“Go and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Teach them to observe all things that I have commanded you.  And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” - Matthew 28:19-20

We believe that we have been called to use the gifts God has given us to reach unbelievers for Him and to encourage, and build up His Church.

You'll Find Jugglers in the Strangest Places

Last week I had two shows at Long Creek, Maine's youth detention facility.  Most of Maine's youth offenders are handled through probation, counseling, group home placement or house arrest.  To be one of the 35 kids locked up in Long Creek is to be one of the worst juvenile offenders in the state.  I have been doing my show there since 1987, about twice a year, up until the Covid-19 pandemic.  I finally had my chance to return and I did two shows for two different groups of kids.

The chaplain at Long Creek is John Willard, who I first got to know as the father of two of my students in years past.  Being students of mine, they came through the LOL program and learned to be accomplished jugglers themselves.  Rachel, the younger, could even pass torches and machetes with a partner by the end of eighth grade.  They, in turn, taught their dad.  And now, as the Long Creek chaplain, he has been teaching the kids there who are interested.  So when I showed up to do two services, John told me that "All juggling at Long Creek traces back to you.  You're like the grandfather of jugglers around here."  He also told me of one youth who was on suicide watch.  When asked if he wanted to talk to a counselor, the kid said no, but he'd like to see the chaplain.  Once John came to see him, the young man asked to borrow some juggling balls.  Yes, it can be very therapeutic!

When the kids were brought in for the fiirst show, there was the obligatory awkward silence as the staff there made sure everyone who should be there was, and that they were all sitting in the right places. Then I asked (while waiting for the female unit to arrive) who had been learning to juggle.  Several hands went up, so of course I asked them to show me what they could do.  four or five kids came up and could all do decent three ball cascades.  From there I showed them stealing and half juggling.  

When the show started, I immediately had their attention and respect.  While I incorporated a good bit of illusion, they were mostly fascinated with my juggling.  After the show, and a quick visit with Zeke, the rabbit, and my two doves, they were brought out and a new group brought in. Do to the need to reset a lot of props, I didn't get to juggle with this new group until the end, but again, I had young people eager to show off.  Beyond that, the shows were Gospel based, and a good opportunity to promote the chaplaincy progrm there.

As John helped me bring props out to my car when the evening was over, he assured me that many of the kids would be trying new tricks after what they saw.  I hope there's someone there who can find juggling to be the life long positive passion it has been for me.


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A Few Testimonies

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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