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LOL Burlington tour, 2016

May 24 2016

Each school year, my role as middle school head teacher at Windham Christian Academy, I lead a class trip.  This year we returned to Burlington, Vermont with a team of 20 middle school students, seven chaperones (including my wife, Sue), and our daughter, Rose.  Rose was part of LOL the past two years, and we brought her this year because we feel very strongly about not letting ministry and family compete for our time.  she did not perform this year, but she contributed in many ways as the big sister to a lot of the girls from my class.

We did six shows in four days, starting with the Fold Ministry in Lyndonville, Vermont on Thursday, May 19.  This gig was at the approximate half way point in our trip, and the venue is a residential school for girls with life controlling issues.  we did our show outside on their basketball court, and the Lord was gracious in stopping the rain that fell right up until show time and resumed when we got on the road again.  Grace and Rachel did their 8th grade 'solo' together, and they were amazing.  They stole fireballs, half juggled sickles, and even passed six torches between them.  but the highlight of this gig was when we gave them a quilt my students made in art class.  The young ladies at the Fold loved it and argued over who would get it. In the end, the director decided it would be a wall hanging for all to enjoy.

Friday was our busy day, as we did three shows.  we were up early to travel 20 miles to Vergennes to do a chapel service for Champlain Valley Christian School.  then, after a meal at our base, we went to the Burlington Boys and Girls club for showers and an abridged show for their after school program.  We ended the day with a show for a youth lock in at the Alliance Church in Burlington.  This was a special show, because the youth pastor's daughter and my student, Abby, have developed a friendship since last year's visit there.  it's a unique friendship, as Chloe is only six years old, and Abby is 14, but Abby fell in love with the little girl last year when they met.  Chloe has a condition called Rhett Syndrome, which is very physically debilitating.  Abby kept in touch with her and her parents for a year, and it was a beautiful reunion.  I allowed Abby to hold her little friend while the rest of the team set up, and there were not two happier girls in the state of Vermont for that half hour. Then Chloe's mom brought her home, and we did a show for the teens who the retreat was for.  After that, both groups of kids played a game which involved pies in the face.  The rules of the game escaped me.

on Saturday morning, we did a show at a nursing home, then we're off on a 1 1/2 hour drive tot he town of Tunbridge.  This is where Sue Thomas, of "Sue Thomas, FBEye" fame is building a retreat center.  She, the first profoundly deaf FBI agent in history, lives in the woods of Vermont with her personal assistant, Deb.  Sue also suffers with MS, and Deb is her right hand woman.  After doing a variety of work assignments for them, including spreading manure, gathering brush, weeding and more, we had an outdoor chapel.  After Sue spoke Caleb, an 8th grader shared his journey of faith so far in his life.  Obviously I need to respect confidentiality in this blog, I can say there was not a dry eye in the class when he was done.  We all spent some time in personal quiet prayer before a cookout dinner.

Finally, Sunday morning came and we did our final show at Community Bible Church, the same church whose Sunday school rooms we slept in for three nights.  It was an amazing show to end our year with, as the kids fro the church sat with the LOL team, sitting in these cool big juggling kids laps.  So sweet.  When the final routine was over, and Jaclyn said the closing prayer, there were several tears eyed middle schoolers, as they realized this was their final show together.  The tears didn't last long, though, as we told them we'd be stopping at Pizza Hut on the ride back to Maine.

We were in the school parking lot by 6:00 that afternoon, and 20 weary kids went home to talk the ears off of their parents about their many adventures.

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The presentation was fun and encouraging... The gospel message was clear and encouraging. I purchased your book and just finished it. Your scope is broad and again encouraging. May God continue to bless your ministry. I will encourage others to read your book. -Parishioner of a local church

"Hey, I  wanted to say that was a great message in chapel today! It touched something:) thanks for doing it!" -High School Student  

"We are so grateful that you brought your amazing ministry back to our church this year... The Gospel message you bring applies to all!  It is such a positive, valuable work that you do."  -Coordinator of Christian Ed. UCC Church

"There's no questioning it. This is powerful stuff. It's extremely touching at times, never less than entertaining, and I see a lot of sincere love for Jesus in you guys."  -Dwight Lilies, song writer

The Lord has given you a wonderful window through which to present the Gospel!   - Field Director of Alliance Missions to Paraguay

"What a wonderful ministry to both children and adults.  In past years it has been a struggle to arrange programing that would hold the attention of all ages, but also challenge each heart with God's gift of Salvation.  Thank you for sharing your ministry."  -Sunday School Sup't.

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