Where does God show up? In a puppet show!
I spent some time this summer in Cookson Hills, Oklahoma at the Cookson Hills Center with the youth group from my church. As a group, we taped and mudded drywall, painted, worked with jewelry, fixed siding on a house, sanded concrete floors, moved a couple from their home of 14 years, picked up sticks, cooked ate and sang together. It was a good week, challenging and life-giving. Here is a bit of what I discovered:
The Puppet Show
My team and I worked on a parsonage, thirty minutes from Cookson Hills Center, Stilwell Mission United Methodist Church in the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference. The whole time we were there two women, Sherri and Jenny, from the church, ready to help with our every need. They were very kind and a joy to be around AND enthusiastic about what their youth were doing in the church. They invited us to the church on Thursday for lunch and a surprise.
After eating they invited us into the sanctuary, where the BEST surprise was waiting for us. For the next half-an-hour, we laughed and giggled and sang through the coolest puppet show! I don’t know if I have ever seen our youth group laugh so much. They were genuinely enjoying the presentation, including Christian song in both English and Cherokee. The puppets came to life in the hands of the Stilwell youth. They were entertainers that brought their all to the stage. I experienced the love and enthusiasm of this group, the kids, their parents, and their church. In an area that can be devoid of hope….hope filled the air when these kids performed and in the community that supports this puppet ministry.
If I listen close enough some of the Colorado youth may still be singing their song…”I just want to be a sheep.”
As I asked about the youth group and their puppet ministry, I found out that they had performed for their annual conference…everyone loved them of course! I also found out, that when they performed for us…this ministry was still less than a month old!! Wow! These kids were shy and not naturally performers…but with their puppets, …they were enthusiastic and discovering that they….yes even they…have a voice. Now, this is ministry.
I asked Jenny and Sherri about the puppet show and the life that I saw in their church….But that’s for another day.