Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A Song, a Dance and a Wheel in Kyrgyzstan

For the 3rd time we joined TACO (Turkey AfriAsia Creative Outreach) for an outreach tour in Kyrgyzstan from 17-31 May. We had a very busy two weeks with 14 shows in 11 days. Rain and stomach issues threatened to hinder outreaches but thankfully we didn’t have to cancel any events and we did even more shows than originally scheduled. Our team consisted of Dustin unicycling, Katie dancing, Chris singing amazing operatic vocals, accompanied by Erin on clarinet and Hannah on guitar. To add to the mix, some locals sang songs in Russian and Kyrgyz and a couple days a teenager joined us with his hip hop dancing.

We did shows in city parks, schools and churches. Some of our favorite shows were in several orphanages. It’s so special to have the opportunity to share with precious kids that God is a Father who will never leave them. In contrast, we also presented in several elderly homes. This was equally special and meaningful to share how they can have eternal life with God after life on earth is over. At one elderly home we received gifts of warm homemade bread; at another, a thank you certificate with the seal of Kyrgyzstan, along with wool flowers and yurts.

One of our shows was on a proper stage in Kara-Balta in front of the main city government building. A small but active local church used this event to invite people to church and connect with their community. One young member said he saw how much God loves them because we came from other countries to share with them. He said that through our program a fire was lit in them to use what they have to share God’s love with their community. We also got to meet a local Christian family who have 28 kids (4 biological, 24 adopted)!

In Balychky our show was hosted by a ground-breaking ministry who run a shelter for abandoned kids. The couple who started this ministry, introduced the concept of foster care to Kyrgyzstan a few years ago. They were responsible for getting government cooperation and legislation to support it. They didn’t want to start another orphanage where kids are housed in mass, but want to get kids into families. Over 350 kids have come through their shelter which houses up to 10.

It was a privilege to partner with churches and ministries to help strengthen their community impact. Overall we were able to be surprisingly open with the Message and share God’s love freely. Many indicated that they prayed to surrender their lives to Jesus for the first time during our events! Thousands heard the Truth of God’s love during these 2 weeks, many for the first time!
First show at a village school.  Where's Dustin?
School kids shared a performance of their own.
Dustin heating things up at an elderly home.
Orphanage show.
Community outreach in Tokmok.
Great turn out in Victory Park Bishkek.

Dustin and his many fans.
Show in Kara-Balta.
10 of the 28 kids in this special family.
Park outreach in Bishkek.
Final show in Balychky for shelter ministry.