Friday, February 9, 2018

Boring UniShow and Beyond

The UniShow was as close to Boring as it's ever been on 24 January 2018.  We presented at Barton Community Church in Boring, Oregon for their Family Night.  Church members were amazed by Dustin's presentations at Mission Connexion in Portland last year and were looking for an opportunity to bring him to their own church event.  This was the night and the UniShow was a hit.  During Dustin's Gospel presentation and invitation, at least 5 people indicated they were giving their lives to Jesus for the first time.  Jesus isn't boring and apparently the UniShow wasn't either!  Afterward we heard, "This is not some hum-drum show!" and "Even the 'cool' teenagers were eating it up!"


The next morning, on 25 January 2018, we rolled on over to Cherry Park Elementary in Portland for a school assembly.  The gym was packed with 600 in attendance and the students could hardly contain their excitement as Dustin performed on one exciting unicycle after another.  They quieted down enough to hear Dustin's challenge to persevere even when things get tough and use what they have to help others.  Before the assembly was over he had them shouting in unison, "Never Give Up!"  Afterward, staff enthusiastically told us that this was the best assembly they have ever had.

During our training week in Georgia when we joined OM in 2008, we met a couple whom we've stayed in touch with over the years.  They have now settled in Portland and have kids attending Cherry Park Elementary.  They had passed along our information to the principal, thus the assembly on 25 January 2018!  We are thankful for personal connections which lead to expanded opportunities to impact people's lives.



To complete our Oregon shows, we presented at Elmira High School for a Sunday afternoon community outreach on 28 January 2018.  It was encouraging to see multiple churches and ministries collaborate to bring their community together to hear the Good News.  About 250 came and heard the clear Gospel message and several responded to the invitation!


Thanks Oregon! Now on to California...

Saturday, January 6, 2018

UniShow Christmas Circus 2017

Early December, we flew back to Washington DC from Brazil and a few short days later began a crazy and amazing week with McLean Bible Church.

Look up! The UniShow is that-a way!
First, we had 3 outreaches scheduled at local schools where MBC is building relationships with families. On Friday night, 8 December, students came to Hutchinson Elementary for a UniShow where they heard the Gospel. They also had fun with bouncy castles, dodge-ball, making gingerbread house, then they received gifts of hats and gloves before heading home. This event was scheduled to repeat at two different schools on Saturday, but due to a snow storm forecast, the school district closed their facilities which meant our events were cancelled. 


Our assistants, David and Misun arrived Friday night. They are workers in Turkey whom we’ve performed with countless times in numerous countries for the past 9 years. They were on home assignment in the States during this time so we were able to recruit them to join us for these events. None of us had any idea the fun that was in store this week as we joined forces to create the UniShow Christmas Circus for McLean’s 2nd annual Christmas Village Outreach. We surprised even ourselves with a show that packed a Christmas punch with purpose.


We spent the Saturday snow day prepping ourselves and the stage for 22 shows in the next 7 days in one great location. We hung giant stars, banners, and bungees; assembled and decorated silver and lime green Christmas trees; lined the stage and props with bright green rope lights; put a candy cane twist on the white 10 ft. unicycle; marked prop and equipment locations; and ran through transitions for our 30 minute show.


Come Sunday, we were ready to go for our first 3 UniShow Christmas Circus shows of MBC’s Christmas Village 2017. Misun started the show rocking her violin to some Christmas Dubstep. David soon appeared on stage to hype the crowd with his hip hop moves. Then Dustin rolled out on his electric unicycle as the crowd couldn’t help but smile and cheer, even if they didn’t quite know why yet. Welcome to the UniShow Christmas Circus! 








For 7 nights straight, we presented 22 shows for 8,000 of the 20,000 people that came to the Christmas Village. Two of those shows were translated into Spanish for Latino night, two had sign language interpretation and one was sensory friendly for guests with special needs where we toned down the music and eliminated juggling fire.

The purpose of the entire Christmas Village was to share the Gospel. Guests heard the Gospel loud and clear at each UniShow, as well as in a crazy light show in a different auditorium and outside at the live nativity scene. A team of roaming evangelists engaged one on one with people around the campus to pray with them and introduce them to the Jesus of Christmas. Other festivities included the packing of 5,454 Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, a carousal, live music, train ride, collection of 1,807 toys for at-risk children, an International bazaar and light displays. It was quite an event and such a privilege to be part of.  In all, 294 spiritual decisions were recorded and each one was followed up on within 24 hours.

