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Riverview Psychiatric Hospital Show

Feb 23 2011

Today my daughter, Rose, and I did a special service at the Riverview Psychiatric Hospital in Augusta, Maine. There's nothing like a two hour car ride alone with a nine year old: knock-knock jokes, rambling stories, 'are we almost there?', etc. It was a lot of fun and laughter before we ever arrived at our venue.

The chaplain at Riverview, James Withersbee, is someone I've worked with several times over the years. I appreciated the break I got from Rose's 'humor', as she shared all the same knock-knock jokes with James while I set up the show. The performance went well. Rose does more and more in the show, and she really won the audience over quickly. I had trouble with one new trick, but I know what went wrong, and I'm confident I'll never have trouble with that one again.

What struck me the most about the morning at Riverview, though , was our interactions with the patients afterwards. Many are sincere Christians with a strong grasp of Scripture and a true faith in God. Can true Christians really suffer from depression, anxiety disorders, even delusions? Of course we can. When Jesus was asked whose fault it was that a man was born blind, He answered it was nobody's fault. His disability was not punishment for sin, but a way in which God could be glorified. These men and women we met today, who were clinging to Jesus in spite of their mental illness, also brings glory to God. Please join us in praying for our brothers and sisters living out their faith while, at the same time, suffering from mental illnesses.

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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 just 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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