Sunday, February 28, 2016

the Lightlings now booking!


Based on the story by R.C. Sproul, the Lightlings are a race of beings created in the image of the King of Light. Upon disobeying the King though, their lights dim and they flee into the darkness. Join us as we explore the redemption of the Lightlings and why some people fear light more than darkness.


Puppetry, sign language, performance painting, creative movement and blacklight drama are woven together to illustrate a message that audiences of all ages will understand. This 30-40 minute musical is available in English and Spanish/English for Fall 2016 through Winter 2017. The themes of darkness, light and redemption make the program suitable for Christmas, Easter and any other special event!

Please contact gabriel@CMTministries.org if you'd like to bring the Lightlings to your next event or to request more information.

"For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!" Ephesians 5:8

Monday, February 22, 2016

Rejoicing with the Body at the Regional Ministry Festival



On February 19-20, we had the opportunity to co-host the San Francisco Regional Creative Ministry Festival with our friends at Central Assembly Church. We welcomed pastors, directors, worship leaders, youth and creative ministry enthusiasts from throughout California. What a wonderful time of teaching, learning, sharing and fellowship!

The conference theme, "the Family of Ministry" was first introduced at the 2015 International Festival of Creative Arts Ministry, with the theme verse of 1 Corinthians 12:25-26. 

"there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it." 


Friday

The conference kicked off with the opening theme presentation, the Family of Ministry. As the host team, we were able to assist with this presentation.

The story follows DJ, a kid who everyone expects to be a great praise band singer like his Grandpa was. However, singing isn't exactly DJ's talent so he feels that has nothing to contribute. He ends up experiencing a blast from the past as his Grandpa and other relatives show him that a wide variety of talents make up "The Family of Ministry."

Following this, we were off to our first set of workshops in topics ranging from Beginning Puppetry, Sign Language, and Gospel Illusion. We then proceeded to the next highlight of the evening, the Competitions!

5 teams from far and wide presented pieces including puppetry, human video and dowel rods. We presented a blacklight human video set to Casting Crowns' "Set Me Free." This was only our second performance of the piece. We were thrilled to bring this story and message to the conference.

Saturday

Saturday morning began with worship and a devotional led by our director, Gabriel Galdamez. Gabriel shared his testimony and the challenges he has faced in ministry while encouraging the attendees to be like the woman in Matthew 26:6-13. Offer whatever is in your alabaster jar, your best, to the Lord and pour it at Jesus' feet, regardless of what those around you may say.

We were then off to 2 more sets of workshops covering topics such as "Ventriloquism, "Developing a Successful Ministry," and "Children in Ministry," to name a few. 

We ended the morning with a performance by Tim Cowles of Skadoodles! Using illusions and ventriloquism, Tim encouraged us to reach up to God and reach out to our world.

Following the lunch break, it was time for the infamous "Lip Synch Challenge!" A 16-person tournament where puppeteers lip synch to randomly selected songs, which they likely have never heard.

It's always great fun to watch while giving an opportunity to appreciate the talent and bravery of the participants. After 3 rounds, the judges narrowed it down to the top 3. Phew!

We were now off to a fourth and final set of workshops, including "Developing Character Voices," "Drama," and "Creating a Program." Then..it was time for the Closing session!

For our human video "Set Me Free," we were awarded a Silver Award, the People's Choice Award and valuable feedback from the panel of judges. During the Ending Raffle, one of our team members was the lucky attendee to win the final prize, a new puppet!

As we shared in our article "Top 5 Reasons to Attend Trainings", conferences are such a wonderful opportunity for your you and your ministry to not only get ideas... but be equipped and encouraged to continue to pick up our cross and follow Jesus. The road isn't easy, but we are not alone. There are others going down the same path as us... and God is always by our side.

We closed the conference, and we will close this article, with the verse Stacy Divine of San Jose left with us and I leave with you as a challenge:

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." Colossians 3:23-24

Monday, February 15, 2016

Ministering & Teaching in Nicaragua!




From January 25th through January 31st, Create, Minister, Teach! had the opportunity to travel to Terrabona, Nicaragua, a small rural town 2 hours outside of the capital. What was our mission? Several!
  1. To spread the message of the Gospel to rural Nicaragua 
  2. To provide support for FestiNiños, a children's outreach festival
  3. To plant a creative ministry team
  4. Anything else that was needed!

Rehearsals

I focused on directing the 9 youth from Iglesia Jesucristo Es El Señor Terrabona who had committed to working together for the week. Our first meeting and rehearsal was on Wednesday. The goal was for them to be ready to present a program for both FestiNiños... the first one on Saturday!!!

