Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Puppet Ministry - Gauteng And then He told them, "Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone." (Mar 16:15)

This year we wanted to focus more on getting God's Word "out there". We have always felt that although we have neither the power nor the responsibility to "convert" anyone, we do have both the power AND the responsibility to expose everyone to God's Word. Similar to the farmer sowing seed on all the different types of ground - only God knows who the "fertile soil" will be.
In many ways we have been well "trained" for Puppet Ministry as Lilandi worked as a puppeteer for just over a year fresh out of high school, and Michael played leading roles in several theatrical productions during his time in high school and still enjoys doing lots of different "voices". Lilandi & her sister Liezl had also hosted a very successful "puppet roadshow" a few years back using smaller hand puppets.  Isn't it encouraging to look back and see how God was already at work in your life so many years ago - preparing you for something wonderful before you ever even imagined it?

So started our journey into puppet ministry. First of all we created the puppets:
(from left to right) Pam (the mom); Gogo (the gran); Wilson (the dad); Lihle (the older daughter); & Benni (the young son).
Here is a close up of Oupa (the soft-hearted grandfather).
And another close up of Gogo - a very spirited, fun granny!
These puppets are the ones that interact with the kids, and then we tell a bible story using paper characters: 
The story of Zacchaeus - Jesus, Crowd, Zacchaeus & tree.
Zacchaeus up in the tree.
Our first two shows were great learning experiences - mainly we learned that most kids are absolutely terrified of puppets! After that we made sure to take extra time beforehand to explain that there is nothing to be afraid of! We found that it helps if Lilandi touches the puppets to show the kids that they are harmless.
We also learned to add more "slapstick comedy" to the show as the language barrier makes verbal comedy fall flat. Often we have a teacher translate the show as we do it - which means the show takes quite a lot longer and places a lot of strain on Michael who has to work the puppets with his arms above his head!
"Meeting" Gogo.
We finish the show with an action bible song. With the Zacchaeus show we do " Jesus' love is bubbling over"
The "Love" action - isn't it cute how Benni can also do it!
The "hallelujah" action.
And here are some photo's of a few of our audiences:
If you were wondering, as the kids always do, what it looks like "behind the scenes":
The puppetmaster!

We are very excited about the response we have had to the shows so far - we have been invited back to every school, & have even been asked to perform at some of the schools' graduation ceremonies. We have also been invited to perform the show at a private "rich" preschool in town which may be a great opportunity to bring exposure to the Kempton Park Meeting and Sunday School.
We are currently practicing our second show which features the "loaves & fishes" story - with the "take home lesson" being about the importance of sharing.
With love in Christ
Michael & Lilandi Furstenburg

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