Friday, July 29, 2016

First Time in the Philippines!

From Switzerland we continued heading east to the Philippines on July 17. We flew from Geneva to Amsterdam to Taipei, where we were supposed to have a 30 minute layover then board the same plane and head to Manila. However, just before we reboarded, they announced that the Manila airport was closed because loose pavement from the runway had gone through a plane's wing. So, KLM cancelled our flight and put us all in a hotel overnight. We'd never been to Taiwan before and were in need of rest so this delay was actually a blessing to us. The hotel was very nice, as was the plentiful buffet with octopus, shark and a huge assortment of other delicacies.

By the next morning the Manila runway had been fixed and we were rebooked on China airlines with a first class upgrade, allowing us to continue resting between busy weeks. After a 4 hour delay in Manila, we finally flew to the Island of Negros Occidental to meet students and leaders totaling nearly 100 from McLean Bible Church in Virginia.
A rare way for us to fly!
For the next week we did outreaches in Bacolod City and Sipalay City, partnering with International Care Ministries who's slogan is "Reaching the Poor".

Homes we visited made mostly out of bamboo on stilts over water near the ocean.

In Bacolod we went into different neighborhoods with students who did health and wellness crafts, teachings and gardening in kindergartens, building projects for churches, and house visits. We presented the UniShow in outdoor basketball courts for the communities they were serving in.

The 4 hour drive from Bacolod to Sipalay was a great cultural experience viewing kilometers of lush palm trees, rice and sugar cane fields with resident water buffalo, multitudes of public tricycle transportation and the beautiful ocean along the way. Our competent driver also happened to be an avid cyclist so he and Dustin "talked shop". He was a God send and used his local family connections to help us in multiple ways, including asking police to provide security for our evening event.

In Sipalay we presented the UniShow at an all day sports camp for students. Mid-show however the rains came and put a quick stop to the unicycling. Though the Filipinos quickly took cover and looked on, the McLean students turned the event into a puddle splashing dance party and we cranked the tunes while they went crazy in the rain. It was a memorable time for all and thankfully, Dustin and another leader had shared the Gospel before it rained.

We visited the local Sipalay high school to invite students to an evening outreach.
The promo worked and around 700 people showed up for our spontaneous event in Sipalay.
Just before the rain came!

Final outreach in Bacolod.
In all, we had 7 UniShow presentations for 2,800 people. Dustin shared the Gospel in each event and we saw many responded to the invitation to surrender to Jesus!

We were so impressed with the friendliness, kindness, humility and helpfulness of the Filipino people. We pray those impacted through our events will continue to grow in their understanding of God's love for them.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Let's Festival!

2016 was the 50th annual Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux Switzerland. For the 6th time, we joined YWAM Lausanne for their Regeneration outreach 6-16 July 2016. For 10 evenings in a row, we presented the UniShow along side various other creative means, sharing the Hope and Love of God with the world who came to the Festival. The setting was along beautiful Lake Geneva. This year we had 2 performance areas and thankfully one was a stage under a huge roof so the 4 days it rained and stormed, the show could go on!

We shared the stage with a number of bands, Korean fan dancers and drummers, a stomp/dance team, dramas, and a fellow unicyclist who was developing her act for the first time. It was fun to see our new unicycling friend launch her performance ministry dream on her birthday during this outreach and even greatly improve over just a few days. She was inspired by how Dustin integrates his skills and sharing his faith.

Beautiful Korean Fan Dance.
trEd Dance team.
Our new unicycling friend.
Not only did our group perform, but some from our team handed out refreshments and offered prayer. Since there is very little geared for children at the festival, another group had kid's activities and were able to share God's love with them and their parents.

We were able to connect personally with a few people after shows. One guy from Vietnam who lived in Denmark talked to us for a long time sharing his different beliefs and listening to ours. We were able to give him his first Bible.  He said receiving it was the highlight of his vacation. A lady came up to us with tears in her eyes, amazed that we had come from all over the world to perform for free and share the hope, love and freedom God offers. We were told that 2 girls prayed along with Dustin during one outreach as he led a commitment prayer to surrender their lives to Jesus!

Throughout these 10 days, thousands heard the Good News that Jesus saves and we know many people were impacted.

Dustin tried to blend in with a group of 50 Alphorn players who walked through our performance area.