Rose of Tralee Festival
God amazes me every year as I see Reality and The Agape Puppets listed on the schedule for the Rose of Tralee festival. We are the only Christian groups that are on the schedule. More, we are often told that we are the only thing on the street for families. There were times in Tralee when we had crowds of more than 150 people. Sometimes, the crowds were much smaller due to the weather, but no less dear and precious.
On our last day, to quote an Irish phrase, the rain was bucketing down. The band was just about to announce that the puppets could not perform but Sam told us to go ahead and ignore the weather. I am so grateful to Sam!
Though it took us many hours to dry out all of our equipment, it was worth it! In the crowd, there was a young man who has Down syndrome and functions as a 10 year old child. Every year he comes to see us and always tells me that we are his favorite part of the festival. I was determined to tell the story, no matter how wet I got. Everything was going very well, despite the fact that I was getting wet, when a drunk man with a stick showed up. He started saying things and was being a distraction. So now, I had the rain and a drunk man with a stick. I called for Sam and he quickly took care of the problem. I finished the story and kept my promise to the young man. Sam told me that he saw many people standing in doorways and under the eves of buildings who were listening to the Gospel that was being offered through the story. I imagine that they were curious about what I was saying because I was willing to stand in the rain and get very wet.
I am so proud of my puppet team, who ignored the rain and did a wonderful show for the children. I am also proud of my granddaughter and grandson who helped me tell the story of Phillip and the Ethiopian man and also ignored the rain.
As in all the other cities that we visited, we gave away many Bibles and were surprised by people’s desire to hear about Jesus. They were at a festival, but they chose to stop and listen to the band and watch the puppet show. There were so many things that called to them, but God’s voice was the one they heard. The Father knows who was listening and who needs prayer. Please pray for the people of Tralee, who are mostly in a very dark place and struggle to hear the truth of God’s rescue plan.
As we write these words, we are at the airport to begin our journey home. Please hold us in your prayers.
Linda for Reality, God’s Handiwork, Josh, Teresa, Daniel, Evangeline, Kelsey, and Drake