I was surrounded by sixty of them, to be exact. Puppets that had been hand-crafted during our two-day puppetry seminar in Fortaleza using Nice Braga’s flawless technique. On Saturday night I stood on the stage for a photo opp with Nice, Pastor Nogeira, and all sixty students, AND their puppets. Here is what it looked like:
What follows are more pictures from the event.
After an eventful trip to Fortaleza the previous night (I actually sideswiped a mule…but that is another story) we came to the church on Friday morning, ready for action. This picture was taken just as Eder (a seminary student who participates in our puppet team) and I were arriving on the scene. Notice the “General MacArthur-I-have-returned” stride.
Once we were set up we lost no time getting down to the serious business of puppets. Note the passion with which I am expressing the value of puppet ministry.
No, this is not a mass response to an invitation. Our sixty students are practicing the correct hand and arm position–preparing for the day when they will be able to work their very own puppet!
Our master craftsman (or is that mistress craftswoman, or master craftsperson…whatever) Nice begins the process of teaching the students how to make their own foam and fabric puppet.
Some people had a hard time grasping the concept of a “hand puppet”.
Others were quite creative.
The highlight of the event was when the students divided up into small groups and present their improvised versions of a biblical story. Here a Canaanite soldier stands guard on top of the foam(!) wall of Jericho.
In another scene from the performances, Esther beguiles king Xerxes (who is stylin’ in his crown and necktie combo).
Finally we were ready for the graduation ceremony, where each of the participants received a certificate declaring them official puppeteers.
If you can’t tell from the pictures, this was a very energetic group, and we all agreed that it was the most fun we have ever had at one of our puppetry schools. We are also pretty pumped about the idea of these guys taking what they learned and using it in ministry. Before I left on Sunday four people from the church cornered me and peppered me with questions about what it would take for them to start their own puppet team.
Talk back to the missionary: Puppets are a big attention-grabber here in Brazil. What are some ways you have used to gain an audience for the Gospel. Share your innovations in the comments section.
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