We heard many stories of lives changed through this event. One guy was approached on Wednesday by a roamer and asked if he knew Jesus. He said enthusiastically, “Yah man I gave my life to Jesus at the UniShow on Monday! I’m in!” A lady came to Dustin after one show with tears in her eyes and said that her granddaughter had just prayed the prayer with him to ask Jesus into her life!

We praise God for how He used our crazy Christmas Circus to touch lives with the true meaning of Christmas. It was awesome and refreshing to partner with a church who has the Gospel as their focus and will go to great lengths to get the Word out.

How beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News!
Amazing team, including room leader and sound tech!
Thanks to the amazing officers who kept Christmas Village safe!


Saturday, December 30, 2017

Brazil Quadra Tour

Meet the UniShow Quadra Tour: Canadian Family, amazing driver, sound guy, Rob, Dustin and Katie.

We were invited to Brazil to partner with a Canadian family who lives there part time, whom we’ve done events with in Northern Ontario in the past. Our initial connection to this family was their son-in-law Rob, whom we’ve toured with in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Albania and Egypt. Rob also joined this Brazil tour with his music and it was a great reunion to share a stage with him again to creatively proclaim the Good News.



It’s been 10 years since we were last in Brazil. This time, we visited the northeast state of Ceara for a full 3 weeks with 15 shows in the more unreached interior from 11 November – 4 December 2017.

Almost every community has a covered sports facility they call a quadra, with beautifully smooth cement surfaces, perfect for a UniShow. Most of our events were in these quadras, as we partnered with local churches in 15 different communities. Our organizer was very thorough in his preparation and even filled cracks in some quadra surfaces with cement before we arrived to make sure Dustin had as smooth of a riding area as possible. He also looked high and low for fuel for Dustin’s juggling torches and didn’t give up until he found a perfect fuel from a watch shop of all places, where it is used to clean watches.







 




Catholicism is very strong in these parts of Brazil. The Catholic church has a tight grip on people, keeping them religious and under human control. More than once, a Catholic event was scheduled at the exact same time as our UniShow, in order to prevent people from attending our event.

The remote Interior of Brazil.
With Rob’s music, Katie’s dance and Dustin’s unicycling, we had a 70 minute show that was very well received.
Waiting for the show to start.




In each show, Dustin gave a clear Gospel presentation and usually led in a prayer of surrender to Jesus.



Amazing translator who made sure the Word got out!
Afterward, people filled out surveys where they could request a pastor’s visit or Bible study. The pastors are excited to use these contacts to grow their small churches or start new churches in areas where there is none. They have their work cut out for them since 164 people requested a visit and 154 a Bible study. Each of them will receive a 4 week course from the Gospel of John.


This is how the UniShow rolls Brazil style.

We are thankful for these opportunities to share the Gospel with over 4,200 people, many of whom had never heard the Gospel before. People told us how thankful they were that we came to their remote area to share a special show that they will never forget. We pray they will remember the life changing message we shared most of all.

Doing a little UniShow advertising at the weekly market.
Some of Dustin's many fans!

This audio advertisement blared all over the region from motorcycles with loudspeakers.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

UniShow for Young and Old

On November 3rd we left Minnesota and headed east with a full load in our truck and trailer. Our first stop was Elizabeth, New Jersey to partner again with a city councilman who has a heart to creatively impact his community. Over the years, we've done youth and family events with him. This time, our UniShow was at a senior center where this younger councilman has been building relationships for over a decade.
Dustin and a few of his new fans.
We joined the senior's Monday morning gathering at the O'Donnell Dempsey Center. They cheered and clapped throughout the whole show and seemed to thoroughly enjoy it. Dustin was able to share about the only thing that has filled the emptiness in his heart: his relationship with God. Many of these older people live alone and don't have family nearby so it was special to bring them some joy and remind them that God loves them. Afterward we received many hugs and kisses and even heard, "This is the most beautiful show I've seen in my whole life." 
 



The seniors loved the show, though Dustin was only half there during the last act.
From there, we drove to Virginia for an elementary assembly for Fresta Valley Christian School students. We knew the school's music teacher from when she used to attend our home church in Minnesota. She made the connection for us to share with their students while we were in the area. Since the school is still in the process of building their gymnasium, they bused the students 20 minutes to a church who graciously opened up their gym for the assembly. 




A few short days later, we parked our truck and trailer with our road-show equipment in Washington DC.  From there, we packed our "fly show" and took off to Brazil for the next adventure.