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.