We're all settled into Kyrgyzstan now. Our team of 6 is sleeping in 3 different places around Tokmok, gathering for free time in a church where we rehearse, meet, eat. Dave and Chris barely lived to tell of their sketchy accommodation where their shower shocked them because the hot water tank which is in the shower, is not properly wired. Dustin and Katie got stopped by police on their walk home one evening, but after their passports were checked and the police called Timo (our Kyrgyz organizer) they were good to go. Erin and Hannah have fared well so far, though they had to move from one room to another in their flat because the hole for the ceiling light was cut too large so rain came through, shorted the light and got the room wet.
After a couple days of rehearsing, we had our first 2 shows yesterday, Wednesday, May 20th. Our first one was at a little village school 60 km from Tokmok. This school is operated by Mercy Foundation and has 54 students. A group from Tokmok goes to this school every Wednesday to teach music, dance, sports and other skills, as well as the Gospel. We incorporated students into our show where they demonstrated a song and dance/acrobatics they have been learning. They were great!
All the students and teachers plus many families from the village came to watch our show. The afternoon sun was hot but they had a nice canopy under which the audience sat on stools and we performed. Unfortunately the surface was loose sand/rocks so Dustin couldn't do as much unicycling as normal. We were totally open with the message during the show and Dustin even gave an invitation. After the show and a photo shoot where nearly the entire audience surrounded Dustin, we had lunch they had prepared for us. Many teachers ate with us as well. The main ministry worker at the school said this was an opportunity to pray with and share more about Jesus with the teachers, many of whom are not yet Christians. So Chris shared his testimony, incorporating the Gospel and Dave prayed. It was a special time.
We drove back to Tokmok for our evening show in a park with lots of beautiful flowers and a big playground. We had a small but attentive audience and many even responded to the invitation to follow Jesus! Kostya, our tour organizer, shared with those interested how to connect with church people who were also in the audience.
Today, Thursday, we had a chill morning (except Dave who had a productive meeting in Biskek with the OM Central Asia North leader). We are preparing for our show tonight in Tokmok city center. Thanks for praying with us for many to respond to Jesus, good translation of the message, good relations with our local organizers, rest, health and energy.
Blagosloveniyi (Russian for Many Blessings:>),
TACO Kyrgyzstan Team