Today the team visited with Pastor Hiruy and the Harvest Church
of God in the Bole district of Addis Ababa, to participate in a
special children's program for the Easter holiday, with singing
and music, games, stories, and the highlight - the Harvest Church
Circus! They use drama, music, sports, and the circus to reach local
youth with the gospel and with messages of HIV prevention. Our church
has supported these efforts during the past year.
Using the fruits of the Spirit as a theme, we contributed a puppet
show, a song, and a activity where the kids made bracelets of pipe
cleaners and colored beads symbolizing the nine different fruits
from Galatians. Over 100 children and young people, from preschool
to college age, joined in enthusiastically. It was great to see
the wide range of ages working together.
We had no idea what to expect of the circus, and I think we were
all equally delighted to see a troupe of costumed acrobats flying
in rolls and flips and hands-free cartwheels, building human pyramids
four and five kids tall, juggling with pins, clowning to gales of
laughter, and tumbling through an actual ring of fire! The circus
has been a regular program of the Harvest church for over four years.
The older kids teach the younger ones, and they perform at different
locations in Addis to draw youth and children to watch, to join,
and to become a part of the church.
I have felt so welcomed here. The people we've met are warm, sincere,
generous, and loving. I see them living as joyful Christians even
in distressing circumstances. Their humility, grace, and gentleness
touch my soul and show me the face of Jesus. In the short time we've
spent with those we've visited, there has been a permanent bond
forged. This bond of Christ is so strong that, although we may know
nothing about the details of these others' lives, there is a depth
of common purpose and feeling; I have never felt so convincingly
that we truly are all of God's one family.
One of the young Harvest Church of God circus performers
leaps through a ring of fire!