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A Wonderful Surprise:   We announced a surprise guest appearance as Paul the Apostle when we performed So, You're Paul at Bethel Baptist Church in Aumsville on January 26.  Enter:  George Zwicker.

George's Back Story:  In 2000, as a result of an accident, George had his first surgery and lost the use of his legs.  He could barely walk using crutches. He has lived many years with pain and has undergone numerous surgeries.  In January of 2013 George went into the hospital for additional back surgery.  Following surgery George contracted  a serious bone infection that landed him back in emergency, with eight more weeks in a hospital room on heavy antibiotics. 

Again he made multiple visits to doctor's offices, hospital rooms and emergency.  In March, April and May of 2013 George found himself living in the Windsor Health and Rehabilitation Center in Salem, OR, suffering severe pain and unable to walk at all.  Yet, every time I visited with George, he was rejoicing for the many opportunities he had to share his faith with one therapist after another – more opportunities to witness to the love, grace and joy we have in Christ.  George encourages all those around him with his unwavering faith.

Last Fall I called George, wanting to encourage him and to assure him of our prayers.  As always, George encouraged me.  He said, "Alan, for all the opportunities I've had to witness to doctors, nurses, surgeons, therapists and other patients, I would not trade witnessing for the Lord for a new pair of legs.  I was touched by those words I said, "George, I want you to play Paul the Apostle.”  George hesitated, wondering how he could enter a biblical stage scene, bent over and walking with shiny aluminum crutches.  I said, "George, can you sit on a bench for 60 minutes?"  He said yes.

George worked very hard memorizing and rehearsing his lines   Sunday morning, January 26, George appeared as Paul the Apostle in the morning performance of So, You're Paul.  George and his back story are well known to the members of Bethel Baptist Church in Aumsville.  So his appearance on stage was A Wonderful Surprise!  In my final comments at the close of the program I said, "We have portrayed Paul's testimony – as a man who found joy and peace in a difficult situation – bound to one guard after another for two years.”  Then, pointing at my dear friend George I said, “This morning this man is the message." 

Joint Base Lewis-McCord (JBLM):   We performed So, You're Paul twice at JBLM – Friday, May 9 and Saturday, May 10.â  Thank you to all who prayed for this venture.  God's glory was clearly seen in the faces of the audience   All of the long trips and hard work recruiting, casting, training and rehearsing cast and crew certainly resulted in stellar performances from men, women and young people who live on the base. We are convinced many hearts and lives were radically changed for God's glory.  We saw the countenance of many faces lifted from sadness and depression to the radiance of the hope, joy and peace we have in Christ.

One of the strong indicators of God's blessing was registered in the number of attendees who asked questions like, "When are you coming back to do this same play?  This is something everyone on the base should see."   We had the privilege of bringing hope and peace to men and women recently returned from some of the most dangerous parts of the world, and others soon to be deployed.

God Himself Was the Director:  God's hand was clearly evident in the weeks leading up to our performance at JBLM.  On Saturday, April 26, while rehearsing for our performance of So, You're Paul at Calvary Chapel in Independence, OR, several of our cast encouraged Alan to hear our friend Matthew Edwards sing Don Francisco's He's Alive!  Wow!  Matthews performance was breathtaking.  He's Alive!, is the testimony of Peter’s meeting the risen Lord.  “It is singularly one of the most powerful pieces of music I have ever heard," Alan said.  If you would like to hear this marvelous song, click here for a sample. He’s Alive!  (Don Francisco, not Matthew.) 

We are currently seeking license rights to record Matthew and make his rendition available online.
Alan was so excited he asked if the song could be included in the next day’s performance.   Working with our good friend George Zwicker, who was playing Paul the Apostle that weekend, Alan said, "Let's work this song into the script."   So we added the following lines:


“Soon after I became a believer, I met a disciple named Peter.  It took us quite awhile, but we became very good friends.  I wish you could hear Peter tell his story about what happened that night." 

Characters freeze as music starts.  Matthew sings He’s Alive!

George turned in a stellar performance and delivered the new lines with perfection. As Matthew sang He's Alive!, he combined his wonderful singing voice with acting talent and brought Peter to life.  The following weekend Matthew Edwards – at his own expense – joined us at JBLM and sang He's Alive at both performances.  From poignant comments made in the reception line, we believe a number of souls have taken a fresh look at the reality of the resurrection – Jesus is alive!

Thank you to all of our praying friends for your patience and understanding with our e-mail struggles.  And a huge thank you to those who continue to uplift this ministry with your faithful support.  We could not have served JBLM without your generous help. 

Yours in His grace,

Alan and Beth


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