Also, please ask God to deliver this little boy into safety and heal his broken heart.
Today is our last day to work in Tralee and we need you to pray. Please ask God to send us attentive crowds and dry weather. Please ask the Lord to give us His eyes. Please ask the Father to make us bright lights for Him. Please ask God to give us extra strength as everyone is very tired. Thank you for praying!
Linda, Sam, Josh, Teresa, Evangeline, Daniel, Drake, Leslie, and Reality