The first time that I came to Ukraine, we traveled to a lot of villages to tell children about Jesus. In the last two days, we have been in 5 village schools. I am so grateful to God that He has given us this opportunity.
They were very much as I had remembered them. The children always seem so surprised that we would come to see them. Though some were better listeners than others, all of the children made it easy to tell them about Jesus. We received many thank yous and applause and even flowers and a gift from some children. My favorite thing happened today at our second school. I was telling the children how Jesus calmed a storm. As I grabbed the thunder drum, the sound stopped. Suddenly, one little boy started to clap. I was so excited that he was that responsive to the story! I quickly bragged about him and I told the children I would always clap for Jesus. Then many of the other children began to join him and started clapping.
Every school is different. All required prayer, but some more than others. One director wanted us to do two programs, but first she wanted us to watch the first show. She told us that she would decide if we could do the second show. God was very kind to us. She loved the show and quickly asked us to do the second one. Our friends here have received other invitations as a result of us going into the schools. We have seen so many doors open. One school asked them to do an English camp. Another school was interested in a possibility of a Christmas show. Some of the boys said that they would like to have a sports camp. One of the invitation really surprised me. An assistant director watched the program and told us she teaches at a fashion school and taught the students manners and how to dress well. She booked a show for next year at her fashion school. I tell you the truth. I have never been asked to speak at a fashion show. I can see some of you laughing as you read about this situation.
The hardest show that we did was for very, very young children. Little ones are often afraid of my English because they can not imagine some people speaking a different language than theirs. They are also frightened by the puppets and do not like the loud sounds in the program. We did our very best. Only a few of the children left. I considered this a win. I was absolutely convinced that all of these little ones would run screaming out of the room.
THE CHILDREN NEEDED A CHURCH
We were given a sweet blessing of sharing at a youth meeting. We spoke, at their request on the price of missions. They were not interested in the financial costs, but the personal costs. These are very committed young people who are sincerely seeking God’s will for their life.
While there, the host that he had a story that he wanted to tell us. He explained that there was two generations of puppeteers in that room. One group had served on the puppet team and had grown up and gotten married. The second group took their places. He also told us the most beautiful story! He explained that at one of their shows some children had come to faith in Jesus, but had no church to attend. As a result of their need to learn more about Jesus, a church was started in the village more than 15 years ago. In fact, we are staying in that very church. It is so wonderful to think that the faith of children launched such a sweet witness for this community.
Tomorrow, Friday night, Kelsey and I are speaking to a large group of young people. Some are believers and some are not. We are talking about “How to live a great adventure”. Please pray for us to find the right words. Please pray for the young people to be responsive to what they hear.
We have two more village schools tomorrow that are waiting for us to come. Please pray that we will be wise. Please pray that we will say the things that need to be said. Please ask God to give us favor with the authorities.
Thank you for sending us to Ukraine!
Linda for Kelsey