On this day, we had the privilege to go on the road with Agape Ministries of Kherson. They do a puppet show twice a year, spring and winter, at 90 different orphanages (at least that's the number we remember!) They do an excellent puppet show for the kids that is different every time, that contains the sharing of the Gospel, along with a testimonial from a young man who grew up in an orphanage, who is now at the Joshua House, and games and treats. We were so excited to be a part of this outreach and the team went above and beyond to make room for us in the van so that we could accompany them. What a thrill to be a apart of this ministry's work...
Eastern Ukraine is fairly flat, much like the central plains of the US, but without the tornadoes!
Our arrival at the orphanage was met with a few kids milling about...
A couple of cuties that we met outside. We have seen many kids with these crowns made of dandelions. Just adorable.
The kids begin to gather for the puppet show...
The team begins to set up their stage and props.
Anticipation is in the air...
Sound equipment is being put into place.
And everything is decorated so beautifully.
Lights are in place and we are almost ready for ACTION!
Little Dima gets ready for the show. His grandmother is the emcee and he plays an important role and even sings a song all by himself! Adorable 3-year old little boy but is so grown up and capable.
Can you guess why these boys are smiling? They are excited about the show, but there is something else that is making them VERY happy...
...her name is Dahlia. Now known by her Ukrainian nickname, Dasha. These pictures cannot adequately portray the impact she had on these kids. Ear to ear grins and oohs and ahhs over this baby! By boys and girls alike. She smiled back to them and showed them how she can walk with Daddy's help. Kids (and everyone else here, really) just ADORE babies and Dahlia was loved immensely wherever we went.
Here are some precious teenage girls who took instantly to her and she let them hold her before the show.
Oksana, a missionary who lives with another missionary woman named Boguslava, held Dahlia much of the day so that mom could enjoy the show. Oksana and Boguslava have 4 girls who live with them in this village who have aged out of the orphanage system. They are known to everyone here and look to have a very effective ministry here. After the show, they treated the team (and us!) to some fabulous borsh and a nap before the 2nd orphanage show.
The beautifully decorated auditorium, just before the show starts.
The crown of dandelions was given to Dasha who didn't allow it to be on her head for more than, I dunno, 2 seconds!
He hah. Can't put those flowers on me!
One of the very sweet and adorable teenage girls here than know Oksana and Boguslava very well. Here Dahlia is giving her a flower to taste.
Here is Luba, aka Dima's babushka, introducing the show! She was amazing and had the kids' attention the entire time.
The main characters of the puppet show, Ksusha and Losha. Didn't understand everything but the crux of the show was Losha's breaking a lamp and lying about it and then understanding his sin and being forgiven by God and then making it right by fixing the lamp to show how his life was different now in Christ.
The "shopkeeper" who Losha lied to about breaking the lamp. This scene got some giggles from the kids.
After the puppet show, Luba had kids come and race to see who could put on clothes (very funny clothes) the fastest. The winner got candy!
Here is a game where the kids were paired up into 2's and had balloons tied to their ankles. Whoever popped the balloons on their opponent's foot first, wins!
At Oksana's and Boguslava's house, just before we were served wonderful borsh.