A Girl Called Amy
It was a beautiful fall summer day. The front yard was filled with children from the housing project and many more stood in the street, curious to see what was happening.
For almost an hour, they sat on the ground and listened to the puppet show. As we gave the invitation, five precious children responded and asked Jesus into their hearts. After a time of fellowship, we packed up and left for home.
Seldom do we get to know any more, but this time we were privileged to hear the rest of the story.
A sweet blond haired girl that we will call Amy was one of the children who prayed with us that evening. Through a friend, we learned that as she rode home that night, she was so excited about coming to know Jesus. She could not wait to tell her family.
Our friend knew that her family had a long history of involvement with satan worship and their activities had a terrible effect on the young girl. For as long as Amy could remember, she had what her parents called an imaginary friend. She described him as big and dark with bright, burning red eyes. He scared Amy!
Later, Amy told our friend that after she had invited Jesus into her heart, the imaginary friend had gone away, and she has not seen him since! Praise the Lord for the Light that now fills her soul!
A Great Year of Ministry
We have been blessed with a wonderful year of ministry. As the boys would say, “It’s been awesome.”
The Agape puppets have shared in many diverse places ranging from Youth Development Centers to private and public schools. We have presented the Gospel in Baptist, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Church of God, Methodist, and non-deno- minational congregations. Every place that we have gone, we have been struck by how hungry people are to hear about Jesus.
We are overwhelmed when we realize that God has now allowed us to see 600 people pray to receive Christ in the last five years of ministry. This is a direct result of your prayers! God is so faithful and we are so blessed to be a part of His work.
Thank you for enabling us to go and tell.
In September, we returned to the youth development center to share during their chapel hour. Forty-five young men who had been convicted of serious crimes came to see the puppets and hear a Bible story.
They listened attentively and seemed to really enjoy the puppets. When we gave the invitation, fourteen acknowledged that they had accepted Christ. One of these young men spent a long time carefully writing out a note for Linda. After about 10 minutes, he handed her a note that read, “Thank you for telling me about Jesus.” We thank each of you for making it possible for us to go to YDCs to share the hope of Jesus Christ.
Covenant Christian School Salama Ministries
Each year, we look forward to sharing at New Covenant Christian School, located across from the Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta., Georgia.
This is a wonderful work aimed at reaching the inner city for Christ by training children and raising them up to be leaders in the community. They love the puppets and we love going.
A similar work, Salama Ministries, is located in Nashville, Tennessee. In April of this year, we traveled north to do a puppet show for them, to train a special group of their young people to use puppets in street evangelism and to deliver a set of puppets that a group of children from River of Life School in Douglasville bought for them.
All of these children had personally witnessed violent crime, yet through their faith in Christ were able to hope and believe in a better future. Our friends shared with us their vision that the children that they are teaching will grow up and establish Christian homes in the inner city.
It is a special delight for us to be a small part of their efforts to reach the inner cities of Atlanta and Nashville for Jesus Christ. God through you made it possible.
The Billy Graham Crusade
In October, the Billy Graham Crusade came to Atlanta and Agape puppets was pleased to help with the Children’s Crusade.
Thousands of children attended this special program and spent a lot of time standing in line. The puppeteers with help from some of their friends, joined other Christian Clowns and Puppet groups to greet them as they arrived and share brief words of testimony with them.
Later that afternoon, when “Psalty” gave the invitation, over 700 boys and girls prayed to receive Christ.
That evening, we took our team to the Youth Crusade and watched as over 5,000 young people come forward, stating that they had decided to follow Jesus as new believers or recommitted their lives to His service.
It was one of the most wonderful sights that I have ever seen. It is so exciting to think of the potential impact these young people will have on the world for Christ.
During Christmas, we once again opened our home for tours and invited the children to come and see 15 decorated trees and all the trimmings. There was no charge to the more than 400 students, teachers and parents who we were honored to have visit us, representing private, public, church and home school groups. We also had a special Christmas party for some believers from a YDC and welcomed two groups of teenagers from a drug treatment program.
Each and every one heard about the baby born in Bethlehem and His death, burial and resurrection.
We asked God for a special Christmas gift. We asked Him to let us see children pray to receive Christ in our home as a part of the tours. I am delighted to report that three boys made that decision and one even returned with his mother to say thank you. She said that he was telling everyone he met that he had just become a Christian!
Many other friends and family visited us during the season, in small groups or as part of the Jesus Birthday Party. Our local newspaper featured a story on our home which ran on the front page two days before Christmas. In large, capital letters it read, “For the Love of Jesus”. Please begin praying now for this outreach and that God will pour out His spirit on the Christmas season. Let us know if you would like to bring a group to visit.
Linda became very ill in January, experiencing a number of health problems that culminated in gall bladder surgery the first of March. While she was ill and during her recovery, we wrote and recorded six new skits. Though we were forced to cancel one puppet show, we were thrilled to share five other times. At one of these programs, we saw more than ten children come to know Jesus. God has been very good to us and Linda has made a complete recovery. Thank you for all your prayers!
For a long time, we have been very burdened for the public schools. Last year, we designed a history program on the American Revolution using period music, puppets, and chalk drawings that also presented the Gospel. It is legal, not preachy, and totally accurate. There are great stories and quotes from this time that share Christ and are virtually unknown. For example, the battle cry of the Revolution was “No king, but King Jesus.” Imagine saying that in a public school! You can because it’s only history. We have already shared this program with almost 450 fourth and fifth graders in two different towns. Please pray for God to open other doors and call us with an invitation to a public school in your area. There is no charge for this program to the schools.
Teaching others is a favorite part of our ministry. There are now trained puppet and/or story telling teams in Ecuador, Peru, Bulgaria and the USA. If you want to help these other teams with supplies, please contact us. They need your prayers to be bright lights in dark places.
We are also training other young people in ministry through traveling opportunities with The Agape Puppets. Some are learning to do puppets and one young lady is being trained as a story teller. Each of them is learning to share their faith through a personal testimony.
Prayer and Praise
…Praise the Lord for continuing to build our monthly support. We now have five individuals and three churches that are committed to supporting this ministry monthly. This will allow us to travel to more YDCs and other places that cannot help with our expenses.
…Praise the Lord that our van is still running. It is now 20 years old with 260,000 miles on the odometer
…Pray for God’s timing in replacing the van
…Pray for Jeremy Snow as he begin Covenant College in the fall.
…Pray for the Lord to make all the puppeteers wise and peaceful. They face many difficult choices for their futures.
…Pray for God’s direction in scheduling the remainder 1995.
…Pray for God’s leading as we begin to plan for a mission trip to Mexico in June of 1996.