Saturday, November 28, 2009

Festival - Middle East 2009

The festival in the Middle East was great! God was present and used 1,000 volunteers powerfully to share Jesus with the 15,000 in attendance and thousands came to Christ. It was a privilege to be a small part of what the local church is doing to share the gospel.

It was fun to work with our friends that skate board, perform extreme feats of strength, perform martial arts stunts, and others from last year. We all performed together again on the tennis court (you can see the treatment center in the background - the largest in the middle east, run by the church) and prayed for people after each event several times a day.

Thanks for your prayers for an effective outreach. Keep on praying for growth and protection of the many new believers.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Big Stone Triangles

The culture is fascinating. The people are beautiful, the food is rich, the salesmen are aggressive and the sites are breathtaking. We played a bit of tourist this year before heading to the conference center where our 3 day festival will take place for over 20,000 people.

Our experiences included: a beautiful view of the river from our hotel balcony, a cave church, Garbage City (a community of 4,000 where they hand process all the garbage from one of the largest cities in the world, brought to them in huge bags by the truck load), several churches where Jesus and His parents are believed to have stayed while seeking refuge, a Nile river dinner sail, a museum with real mummies, a camel ride and of course the pyramids and the Sphinx.

It is amazing the extent these brilliant ancient people went to for a dead-end, empty religion. And just think…a pyramid is smaller than a speck compared to God!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Wooden Shoes and Windmills

On our trip to the middle east we had an 10 hr. layover in Amsterdam. Our team of 9 took the train to Zaanse Schans for a real Dutch experience. We saw windmills, crazy wooden shoes and had some delicious pannekoeken. Though a bit sleep deprived, we had a great time in beautiful Holland

. At the airport Dustin and Justin (the illusionist on our team) and Dave Gibson (our missions pastor) shared their testimony, some tricks and the gospel with 2 Japanese business men. Pray for their salvation!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Events in Minnesota

The second week of November Dustin spoke for Southwest Christian High School Chapel. The Seniors were about to leave on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic so it was a great opportunity for him to challenge them to step outside of their boxes and boldly share Jesus.

We also participated in Grace Church's 5-6th grade Burger Bash again. It is always a treat to see the kids from our own church enthusiastically bringing friends they want to introduce to Jesus. We know that many prayed to receive Christ after Dustin's performance.

Our week ended with a performance at the Christian Community Fair at the River Centre in St. Paul, the day before leaving for Egypt. We had a good crowd and made many good connections for future events. It was fun to connect with our friends from JSAW who had been key in introducing us to this Fair. Dustin was excited to see his favorite bird (eagle) and Katie her favorite animal (camel) there.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Adios for now TACO

All the Krispy Kreme's have closed in Minnesota but we found a new one in Istanbul. On our last night in Turkey, we drowned our sorrows of leaving West and Central Asia by eating doughnuts on the seaside.

On October 17 we said our goodbyes to our TACO friends and headed back to the states. First, however, Dustin had to sign a few autographs at the Ataturk International Airport for the security guards. Our cards with Dustin's picture and testimony in Turkish come in handy for situations like this.

Lord willing we will be back with TACO again next year for more Great Commission adventures.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Last sights in Eastern Turkey

In between disassembling our unicycles and packing up our tour life to return back to Minnesota, we hit the town and mingled with the locals in Eastern Turkey. We snapped some rare shots of women, who are just not out in public much.

We met a gentleman named, Hank who was visiting Diyarbakir from Holland. We had dessert with him and shared the gospel. He is a self-proclaimed atheist but we pray God will be at work in him through the things we shared and the books we left with him.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

To Iraq and Back

Iraq has been our most adventurous and interesting country visit so far! Summing up all we saw and experienced is impossible. A few pictures and videos will hopefully help to share a taste.

We entered the country without much of a set schedule. Basically the organizers didn't take us seriously until they saw the whites of our eyes. Once we arrived in Duhok, however, things were set in motion. A nice hotel and all meals were provided for us by the president of the city and a wealthy business man. They kept us busy with newspaper and TV interviews and promotion, banners, armed security and transportation, plaques and presentations.

We had 2 events in Erbil. One for 1,000 students and another in a city park. Our Duhok event was in the city center and open to all, but surprisingly the entire audience of 1,500 was male.

Over and over again the municipality and other locals told us that nothing like our program of illusions, unicycling and dance had ever come there before and they were so thankful. We were able to share openly and thousands heard good news.

We have had to show our passports more times than we can count in the past few days. Our government escorts (that liked to drive in the 100+ MPH range) helped greatly at the numerous, heavily armed Iraqi military check points along the roads. A special letter from the president of Duhok helped cut in half our border crossing back to Turkey. It still took us 3 hours but we had military escorting us to the front of every line. They are extremely thorough and scan and search everything in, on and under the vehicles.

It was definitely a ground breaking trip and we hope to return in the future.

(If you are viewing this in FB please go to our blog to view the videos)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Unicycling where Thomas walked

We have done 3 shows in and around Diyarbakir in eastern Turkey. There is amazing history here. Doubting Thomas was here. People also believe the Garden of Eden and Noah's ark and tomb are in this neck of the woods.

We are staying right across the alley from Syrian Virgin Mary Catholic Church whose building was a temple before Christ! There is a city wall that totally surrounds the city center, some think it's as old as 3000 BC and is the second longest wall in the world. We took a walk in and along it as we awaited our transportation to Iraq. It was mostly stable and we saw a lady making tomato paste in mass quantities.

During the shows here, the crowds have literally gone wild. Many surveys have been turned in after the events and will aid in follow-up for people interested in learning more about the faith we have shared.

We have another show in Eastern Turkey following our events in Iraq. Thanks for your prayers for our boarder crossings and effective events.