FOR JUST ONE CHILD
On Sunday, the weather in Baltimore drastically changed. Suddenly, the heat index shot to 115. Two of the three places where we did shows that day either had no air or had their air break. It was a very uncomfortable and wonderful day.
At one place, the children did not come to the puppet show as planned. There was one little boy and his great-grandmother who had waited fifteen minutes for more children to arrive. When it became apparent that no one else was coming, the children’s pastor told us to cancel the show. I told him that we wanted to go ahead and do the program because the little boy and his great-grandmother had been waiting so long. He questioned me, asking why we would do the whole show for one child. I explained that this little boy was important to God, and so he was important to me and the rest of the team. When the little boy realized we were going to go ahead and start the program just for him, he was amazed.
As soon as we started, God filled up the room with children! The pastor said, “All my life, I’ve looked at the numbers, but no more.” He talked with me for a long time about what an important lesson God had taught him that day. I think he taught the little boy the most important lesson. He learned that God sees him, and he is important to God.
THE PARK THAT WASN’T A PARK
We are in Philadelphia now and enjoying a second day of this heat wave. All of our programs are outside and it is warm. I can’t tell you how many open fire hydrants we passed today as we drove to shows. Both of our shows today were in parks, but the second show was in a park that wasn’t a park. It had a playground, but only one small tree. Everywhere there was trash, broken bricks, and glass. In most places the grass was so tall we could lose children in it. Our friends put up a tent so the kids would have some shade. While we were waiting for the other kids to come, the children that had already arrived wanted to leave. I bribed them with water bottles.
As I was telling the story, a little boy interrupted it at the worst possible place. There was no way to ignore what he did and all the attention was on him. I said, “Do you know what I am going to do to you?” He looked nervous. I smiled and said, “I’m going to give you a hug.” He was obviously surprised at my response. Many of the children prayed out loud, asking Jesus to rescue them. Then we passed out Bibles. This same little boy said, “I’m going to read all of it! I’m going to start reading tonight!” Sometimes the things you think are problems are not problems at all, they are blessings.
Please pray for us as we have another day in Philadelphia tomorrow. We are working among the poorest of the poor in inner-city Philadelphia. They have such big problems. Please ask the Lord to make us light. Ask Him to put His words of hope in our mouths. Please pray for cloud cover so that it will be easier for the children to listen. If possible, we would love big trees! Thank you for praying for these children, whom most of you will not see until you are on the other side of heaven.