For the past three years, Christians have not been aloud to share Jesus at a particular orphanage. However, today they aloud us to do a puppet show. More, they were happy with the program that they decided to invite our new puppet team and come back to do a Christmas show. The team was very surprised and very happy!
Volva is one of the young man on the puppet team. Volva commented about how the children and young people were helping each other up and down the stairs. All of the children had some sort of physical disability and some had extreme problems. He noticed that those who could move a little bit better than their friends were quick to help the others. He said that healthy people were not as kind to one another. Two of the children’s legs were very crippled and slid across the floor and down the steps. Others had to be carried up and down the stairs in their wheelchairs. The building had no elevator.
They enjoyed the show just like every group of children that we had been with. They smiled and laughed and were sad to see us go. I really wanted to pray with these children, but I was told I could not. Twice I explained them how they could ask Jesus into their hearts. Please pray that they will make decisions to follow Jesus. There is a local church only a few minutes away that promised to follow up with the children.
The church where we are planting the puppet team is full of people who are the first people in their family to follow Jesus. Yesterday, some of them shared their stories. One lady said, “I know Jesus exists because He helps me. I needed a job and He found me one. I am so grateful!” Another lady said, “In the fall of my life, I found Jesus. I do not have children or grandchildren who live near me. I had no one to help me, but my church family came and helped me. They picked all of my beets and potatoes and put them in my cellar. “ The lady who spoke wore a pretty white scarf on her head and was about my age. There was a young man sitting behind us who became concerned with the little boys of the church. He started a club for them called “Warriors of Light”. He spends time with the boys and plays games with them. He is teaching them how to follow Jesus.
There was lots of beautiful music in church yesterday. One of my favorite songs said, “I will never leave you or forsake.” The music had a haunting quality to it. It really sounded like a soul praising God!
Today, we were in a village where there was only about 25 people attending church. In the 1930s, there was 6 villages in the area, but now there are only 3. There was also 6 Protestant churches in the area, today there is only 1.
As part of Stalin’s plan to destroy Ukraine, he arrested all of the men in all 6 churches. He sent them to Siberia to prison camps. None of them came home. Today, I prayed for the people who remain in the three villages and asked God to bless the one remaining church. I am sure that those brothers went to desk with their last thoughts of the family and friends that they left behind. It is strange that nearly 90 years later, Stalin’s work is still effecting the spiritual life of these communities. Please ask God to restore what was taken from these people and make the remaining church a bright light for Jesus.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, we have three shows and a training session. Please pray for strength to do a good job and wisdom to make the best choices for the children. Please ask the Father to make us good teachers as tomorrow is our last training session. Thank you for sending us and thank you for praying.
In Jesus, Linda and Kelsey
The Agape Puppets, 6550 Wes