Friday, January 16, 2009

Swimmin' in the God-Stream

Do you ever find yourself caught up in an inexorable current that you KNOW is the Lord moving and acting?

We feel that way about Light of Christ.

And it's happening I am helping to start up a new chapter of our Christian youth theater group.

(I have been calling it a children's theater group, but I just learned that in the theater world, children's theater is usually put on by adults, for an audience of children; but when children are the actors, it is called youth theater. Isn't it fun to learn something new?)

I first became aware of the current when we were initially thinking about moving to Wisconsin. At a Christmas party two years ago, I asked the executive director if he'd ever thought of expanding north, to Kenosha, and he surprised me by saying, "Yes, many times! And if you guys move there, we'll do it."

Then for over a year, the current was pretty weak. We moved and started taking classes at the nearest outpost of the theater group, and it wasn't too much farther than we had been driving before. My kids were making friends there and were less interested in the idea of starting a new group, and I began to have doubts.

I was just telling the Lord that maybe I had heard wrong, when the very next day, I got an email from the executive director encouraging me to start taking the first steps toward starting a Kenosha County chapter. It was so out of the blue, and so perfectly timed, that I knew it was the Lord thrusting me right into that God-stream.

So I've been making phone calls and writing emails. And on Monday, the executive director came from over an hour away to tour some possible facilities.

And I am so excited to say that we found a theater in which to hold our productions! And we have a wonderful, flexible church facility in which to hold classes, rehearsals, AND a summer camp!

And--exactly as I've been praying--both places seem "not just willing, but welcoming"! What confirmation!

"I can't believe how easily this is all falling into place," the executive director said to me. "I think you have must have something special going on in Kenosha."

(I think so!)

The hardest thing to find, he said, is a theater. The stage has to be big enough for an 80-90 member cast, with nearby dressing rooms for a cast that big, have decent lights and sound, and be available--a sticking point for most of the possibilities I called. Many schools have their own theater productions going on, and in many cases in our district, they use the stage daily as a classroom for the choir or band.

But there is one school in town that rarely uses their stage, and it's the "alternative" high school for unwed mothers, kids on parole and "at risk" students. A few community groups use it occasionally, but that's it.

It's not only available, but also downright beautiful in the old, gilded style (it's the original Kenosha High), and plenty big enough at 1400 seats. The stage is huge, and there are large, little-used girls' and guys' locker rooms nearby which we can use for dressing rooms. Light and sound are adequate, and though the wings are too small for large set pieces, we can deal with that. Especially when the facilities manager there has a fondness for theater and is eager to work with us! (And who knows what "at risk" kids might decide to give theater a try??)

We are thrilled.

I am wondering where else this God-stream is going to take me? I've been encouraged to interview, next summer, for the part-time job of area coordinator for the new chapter.

Two years ago, I'd have said no, I'd be in over my head. (And three years ago, I considered titling this blog "In Over My Head"!)

But today, I wonder if it's where the current is taking me. And there's nothing more exciting than swimmin' in the God-stream!


Heather said...

How wonderful! I know you are so excited and thankful. The theater sounds like a great ministry location to some teenagers who need something positive in their life.

Erin said...

Oh, that is SO WONDERFUL. How very very exciting.

Melinda said...

I got goosebumps when you mentioned the theater being in an alternative school. What better place for you and your group to shine the light of Christ?

Jenny in Ca said...

wow, that sounds really exciting, and the part about it being at an alternative school, I think there is a reason for that.

God Bless you guys!