So yeah, everybody's busy.
I just wanted to share with y'all what I've been up to that has been consuming my time (aside from school, of course).
Back to Bethlehem is a ministry where we build a replica of the city of Bethlehem during the night of Christ’s birth. It’s a very moving experience to go through it. I am the first storyteller that people listen to right before they enter the city. They then walk through and see the Roman census takers and soldiers, as well as people dressed up as townspeople, merchants, etc. We have an innkeeper and his wife (I play their daughter…and I tell the people about how my father had a young couple come in who was GREAT with child, and he sent them out back to sleep in the STABLE!)
The city is built in the parking lot of the church, and it’s lit only by fires burning in torches above the city. The ambiance is indescribable. When you go through the city, you can stop and talk to the merchants, who all “sell” something in particular (bread, spices, fish, fabrics, etc.) They are knowledgeable about their product during that time, so you get many history lessons has you go through and visit.
We even have camels, llamas, goats, sheep, and chickens being walked around the city! They come from a local petting zoo, and the kids love to pet the animals.
Then at the end of the city, you find a living nativity complete with angels and beautiful music, and then you walk further toward the building and there is the place of crucifixion and resurrection, too! I myself have been moved to tears at this part of the presentation.
After our visitors have made their way through the whole city, they find themselves in the fellowship hall for coffee or hot chocolate and cookies. They get a chance to warm themselves there before they head home. It's a very pleasant experience for all.
Anyway, here's a video from last year just so you can get a better idea of what we're doing for nine nights here. Copy and paste the following link in your address bar to watch the movie, or I found some still shots on youtube as you'll see below: