Monday, December 19, 2016

Rolling in the Holidays

The Wallowa Valley presented itself as a winter wonderland. It's always a treat to make this a stop on our west coast travels. With family in the area, there's an extra strong draw.

For the second year in a row, Building Healthy Families sponsored UniShow events during our visit. On Thursday, December 15th, amidst frigid temperatures, we set up in the Enterprise high school gym for an elementary school assembly.

Several hundred students took a break from their class Christmas parties and joined us in the gym. With a festive feel in the air, a good time was had by all on this last day of school for the year.

Feedback for the assembly included the following:

"Your show was so fresh and vibrant that it seemed you just invented it."

"I just wanted to thank you for inspiring my son yesterday at school. He was most inspired by the message you had and your boldness to share in a school setting and the creative manner you used..."

It was great to be able to leave our equipment set up overnight for our community family show in the same place the next morning.

Friday, December 16th was even colder and the snow kept coming down. People still braved the elements and started off the first day of Christmas break with a UniShow.

A teacher who came from a nearby school said she wished they had known about the assembly the day before and would have bused their students over to join in on the fun. This was our last UniShow of the year and a good finale.

Some of Katie's brothers, large and in charge, tend to trees in the area with their stellar company, Sinclair Brothers Tree Services.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Snow, School and Venison Stir Fry

Libby MT was a charming, snow covered, up-north, small town with friendly folk. We were a bit white knuckled as we drove in after a 6 hour drive on snowy roads from Missoula which should have taken us 3 hours. But you know it's a decent town when the first thing you see is a big sign of the ten commandments greeting you on the edge of town.

Our assembly was at Kootenai Valley Christian School for a small but mighty student body. We felt welcomed from the start and had a blast sharing the UniShow with them. It was fun to hear students exclaim throughout, "This is awesome!" and "How is he so good at this stuff?!"


Word got out that the UniShow was coming to town so a reporter and photographer from the local newspaper were there from start to finish to watch and interview.

After we packed up, Dustin shared with the high schoolers for their missions class. He challenged them to be willing to count the cost and share Christ where people have never heard of Him. Several students said they were motivated by Dustin's words and were interested in the variety of ministry opportunities available through Operation Mobilization.

An extra incredible blessing was to be sent away with a warm and fresh venison stir fry, homemade by the missions teacher's wife. She and her young kids were at the assembly. Afterward she had gone home, whipped up this amazing meal and brought it to us before missions class was over! To top it off, she shared a generous amount of their outstanding homemade venison jerkey from their family hunting adventures. And word on the street is that no one shares the bounty of their hunt around these parts.

Three month USA tour begins in Montana!

Over the rivers and through the snowy mountains we trekked to Valley Christian School in Missoula Montana for an all school assembly to kick off our 3 month USA tour.

We set up in a large and spotless gymnasium which was soon filled with 320 of Missoula's finest 1st-12th graders. It was fun to watch their faces as young and younger responded in enthusiasm throughout the program. 

The school's character education theme of the month is responsibility. Dustin challenged students to take the Great Commission seriously and be responsible to obey God's charge to go into all the world and share His love.

Afterward, kids didn't waste any time rushing to meet Dustin and try out unicycles. A surprising number of students told us how encouraged they were by the presentation and that we have no idea how inspiring it was to them! A teacher approached us with tears in his eyes telling us he had never before seen the arts used so effectively to share the Gospel. Other teachers said Dustin's message gave them much to build on as they continue to work with students. We pray God continues to guide these students to His heart.

Big snow flakes were falling as we loaded the trailer then inched our way along snow packed roads to Libby MT. Caution signs warned of big horn sheep and they didn't disappoint. We rounded a bend to see a herd in the middle of the road. We braked for many a deer and elk, as well.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Kingdom Circus in North Africa

In November 2016 we returned to North Africa for the 10th time to share the Good News.  This time our team consisted of a band, unicyclist, aerialist, dancers and actors from North Africa, South Korea, Canada and USA.  When we arrived at venues, it truly felt like the circus had come to town, hence our name, The Kingdom Circus.

Because of laws, we were restricted in how openly we could share in certain venues.  Public outreaches are not allowed, nor is sharing our faith with anyone other than Christians in most settings.

We did three shows at a school in the heart of one of three "garbage cities" where families work and live among the city's garbage they sort.  Catholic nuns have an incredible ministry among these forgotten families, through this school for 3,000 students, a hospital, men's and women's care programs, counseling centers, and more.

Students were very excited to have Dustin back at their school for the second year in a row!

We also presented at an orphanage.  It was a privilege to share a show that these students will never forget and tell them how God is a Father who loves them and will never leave them.

Three other shows were presented at International Christian schools and a church.  It was nice to have freedom to share about God openly and in English.  We utilized these opportunities to encourage students to use what they have to share God's love with others.  We heard that both teachers and students were inspired through our presentations to dream big and create for God's glory, using it as a platform to share the Gospel.

A highlight was a presentation at a lively Sudanese refugee church.  People in the audience were from different faiths and they were very responsive both to our various acts and the Gospel invitation.  Afterward they shared enthusiastic songs and lengthy prayers, giving us a full cultural experience.

Our local organizers tried a new method this year, renting a theater and selling tickets for our show, advertised as a Christian event.  This gave us freedom to share openly.  It was a great idea in theory, however for various reasons the event was not properly planned nor advertised so we had very low attendance.  Everyone still gave it their all and even this spoke to the few non-Christians that were there.  They said they saw that we really were performing for God and not just to make a name for ourselves to huge crowds.

Katie had fun performing with the aerialist.

Our last show was in a village.  Some of our local organizers minister there monthly, visiting homes and delivering hand-made bed frames.  Several hundred villagers came to our event at a local church and were very responsive.  We posed for many selfies afterward from enthusiastic fans.  After enjoying a meal provided by the priests, a local leader said their ministry had become stagnate and our presentation breathed new life into their ongoing work.

One of the best parts of our tour was the opportunity to mentor young local Christian performers whom we incorporated into our show.  This was the first time these dancers had used their art in a ministry context and it was exciting to see them grow in their desire to use their gifts to share the Gospel.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

To Infinity and Beyond

World Outreach Church in Murfreesboro Tennesee has a lot going on throughout the year and fall season is no exception.

On September 28-29, 2016 it was a privilege to present the UniShow for junior and senior high school students as the peak of their Infinity September Spectacular school year launch.

JV Infinity on the 28th was a fun time with enthusiastic middle schoolers screaming, cheering and jumping up and down at all the right times throughout the UniShow. They listened intently as Dustin shared the Gospel and challenged them to live this school year for God and to share His love with others.

Students prayed for us after the show!

On the 29th, HS Infinity was also a great time, though the high schoolers were naturally a bit more reserved and enjoyed the presentation more from their seats than did the junior highers. But their cheering and clapping made it clear they were having a great time. Their comments afterward confirmed things were sinking in as they listened intently to Dustin share the Gospel and encourage them to live for what matters in eternity, not just for what the world offers that will leave them empty and destroyed.

A few of WOC's current youth leaders were students last time we presented there.  It was a privilege to return to this great church to challenge and encourage this next generation to give it all up for Jesus.

(Photo Credit: WOC)