The dusty book in the attic seems ordinary. But when the two children open this old Bible, a mysterious light glows from the pages, bringing the story within to life. The children in this scene are actually puppets worked by team members in OM Hungary’s annual Christmas puppet ministry.
“In Hungary, we have the freedom to go to public schools and kindergartens to perform the Christmas and Easter Bible stories with the puppets,” says Ilona Csernus, the Hungarian leader of the OM puppet team. This past December, the team performed 17 shows in schools, churches, and a special needs home.
Each season, the puppet team learns a new show that serves as a framework for the biblical story to be shared. The Bible prop that glowed when opened was a highlight of this year’s show.
“Each place we went to, the children were amazed at this special book that worked like a flashlight,” Ilona says. “As an illustration after each show, I talked about how the book is powered by a battery, and that the kids themselves must have super batteries since they are always energetic. They figured out of course that food and drink give them their energy. Then I could call their attention to the importance of charging our soul as well. It needs the Bible as food and Jesus as the source of love and wisdom.”
Ilona has been involved with OM Hungary’s puppet ministry since 2010, when she and her husband returned after serving on Logos II and Doulos. But this year was unique as the first in which her whole family performed in the ministry together.
“My husband learned quickly, and in this way our own preparation for Christmas became special,” Ilona says. “My two sons, Benjamin (age 15) and Daniel (age 13), were so keen to play puppets this year that they offered their evenings and weekends to practise and perform. It was such a blessing to see the next generation getting involved in ministry with us.”
After each performance, the kids and teachers in the audience received a CD containing the audio puppet story and more Bible messages, as well as an activity booklet.
“In one place, it was fun to see a father reading the booklet to his son right after the show,” Ilona says. “In another place, a parent shared with me that last year’s CD had been listened to so many times that it was really worn out because the kids loved the story so much.”
Altogether, the team estimates that 1,250 children, as well as teachers and families, heard the Christmas story and the Gospel through the puppet ministry this holiday season.
You can join OM Hungary for puppet ministry this Easter – no knowledge of the Hungarian language required! Email us to learn more.