I immediately dived into prayer and rehearsal with them. I took time to explain the purpose of our ministry, the delicate task and privilege that we had been given, and a general overview of the program we'd be presenting, a Spanish adaptation of "the Original Love Story." The program featured video segments narrating Creation and the life of Jesus and I served as a bridge for the video and performance pieces with illusions and stories. Our songs included Spanish-language versions of:

  1. "Indescribable" by Chris Tomlin (featuring Blacklight Hand Mime) 
  2. "Superhero" by Hillsong Kids (featuring Blacklight Puppetry) 
  3. "Alive" by Hillsong Young & Free (featuring Choreography) 

We began by tackling our most challenging song: the hand mime piece. If you're unfamiliar with hand mime, using white gloved hands, dark clothing and blacklight performers can combine their hands to create a variety of images and words. If you're having trouble understanding what I mean... try being those youth! 

By the end of that first hour of rehearsal though, I video'd the 30% of the song they had learned and was delighted by their excitement when they finally saw what they were twisting and forming their hands into. 

Fast forward through a Friday evening rehearsal, a bit of stress from feeling like I was too short on time, freaking out over the stage we built failing to stand up, a Saturday morning rehearsal where I felt much better... and our first FestiNiños was upon us!



FestiNiños 

FestiNiños is an annual children's ministry event that Iglesia Jesucristo Es El Señor Terrabona hosts as an outreach to the children of rural Terrabona. It is their way of offering these children an afternoon of play, treats and a message of God's Love through Jesus Christ. 

Imagine my joy when I learned that one of the members of our ministry team, Freddy, was a product from FestiNiños! And now he was serving in FestiNiños and reaching out to the next crop of little ones.

We had 125 children (many unchaperoned) join us for what proved to be an immensely rewarding but beautiful afternoon of kid mania. We kicked off with songs and a devotional and moved into tournaments and carnival-style games for prizes. They were each sent back home with a goody bag and an invitation to come back after supper with a friend and their parents for a creative ministry spectacular!

Presentation Time!

After only about 6 hours of rehearsal, and with no formal dress rehearsal... or tech rehearsal... and without being 100% sure if our stage would even stand... it was showtime! 

Our first presentation was in Terrabona on Saturday night and what a joy it was to see little ones raising their hand to accept Jesus as their savior! Our second presentation was in Chaguite Grande, the site where our church, Iglesia Jesucristo Es El Señor, has been building a church and community center.  This is a very rural mountain community about 5 hours outside the capital.

We left at 6 am to arrive in Chaguite Grande by 9 am... to find the center already packed with about 200 people waiting our arrival! We quickly divied up tasks so the adults could prepare and host a FestiNiños and we could set up for our presentation. 

After years of supporting the construction of this building, it was very gratifying to finally see the vision coming to reality and walk the grounds of the church. Our team worked to quickly assemble our stage and set up our show. Meanwhile, the adults worked with somewhere near 150 children to host FestiNiños Chaguite Grande. Each child received a goody bag and a t-shirt proclaiming "Jesucristo Es El Señor" (Jesus Christ Is Lord).

By showtime, nearly 300 people had packed into the center! After a few hiccups with the power (they had just installed electricity the week before our arrival), the second run went beautifully. More beautifully, many, many hands of both children and adults alike were raised to invite Jesus as their Savior.

Mission Nicaragua: "Indescribable" (ft. Hand Mime)

We only had about 3-4 hours to rehearse this song with 9 volunteers. This was performed in Chaguite Grande, a rural community about 5 hours from Managua, as part of FestiNiños. Our church has been building this community center and they just had electricity installed the week before our arrival! Want to support our mission? Visit https://www.gofundme.com/67bff3jq

Posted by Create, Minister, Teach on Monday, February 15, 2016



Home

Our drive back to Terrabona from Chaguite Grande was another experience. I forgot to mention that in order to transport our team of about 30 volunteers 2.5 hours up the unpaved, rocky hillsides, we rode in the back of a large cargo truck.

Riding back high on energy and encouragement, our group joyfully sang praise and worship songs back down the slope. Can you imagine what it must've been like for the communities we drove through to hear a mobile choir passing through their roads? I thought it was so fun to see adults and children poking their heads out of their homes as they heard us driving by and singing praises to our God.

I'm so grateful for the opportunities I've had over the years to use my gifts for ministry and encouraging others. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine my ordinary self being a part of such extraordinary things with our God. 

"God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another." 1 Peter 4:10