Sunday, September 26, 2010

Bulgarian Kardjali Province

Our first week in Bulgaria in the Kardjali Province included 7 shows in 7 different cities.  Each were well received and performed without any trouble.  One show had a brief "intermission" due to a flash rain shower, but we were able to quickly resume and regather most of the audience.

Katie has also become a more intricate part of the program performing her own dance piece, participating in a "stomp" percussion routine with the rest of the group and joining Dustin on the 6ft. unicycle.  We don't have a good picture of this last one yet but when we do we'll post it for you.  Basically Katie makes her entrance onto stage during the routine, hops onto the peg attached to the axle of the 6ft unicycle and hold's Dustin's outstretched arm.  We do a couple circles then Katie jumps off and makes her exit.  We look forward to developing this part of the show more.

We are so thankful for both our local organizers and the municipality of each city for their generous and thoughtful planning and provision to make these events happen.  We know that many new relationships have been built, seeds have been planted and resulting fruit will no doubt grow for years to come.

Entertaining the Deputy Mayor with a napkin eating contest.  Dustin won every time!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bulgaria: treating us better than we deserve.

We have had a show every day since our arrival in Bulgaria.  The mayors of the Kardzali province have sponsored shows in each of the main cities, generously covering our meals and lodging.  We have met personally with several of the mayors who have been very hospitable.  Remarkably, they have welcomed our performance and message of Hope.  We feel privileged to be the first to bring a show of this kind to these nearly 100% Muslim areas.

During the first show, Dustin went through one of the steps on the stairs that had been built for him.  After minor repairs he now has a great set to play on.

Our first show was part of a 50 year celebration of the city; several other shows have been in conjunction with the traveling market.  Our local organizers have been extremely helpful and thorough in their preparation and care for us and we are so grateful to be working with them.

a visit to a mayor's office

better a broken step than a broken leg!

some quick repairs

Saturday, September 18, 2010

You don't need mirrors if you don't drive within the lines.

Our 10 days in Lebanon were much different than we had anticipated.  We performed only 4 small, organized events among the "Christian" areas of Lebanon and did 3 spontaneous street shows in a Muslim area by the seaside.  These last 3 shows were a highlight of our tour as we drew quite a crowd and shared the message of Hope with the many relaxing by the sea.  We connected and prayed with several people individually and hope to stay in touch with some.

Because our performance schedule was not as full as we would have liked, our team spent extra time in meaningful Bible study and prayer for the unreached countries of the world.

Our principal transportation was probably the most unsafe vehicle we have ridden in anywhere in the world.  The outside of the vehicle had no mirrors and no working tail-lights.  Inside, only the driver had a seatbelt and none of the back seats were secured, resulting in everyone sliding around on all the mountain switchbacks that we drove every time we went to town.  In spite of this, God kept us safe through a tire blow out, running out of gas and a broken accelerator cable.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Beirut Lebanon

Here in Lebanon we are staying in the beautiful mountains overlooking the city of Beirut.  Most of Lebanon is mountainous and we've spent much time driving in a retro VW van up and down and all around, to Beirut and other mountain towns.

It took us three days, but we found a skilled carpenter who built Dustin some great and sturdy boxes for the show.  So far we have had 3 small shows, one in The Cedars area, in the highest point in Lebanon.  We are enjoying the delicious tastes of Lebanese food and praying that the few seeds we have had the opportunity to plant will produce lasting fruit.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Closed and Open Doors

Though we had planned on driving to Iraq from Diyarbakir, our tour organizers determined at the last minute that it wouldn't be wise to go for a number of reasons. Instead we headed west to Iskenderun for 2 shows. We drove into town, picked a seaside park and quickly drew a crowd even during our rehearsing and warm-up.

Local believers graciously opened their homes to us and welcomed us to their church service the next morning. One lady had prayed that God would bring more people to their church that Sunday to worship with them. We were God's answer to her prayer!

On Sunday we had a short drive to Mersin, so we beat the ever-present heat that afternoon at an air conditioned mall with a Starbucks. God's refreshment comes in various forms! :)

We did 2 more shows in Mersin this 2nd visit. Dustin was able to share the Gospel very openly. We noticed a young lady at the front of the audience totally engrossed in the whole show. Her face was beautiful and full of emotion as she heard the Gospel and saw it being acted out. God was definitely stirring her. Ashley and Katie had the opportunity to share with her more after the show about who Jesus is. We gave her a Turkish Bible which she voluntarily proudly displayed for a photo. She will be receiving further resources and encouragement from other believers. It was so exciting to introduce this young lady to the One she seeks Who is seeking her!

We know that well over 1,000 Turks on this tour have been introduced to Jesus and have the opportunity to learn more. We pray these planted seeds will take deep and lasting root.