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LOL at Portland Root Cellar

Dec 02 2021

It's so much fun when my students do a nearly perfect show. The night before we went to the Portland, Maine Root Cellar -an inner city mission in a  eighborhood that is predominantly African immigrants and refugees, I specifically prayed that the show would be a big boost to my class of 17 middle schoolers. Boy, did God deliver, through the kids themselves.

Actually, we literally delivered before the show started.  You see, our school provided seven Thanksgiving baskets to the Root Cellar a week prior, for them to deliver in their neighborhood.  My students, however, wanted to do more.  The Thanksgiving baskets would simply come down to parents picking up the groceries and the students themselves had no part.  So we decided that they would donate gently used toys, books and games.  Now the kids themselves had to put thought into what they would give.  It became their offering.  And the staff at the Root Cellar were blessed tremendously, and the RC kids will be as well.

Our audience was the Root Cellars's after school program, and turn out was surprisingly small. Nonetheless, what they lacked in. Umber they made up for in enthusiasm, frequently erupting in well times laughter and applause. It was especially fun for me since I was juggling and teaching at the Root Cellar each Thursday in July, so I recognized and remembered the names of several of the kids. Also, a teen volunteer who was assigned to me last summer was present as well.

The show,opened with a ton of energy as each performer was brought on stage with an introduction: Izzy pogo sticked out, Eva came out with her bearded dragon, Bean; Ezra vomited out a deck of cards; Chloe pulled 50 feet of ribbon from her mouth;  Jake unicycled; Dillon came in juggling on a rip-stick;  and when Gracey was introduced she performed an illusion she had just learned minutes before. 

But they were just getting started. All the picky things we've been working on came together in this show: projecting, stage presence, playing parts "big" and more. Our juggling routine was almost perfect. Both Elana and Jake juggled battle axes, but there were other huge milestones as well. Kara and Caleb juggled for the first time in a show as all their recent hard work paid off. 

Elana was flawless vanishing and reproducing a donated dollar bill, and Caleb was professional caliber smooth with the linking rings. "The Good Nerd" ,or version of the Good Samaritan brought the house down. I could go on and on.

But the best part about the day was how well this team of 12-14 year old kids got along with each other. I'd put them up against any 17 kids their ages anywhere, any day. The worked hard loading, unloading, setting up and tearing down. They encouraged each other. In the van They sang Christmas songs with all the off key vigor of patrons at an Irish pub at last call. In short, they were amazing examples of the joy, love and unity of Christ from beginning to end, and I'm so proud of them.

A Few Testimonies Minimize

 

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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