I just finished a great week at our first church-produced Fine Arts Camp. We called it Create R Kids. Thirty-some kids participated. Our production was called "How Are YOU Growin'?" and included three parables: The Sower, The Talents, and the Laborers in the Field from Matthew, and the kids presented each incorporating a puppet show, dance and music, including playing instruments. Even Tater got to participate, which he really enjoyed. I think he especially liked the drums. This was an effort produced entirely by church members, including the script. Thankfully, we have some wonderfully talented folks at church who contributed to this endeavor.
|My example for puppets we made at Fine Arts Camp|
|Boys holding more of the puppets I made for them|
The kids loved making these puppets. There's a reason why Jim Henson's Muppets still resonate with kids after all these years. All the battery powered toys and computer games available can't replicate the delight and creativity puppets inspire. They are a catalyst to expand their imaginations unmatched by many other types of toys, because children can manipulate them: make them speak, give them personalities, interact with them. I loved watching the kids with the puppets as their creations came to life. And I think that several of the shyer kids were able to cope with the fear of being on stage, because they had a "buddy" performing with them.
I'm always amazed how God manages to use our passions and gifts to his glory. I never imagined that my own interest in puppets as a child, my experience using puppets for Lads to Leaders in middle school, the intense investment of time spent working on plays and musicals in high school and my own passion for creating and teaching art would culminate in this opportunity to share Jesus with these precious children. What an opportunity! And hopefully, these kids will use their puppets as an opportunity to share Jesus with their friends and family.