Friday, September 1, 2017

Summer Time Soujourns: (Inter)National Conferences

Early in July, I attended the International Festival of Creative Arts Ministry in Illinois. I-Fest drew nearly 200 attendees from around the world!

Workshop leaders included Jeff Smith (the creator of the Dowel Rod technique), Edna Bland (puppeteer mentored by “Big Bird” Carroll Spinney), and many other respected leaders in the creative ministry world.

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I felt so blessed to enjoy a week of encouragement and investing in my ministry as I shared with attendees, took classes and enjoyed the devotions. This energy was going to be much needed for the…

Fellowship of Christian Puppeteers (FCP) National Conference in Maryland. I crossed 4 state lines the day after I-Fest ended to co-direct this conference.

Aside from directing the logistics of the conference, I led worship in general sessions and shared in performances, workshops, and devotions. My favorite classes to teach were Creativity & Christ and the Making of the Lightlings!

A major highlight was the opportunity work with some exceptionally talented ministry friends to present “the Lightlings.” It was so special to see my vision come to life with so much heart and passion throughout the presentation! I still feel extremely blessed for the privilege I had to foster rich fellowship and to share in a time of creativity, testimonies, prayers and praises!

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"The fellowship of like-minded believers in Jesus, along with a heart to glorify God made this conference a success!" —Vonnie Pratt, Missionary

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Shining His Light At Home & On The Road

In November, we were invited to bring "the Lightlings" to Center of Praise Ministries in Sacramento, CA. Our visit served as a kick off for their launch of children's ministry for their Saturday evening services! We had the immense privilege of presenting for the Saturday evening congregration in their Cathedral which is one of our greatest joys - serving the young and young at heart alike!

In February, we brought "the Lightlings" to one of our favorite hosts: El Sobrante Christian School. We have had the blessing of visiting their elementary campus every other year for the last 6 years. It is so special to present for nearly 200 unapologetically enthusiastic students. The encouragement they provided through their cheers, applause and laughter is not only electric, but a treasure!

"Gabriel and his team are a shining light for God’s kingdom. I pray that everyone has the opportunity to have this wonderful team come to their church or school to spread the good news about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!" — Darren Ojeda , El Sobrante Christian School

In February, we hosted Creative Ministry Solutions' California Festival. I led two workshops: Secrets I've Learned from Disney & Pixar and Blacklight Puppetry. This year we had the privilege of an invitation to present "the Lightlings" for the conference. It's always great fun to share with fellow creatives! We also presented a human video, based on the ministry of Paul, for the Creative Ministry Competition and received a Silver Award!

In April, we spearheaded an Easter Family Service at our home church: Iglesia Jesucristo Es El SeƱor. Despite our church's small size, we had double our usual attendance for the service: praise God! We led praise and worship, used puppetry, illusions and games to "break the ice" with our visitors, and concluded with a call to truly reflect on Christ's victory over death and sin.

In April, I was invited to the Renewal Conference in Elk Grove, CA for the 3rd year. It was a great joy to share with many encouraging children's workers in my seminars: Lively Lessons with Magic, Puppetry & Drama - Captivating Classes with Storytelling & Scribbles - Creativity & Connections Roundtable. A huge highlight was hearing the message and testimony of the keynote speaker, Phil Vischer, the creator of VeggieTales!

"What the young pastor said that day is: If God has given you a dream, the dream comes to life, and then the dream dies - it may be that God wants to see what is more important to you: the dream or Him."— Phil Vischer