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!