Each summer our friends invite us to do three programs on a family night program they have at their Chick-Fil-A store. We present God’s rescue plan for the children at each of these shows just like we do at all the places we visit in the Baltimore area. We tell the children how they can ask Jesus to rescue them and how God can become their father.
One lady was especially happy with all that she heard. She said that she had not even planned to stop and eat at that particular restaurant as she was from another part of town. However, she was so glad that she stopped because she absolutely loved every word she heard! Her enthusiasm was encouraging, but very surprising. The lady was a muslim. Many people think that others do not want to hear about Jesus. This lady’s story reminded me about how everyone wants to hear about God’s love for them if it is presented in a way they can receive it. I believe your prayers made this possible.
Zambia – Your Opportunity!
In May 2017, we are planning a trip to Zambia to work with very special friends, Kim and Todd Smith. In the late 70’s, Kim was in a youth group that Mike and I were leading, but now we will be partners in an outreach to the children of Zambia. After conversations with our friends, we have decided to take art supplies as gifts to the children in the village areas. For $250.00 per 50 gallon barrel, we can ship any amount of weight. I want to pack at least 7 tubs with art supplies and new Jesus Storybook Bibles. I will need your help!
I need thousands of packs of colored pencils. Please buy the packs of 12 as all gifts need to be the same for each child. Many stores are currently running Back-To-School sales, so now would be a good time to shop. Wal Mart is selling the Cra-Z-Art pencils for $.50 per pack. If you wish to purchase Bibles, please visit www.biblesbythecase.com and order the "Jesus Storybook Bible" (hardcover – case of 20 for only $172.70, which is a savings of 52%! These can be drop-shipped to my home and there is usually no shipping charge.
All pencils and Bibles should be shipped to the following address:
The Agape Puppets
6550 W. Armuchee Road
Summerville, GA 30747
Please let me know if you are collecting supplies for this project. Thank you for being a blessing to the children of Zambia!
Inner City Baltimore Children
Many people may find it difficult to understand why I love doing shows in the inner cities so much. These places are dark and forgotten and I think that these are the kind of places where people that love Jesus need to be. The children’s responses to every program are incredible. When they see something they like, they are super responsive! They laugh and cheer and throw their hands in the air in joy.
These shows are always full of colorful language, loud arguments, fights and blessing. This summer, we are doing stories about Heroes and challenging the children that they too can be heroes. When I ask them who is the ultimate hero, their answers always include Spiderman, Ironman and Captain America. They are surprised to hear that the ultimate hero is Jesus Christ, but when they hear all that He can do, they believe. Only Jesus can give hope and love and take away fear. Even the most powerful superhero they can imagine cannot touch what He can do.
Most of these places are dirty, the air conditioning hardly ever works and the rooms are stifling hot, but the children do not seem to care. The children are always happy when we come and always sad to see us leave. Some of the children come to real faith and I hear good reports on them when I visit with their friends. I was checking on a young man just this week and was told that he is continuing to follow Jesus and has been consistently making good decisions. He is a boy that we gave an Action Bible to a couple of years ago.
A Baltimore City Soup Kitchen
You would probably think it would be strange to do a puppet show on a stage behind long tables of food at a soup kitchen. We also found it a bit challenging, but were pleased to see that a number of people were more interested in the Gospel than they were in the food they so desperately needed. We passed out many Bibles at this place, some of which went to grandparents who wanted to take them to their grandchildren. As I was looking out across the room at all of the people who sat around the tables, there was one word that filled my thoughts: broken. These people have very little and are close to becoming homeless. They are like the children at the puppet shows, even though most of them were adults. No one sees them. No one knows their names. They will not be remembered. However, they are precious to the Father and it is a privilege to tell them that God has never forgotten them. It is an honor to tell them that God knows their names.
Linda for Leslie, Kelsey, Drake, Hannah and Olivia