In 1865 William Booth began a whole new kind of evangelism when he left the pulpit and began preaching to the homeless, the hungry and the destitute on the streets. Taco’s approach may not be quite that historically significant, but we are committed to being creative and open to new ways to spread the gospel. We aim to draw a crowd to which we can give a clear gospel message and we aim for a high quality performance that doesn’t detract from that message. Sometimes the art form clearly and directly presents the message, but many times the art form is simply the hook. Over the years, we have had unicyclists, puppeteers, mimes, illusionists, yo-yo artists, and clowns join us. In the last years we have found fire poi an excellent way to gather a crowd.
We've also found that using a variety of art forms within one show keep's people's interest. On a recent tour we had the band, dancers, a unicycle and illusionist all working together to present a seamless show. Along with our concerts performed in public space with all the official permissions and licenses, we are also moving to doing more “impromptu” street show. These may only be 20 minutes long but often feature several art forms. Less conventional and more mobile art forms are great for those kinds of performances.
Do you practice another art form that may be used to reach out to tell others about the Good News? We can't wait to hear what it is! Click contact and get in touch. We'll probably ask you to send us a video of what you do. We would love to talk with you about how to use you effectively in this international context.
We look forward to having you with us soon!
"On one tour in Gaziantep Turkey, we decided to do an impromptu event at a skate park. Before long a crowd of a thousand had gathered to watch Dustin on the unicycle and Craig do illusions. The police soon came and we thought they would shut us down; instead they helped with crowd control and had the people in front sit down to give others a better view. We then split up and Dustin rode his 6 foot tall unicycle to a section of the park and shared the Gospel from his unicycle to the crowd that had followed him. Craig took part of the crowd to another section of the park and shared the Gospel through a few illusions. Some of the girls with us handed out tracts to the crowd that had gathered around them.Two years later, we did an event at a shopping mall in Gazientep and met a young man who had given his life to Jesus as a result of this previous outreach! It’s exciting to see how God can use our simple availability."
For years the Suitcase Sideshow has desired to partner with TACO in Istanbul and use the Marionette Theatre to present stories of Jesus. So together in 2010 they created a show in the Turkish language and culture and began performing on pedestrian streets. It took some trial and error to get the translation right, but after a few shows we were all shocked to see how attentive and curious the crowds of people were towards seeing and hearing modern stories of Jesus. Midway through a show one woman defended it when a loud man threatened to call the police. She yelled “If this is for politics, let it be stopped, but if it is for God let it continue.” The police arrived and demanded that we leave. We complied and packed up leaving part of the story untold.
The next evening someone from that audience stumbled upon us again, miles away, and viewed the show in its entirety. Afterwards he wanted to know more about Jesus and later accepted Him. Another man appeared inquisitive but stated that Jesus and Mohamed were essentially the same. I wasn’t sure how to approach this topic but a local believer stepped in and told him, “I understand your confusion because we both grew up hearing the same stories about Mohamed, but if you do your own research, you will find that the hero, you believe Mohamed to be, is actually Jesus.” They had a long and meaningful conversation.
After shows some people bombarded us with questions and in other instances people elected to remain close to our theater while quietly absorbed by their thoughts. They had seen a concept of God that was new and compassionate, even as it was being presented in a small unassuming way. We were blessed to be a part of it and to discover what God would do with our small gifts. Now there is a local Suitcase Sideshow in Turkey spreading God’s loving message to those who have never heard. Praise the Lord!