In Philadelphia, it is possible to shut down a small side street for a block party. This is exactly what our friends on Uber Street did, but they did it for a summer camp for kids. We set up in front of a row house that was boarded up with a sea of children in front of us. Big trees lined the street and gave us lots of shade! All of us especially enjoyed this show. I can’t really find the words to fully explain to you what set this show apart from the other three programs we did on Tuesday. However, there was a special outpouring of God’s Spirit that we all felt.
I want you to see what we saw. There was a large banner stretched across the top of the street announcing the camp. As soon as we entered the area, we felt the sweetness of the Holy Spirit. It was a safe place for the children, where an abundance of camp counselors were there encouraging them. It seemed like the children of the world were sitting in front of us. There was a Muslim little girl in the crowd. There were many Asian and African children. Many people were sitting on the steps of their front porches, watching the show. One of the leaders told us that he had never seen the children focus as they focused on our show. Praise God!
I want you to hear what we heard. I watched a tall young man leading the children in cheers, most of which were very animated and funny. The children absolutely loved this part of the program! I was delighted to find out that he was about to graduate from seminary and wanted to be a pastor in the inner city. People said many funny things to us as we were packing up to leave. One lady asked me if we did birthday parties. I explained we were thirteen hours from home. She countered that the party wasn’t until Christmas Eve! I never did get her to understand that we just could not come. The best sound we heard on Uber Street was the sound of so many children calling on Jesus, asking Him to rescue them. Please continue to pray for these children. They live in very hard places where they see and experience things that children should not know. As I was telling the story to them, I kept thinking of the quote that Karley wrote in her report on Chile. “Jesus is enough!”
Each day we see so many wonderful things that we simply cannot write about them. A little girl named Khalileana came and talked to Leslie as she was packing up after a show. She told Leslie that she had seen the last song but missed the story. Leslie took the time to explain to her God’s wonderful rescue plan for her and how she could know Jesus. She even gave her the words of the prayer. Khalileana also received a Jesus Storybook Bible and was able to see a full program the next day.
So many children ask us to do it all again at the end of the program. Their joy was such a gift to us! We all enjoyed eating Philly cheese steaks. They were amazing! We were all blessed by the kindness and hospitality of Bob and Grace Haymes who hosted the entire team while in Philadelphia.
We work with a very sweet man named Pastor Andy Kim and his friend Mario. These two men are a constant blessing to our lives, challenging us all to follow Jesus with even greater passion. Please ask God to strengthen them as they work in a very difficult place. We gave away the last of our Bibles in Philadelphia so that these friends could use them to bless more children. Hallelujah! We borrowed this last word from our friend Mario who shouts it all day, every day. Please pray us safely home. We have three final shows in Tennessee that need your prayers.
Linda, Garrett, Heather, Kelsey, Drake, and Leslie