Palestina is an out of the way village about three hours from here, where a national missionary–Djalma–is putting blood, sweat, and tears into a church plant. Our seminary puppet team was privileged to be able to lend him a hand last weekend. We were able to canvas the city, inviting kids to a childrens’ program. We also participated in two evangelistic services, and I got to preach!
Here is the photographic evidence:
Navegating Tricky Roads
Our first adventure involved actually getting there. After driving for two hours over paved roads pockmarked by recent rains, we turned onto a winding dirt road. This proved to be a challenge.
Treacherous Roads
My old pickup could have handled this with no problem. However, the little Volkswagen Gol pulling a trailer complained vociferously when confronted with these roads.
Mud Houses
We passed many houses like this one on the way.
The Sign for Palestina
Finally, we arrived in Palestina.
Personal Invitation
Almost imediately upon our arrival the team went door-to-door, inviting people to the weekend’s events.
Eder and Laranjinha
Because taking a puppet along worked so well last week, they did it again this week, with great success. By the time we were done, “Laranjinha” (roughly translated “Little Orange Guy”) was a minor celebrity in Palestina.
Intense Debate with Little Girl
As we prepared for the service that evening, I had a delightful conversation with this very intense young lady.
Misael and "Vendedor"
Meanwhile the puppet team prepared backstage. Their presentation was excellent, even though lighting conditions were not ideal. Then again, we have almost never performed under ideal conditions.
Bringing Home a Point
After the puppet presentation came the message. The theme for the conference was “Who is Your Lord?”. It was an excellent theme to work with, as you can see by my enthusiastic gesturing. If one did not know better, one might think I was doing the motions to the song “Y.M.C.A.” Rest assured, the only “Village People” there were the people who live in the actual village.
Max and Junior
The next day (Sunday morning) we had a special children’s session, where we had roughly two hours with the kids. Amazingly, we had their attention the whole time. Puppets are such a novelty in these little towns that we have an amazingly captive audience.
Full House
Standing room only.
Max Makes a Point
We did the classic story of Junior and his lost boat…
Renata and Bruno
…and we even brought out Bruno for some improvised riffs with Renata.
Full Table
One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the royal treatment we receive everywhere we go, especially in the food department. We are fed so well that we have considered changing the name of our group from “Amiguinhos de Jesus” (“Little Friends of Jesus”) to “Amigões de Jesus” (“Big Friends of Jesus”).
Missionary Djalma and Family
If you think of it, please pray for Djalma, pictured here with his family. He is doing a hero’s work in that little city–steeped as it is in idolatry and superstition. As we were holding our open air meeting, I made a remark in my message as to how Jesus was superior to Mary, after all it was Jesus who created Mary. A lady standing on the outskirts of the crowd snorted and said “He brought Mary into it–he just sinned.”
We are grateful for God’s protection in our travels, and for the privilege of ministering the Gospel in a place where the Gospel has been absent for generations.
We took many more photos on this trip. If you want to see the best ones, click here.