Dearest Friends,

Blessings in Philadelphia

1. Once every summer, they close Uber Street and have a week long summer camp for the children. As we were setting up, a little girl came up to Hannah and asked if she could help. Hannah bent over to talk to the little girl, and as they talked she wanted to hug and have Hannah pick her up. She put her arms around Hannah’s neck and whispered into her ear, "I want you to be my mommy." These children ache to be seen and held and loved.

2. At several of the shows, little ones cried because they didn’t want us to go.

3. At every show lots of little children try to pick up boxes too big for them and try to help carry. They are so eager to help!

4. The children are very enthusiastic about the pictures in the stories that I tell. They almost always line up to receive these very simple chalk drawings at the end. They want something so they can remember what they heard.

5. I am always praying and asking God to use us to show His light to the children. I want them to see God’s kindness and love. At every show, we see God answering these prayers. The children have never met us, but it seems they instantly trust us and want to be with us. Keep praying!

6. We have given away so many Bibles ! Most of the children are so happy to receive these books, but there is one little girl that we will never forget! She refused to take a Bible and there was nothing we could do to persuade her differently. It broke my heart. Please pray for her; the Father knows her name. We feel the darkness. Always, it surrounds us and it is your prayers that make us strong!

7. We set up on a street corner on the sidewalk. Before we could unpack the puppets they had to turn off the fire hydrant where the kids were playing. It was a very strange time. Several ladies were arguing over where they wanted the puppet show. Their discussion became very loud, filled with colorful language. Another lady was obviously suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, but wanted to come with us. A muslim lady listened to the whole program. A short distance away there was a large group of men involved in questionable activities. Many people in the neighborhood sat on their steps and watched the show. This was a great outreach, but not easy.

8. At an inner city church, we had a very enthusiastic church full of children! When the puppets sand and danced, they clapped and cheered! They went crazy! Some of them got up and danced! It is a wonderful thing to see children who live in such a hard and difficult place suddenly so full of joy!

9. At some shows, the children prayed out loud. At other places, they whispered prayers. Sometimes, we did not hear anyone praying but hoped that they were silently taking to God. Faith in Jesus Christ is the only hope for these children, but He is also our only hope.

10. Working with Pastor Andy from 8th Street Community Church and Mario from the same place, is a great blessing. They see children, teenagers, and adults that people never see. They are patient and funny and tireless in their efforts to tell people about God’s rescue plan for them. We love working with them!!!

In Jesus,

Linda for Kelsey, Olivia, Drake, Hannah, and Leslie