Greetings from Kyrgyzstan!
Saturday morning we had a show at an orphanage near Tokmok. It's in a village of about 500 and everyone is in some way connected to the orphanage that houses 110 kids. When we started picking up sticks and debris from the "stage" area just before show time, about 20 kids immediately jumped up and helped. A few dogs were running around during the show but only once did one cause concern as it meandered through the stage while Dustin was riding. Dustin shared the Gospel but was restricted from giving an invitation. After the show, the director came to the mic and expressed her gratitude for us coming. We were so impressed with how well behaved the kids were, as reflected in Dave's comment afterwards: "All kids should be put in an orphanage."
We drove to Bishkek in the afternoon, learning that our route takes us over a bridge which is Kazakhstan territory. We passed mounds under which lie the ancient ruins of Ak-Beshim, which was an important town along the Silk Road and has remains of a building which apparently was simultaneously a Nestorian church and Buddhist temple in the 7th-8th centuries. Once in Bishkek, we chilled at a great place called Sierra Coffee (started by New Zealanders) as we watched the threatening clouds, rain and wind outside. Thankfully, the second orphanage of the day had an indoor back-up plan so we performed in a large room inside. This orphanage, also government run, houses 38 kids. One of our translators regularly teaches English here, using Children's Bibles as a tool and some of the kids attend church with him. We were thankful to build on the work he and others are doing there. Afterward, we had many requests for selfies with kids, as some tried out the unicycles. Dave connected with a Turkish Muslim named Mustafa who is studying English literature in Bishkek. Dave shared Jesus with him as it sounds like many others around him have been doing. Pray that he will have the faith to believe in Jesus!
Today, Sunday, we had an afternoon show in a Christian school gymnasium in Tokmok. To our surprise, the students had 2 dances, a song and drama to add to our program, which we quickly mixed into our set list at the last minute. It turned out to be a nice addition to our own content. Our tour organizer and his wife also added 2 songs in Russian and Kyrgyz so we had quite a lengthy show. Dustin was able to share the Gospel openly, gave an invitation and a dozen kids raised their hands indicting they had given their lives to Jesus for the first time! Pray for them to grow in this best decision they have ever made.
Monday and Tuesday we head to Bishkek to do shows organized by one of the largest churches in Central Asia. They have handed out 1,000 invites for Monday's show in a park so pray that many come! Thanks for praying for endurance for our next 7 shows, good communication with our local organizers, good health, strong stomachs and especially that many will surrender to Jesus through these outreaches and grow in their faith.
Blagosloveniyi (Russian for Many Blessings),
TACO Kyrgyzstan Team