All the work is worth it for moments like these.
By Jim Coleman
When we arrived at the church to set up for our 3 pm performance of Tolton, we were led to the school gym by the pastor, who unlocked the door, and then left us alone to fend for ourselves.
Sigh. No volunteers. And the stage was being used as a storage area, so I’d be performing on the floor. And there were 11 huge windows that would make seeing the screen where all the characters are projected impossible.
We unloaded the truck, and I went up on the stage and amidst the clutter spotted a ladder in the back, and so we were able to put up the lights and set.
Time was passing and it was now 1pm. I set up all the chairs, then ran down the street to the dollar store for water, snacks and garbage bags to cover the windows. Stage manager Kellan and I rushed to tape the bags on the windows, and finally the room was dark, with just 30 minutes until showtime.
I hurried into the broom closet, threw on my costume and makeup and sat down on a stool to take a deep breath and say a prayer before going onstage.
“Lord, the devil’s trying to stop us. That must mean the play’s going to touch a soul. So help me to stay focused to bring Father Tolton to that person!”
A crowd arrived, and the performance went off without a hitch. Afterwards, as I greeted the audience, a young boy about eleven years old named Gabe from Liberia came up to me.
“I loved the show!” he burst out with a huge smile.“I’m from Africa and I was adopted!”
His mother went on to explain to me that Gabe wanted to be a priest.
“You can do it, Gabe!” I said as he hugged me. “Remember Father Tolton. Never give up.”
As Gabe and his mother left, I knew that God had answered my prayers. Father Tolton had inspired this young man to follow his dream. May he be a friend to Gabe all through his life.
I want to thank you for supporting this work, with your prayers and donations. Because of your generosity, I experienced God’s presence, and so did so many other people that afternoon. May God reward you for sharing His love with all these souls.