Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Dustin for President!

2018 marked the 52nd annual Jazz Festival along the promenade of Lake Geneva in Montreux Switzerland.  For 11 of those 52 years, YWAM Lausanne has organized an outreach called Regeneration where they creatively share God's love with thousands from around the world who attend this Festival.  It was a privilege for UniShow to return this year for our 8th Regeneration.

In recent years, Regeneration has become part of a larger collaboration called Open Up which includes a group from England who minister to kids and parents each day of the Festival through games, bouncy castles and conversations.  Also in Open Up is a key partner who has a permanent Kiosk by the Lake where Bibles and Christian literature are available in many languages all year long and is a great spot during the Festival for performances, witnessing and to get the cheapest cold bottled beverages at the Festival. 

This year, Regeneration again hosted a team of nearly 100 people from dozens of nations who took to the streets of the Festival to share the hope and love of Jesus with attendees and vendors.  Each evening from 1-13 July 2018, a hospitality team provided refreshments, smiles and a listening ear.   The evangelism team roamed the festival praying for people and leading them to Jesus.  A children's team painted faces and blew balloons.  The performance team shared music, unicycling, dance, drumming, acrobatics, clowning, mime, drama, slam, spoken word and testimonies with the crowds who gathered.

We were a bit more restricted in what we could do from the stage this year due to complaints from nearby vendors.  We had to keep sound decibels down and sharing about God to a minimum.  But truth still went out, many of Dustin's tract cards with the Gospel on them were distributed and many personal conversations were had. 

Dustin had many fans at the Festival.  One of our favorites was super animated and cheered loudly throughout a show one evening.  When Dustin was sharing about what led to him pursue his world championship and said he wanted to be the best unicyclist in the world, she shouted, "You are!!!"  Then when he rolled out his 10 foot unicycle for the grand finale, she yelled, "Dustin for president!!!"

During another show when Dustin said only Jesus can fill the emptiness in our lives, a man shouted sarcastically, "Ok fine show me what Jesus can do!"  A nearby team member sensed a witnessing opportunity and shared with the man what Jesus did in her life.  He was very moved and said he wanted to cry.  What a privilege to be able to point people to the Answer they are looking for.

In all, our group presented 126 performances for over 15,000 people, had conversations about God with 870+ people and prayed for 442 of them, handed out 134 Bibles and 1,460 drinks, and saw 24 people give their lives to Jesus and one was even baptized right there in Lake Geneva!

Please pray for each seed scattered to grow!  Especially pray for a lady from Iran who surrendered to Jesus after hours of conversation with a team member.  She could face the death penalty if she returns home as a Christian.  Pray for protection, wisdom, fellowship, and growth for our new sister in Jesus!

Some of Dustin's faithful fans came to every show. Filipino and Indian workers caring for an elderly woman vacationing with her family from Saudi Arabia.

Lausanne is the VERY FIRST YWAM training location established in 1969 and has historical significance in our personal lives as well.  Katie's parents served here in the early '70s and were discipled here as new believers.  It is amazing to be following in their ministry footsteps through a continued partnership with this YWAM base!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Jesus for Germany

We had our longest European UniShow tour from May 7 - June 10, 2018 across Germany. Our team consisted of:
4 Colombian dancers from Sal y Luz (Salt and Light) Dance Company
1 Ukrainian painter from ArtShow
1 American unicyclist from UniShow
1 American illusionist called Mr. Norm (for first 10 days of tour)
1 Canadian musician called Rob Carter (for last 4 weeks of tour)
1 American sound engineer from Turkey
1 program director from America
1 driver from Germany
3 videographers and photographers from Germany and Brazil
1 American tour leader from Turkey
1 German organizer

Together we stormed the streets of Germany with our MADGiCycle Express (Magic, Music, Art, Dance and Unicycling in Germany) show to creatively share the Gospel. Because there are now so many refugees living in Germany, many of them Muslim, there is a huge opportunity and new accessibility to reach unreached people with the Good News.

We partnered with churches and ministries across Germany these 5 weeks for outreaches, focusing on Muslim refugees. We heard everywhere we went that what we did was groundbreaking work in Germany. There is a spiritual awakening among believers. They are ready to step out of their comfort zones and share Jesus with the mission field at their doorsteps but haven't known how to start. Watching us share creatively, clearly and boldly and being part of these outreaches seemed to really inspire and motivate many church members.

A highlight was presenting a Day of Joy at a mental hospital in Sendeh with Lonea Ministries. Some residents even danced and sang along and smiles transformed disturbed faces as we shared hope and joy in Jesus. We were told that churches do not visit, care or even pray for people at this institution so our presentation was very significant.

In Berlin we partnered with Teen Challenge and performed in a rough part of the city with prostitution, fights, drunks and drug deals surrounding us. We had to do very small scale presentations because permissions had not been granted. Though things were lacking in sound quality, audience numbers and venue location, God showed up and specifically met 3 people who were visibly impacted by the Gospel message and surrendered their lives to Jesus on the spot.

It was great to work with Jesus Freaks Remscheid for our final week. We presented in the city center, at an immigrant youth club at the YMCA, and for the church's Sommer Fest where many from a nearby refugee house attended. Church members were not only extremely hospitable, but told us they were very impacted by how we clearly, simply and powerfully shared the Gospel, making it easy for non-Christians to understand. We learned that many at our shows had never heard the Gospel before.

Over these 5 weeks in Germany we did 39 events for 4,230 people in 17 cities.

Please pray that:
- the many seeds scattered among unbelievers will grow into lasting fruit.
- the Christians we worked with will step out with even greater boldness to reach Muslims and refugees with the Gospel.
- each person interested in knowing more about what we shared will get connected to local believers and fellowships.
- refugees will find hope and healing in Jesus.
- the church in Germany would live and minister from the foundation of God's Word.

Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 5:16