In December 2019, I received a wonderful gift from one of my dear friends, Marci Prevital. Along with the gift, she thanked me for being a blessing to her family. These words touched my heart and I told her that I didn’t feel like I did much, but she hugged me and encouraged me that I did. I then explained that because I have so many dreams of things that I want to do with our ministry in music, through my books, movies and with our Huggabear Farm, big dreams that I haven’t been able to do quite yet, it doesn’t feel as if I do much to bless others right now.
In years past, I have been able to present musicals and performing arts programs on large scales in front of large audiences, but as of the past few years, we have put our focus primarily on those in need of some personal love and appreciation.
Our Huggabear Children’s Project Performing Arts Team is the official entertainment group for Honor Flight Arizona and performs four shows a year for World War II, Korean and now Vietnam War Veterans. We have sung for children’s shelters, amusement parks, charitable fundraisers, and several times a year, we sing for seniors at a retirement community.
Marci’s grandchildren, Ashlyn and Kinsley, are very talented singers and have performed with me for several years. Everywhere we go the audiences are so grateful for our performances, still, I don’t always hear individual stories from people in the audience and how our shows impact their hearts. On December 9, 2019, I did.
My family and students had been working throughout the fall season to prepare a Christmas program for the people of Park Terrace Retirement Community. We had a lovely audience and my students and family all did a fantastic job. It was a great way to begin our holiday season.
The program was called “The Blessings of Christma” and before each student performed, I had them tell something that blesses their heart and life during the Christma season. This was very special and everyone enjoyed hearing the children’s stories.
After the program, my mother came with a lovely woman named Francis who told me that she wanted to share a story with me. I was happy to listen.
Francis had been in attendance on September 7, 2019, when the HCP Performing Arts Team had performed our show “A Night of Disney and Friends”. I hosted that show as Mary Poppins and had a few “Sing-a-long” songs from Mary Poppins throughout the program. Our finale was “Let’s Go Fly a Kite!”, the Sherman Brothers classic masterpiece from the original “Mary Poppins” movie.
I had an idea for this song to make small paper kites with tails in a variety of colors and attach them to a piece of baling wire so that when held up, the kite would appear to bob and weave in the air, just like a real kite would while being flown. I wanted all of the children in the show to have a kite, and because we love audience participation in our shows, I wanted to have some extras so that anyone in the audience who wanted a kite could also “fly” one and sing along with us.
My beautiful friend, Marci, graciously volunteered to make the kites for the show and I was more than thankful for the help! On the day of the show, Marci, along with her family, had made dozens of the prettiest paper kites and when the end of the show came, she distributed them to the children and audience members who wanted one.
Francis was given the last one.
This was the story that Francis shared with us about her and the kite.
When Francis was a little girl about 5 years of age, her father, who was a minister, made her and her brother a homemade kite out of paper. She described how beautiful she thought it was and she could remember every detail about it including the long, flowing tail that her father attached to it. Francis said she had never seen a kite before and as her father soared it into the sky, she was amazed. She thought her daddy was extra special because he was able to make out of paper and string something so spectacular.
While they were flying the kite and having a marvelous time, a gust of wind blew strong and the string of the kite broke. Francis watched with sad little eyes as the magnificent kite that her daddy made, flew away. She was heartbroken.
While she told me the story, she became a bit emotional as the described the memory of losing the kite and how it made her feel. She then explained that her daddy consoled her and told her that if she prayed and asked God to bring her kite to her, He surely would.
“I began to pray for my kite,” Francis said, “and I prayed and prayed. Every day I prayed.”
The days began to pass and then turned into years which also began to pass by. Still, Francis prayed for her kite, asking God to bring it back to her. As she grew older, this prayer for her kite began to test her faith. She wondered if God really did answer prayers, after all, her daddy had told her with great confidence that if she prayed and believed, God would restore her kite to her.
All throughout her life Francis never stopped praying for her kite. The years passing turned into decades and she found herself still praying for the kite in the latter part of her life in her eighties. Then, a tremendous blessing came to her from God. As she sat in the audience on September 7, 2019, for the “Night of Disney and Friends” show. Francis listened to me announce that we were going to end our show with the song
“Let’s Go Fly a Kite”. Upon hearing the song title her mind traveled back to the day when she, as a five-year-old girl, lost the precious kite her father made for her. She said, “I watched as they passed out the kites to the audience, and I prayed, ‘Please God, let me get a kite'”.
Even though she didn’t raise her hand to receive a kite, God directed Marci to give Francis the very last one she had made. Francis said when she took the kite and held it in her hands, floods of joy washed over her. As she began to sing with us the lyrics to the treasured song ‘Let’s Go Fly a Kite’, God spoke to her heart and told her, “This is the kite you have been praying for.” Francis said she started to argue, “But, God, that kite was handmade.” God reminded her, “This kite was handmade,” He told her, “This is your kite. It has been restored to you.”
Francis was overwhelmed with joy and began thanking God for His wonderful gift. After 80 years of praying and dreaming about her kite, it was restored to her!
As Marci and I listened to Francis tell us her story on December 9, 2019, we were covered with chills.
The three of us received a great blessing that night to begin the Christmas season.
I had no clue the idea to give kites to the audience was part of God’s plan. I just thought it would be something cute for the show.
Marci had no idea when she made the kites how powerful the impact would be upon this lovely lady. Nor did she know when she gave her the last one, that too was the direction of God’s hand.
The three of us each received a great Christmas blessing the night of the Christmas program, which was appropriately titled “The Blessings of Christmas”.
Marci’s blessing was to learn that something she had taken the time to make, though small and simple, could be used by God to do something big and beautiful.
I learned that even though I may not be doing the big works I dream about doing for God, He still needs me to keep doing the smaller works that He whispers to me because there are so many people out there He wants to bless through them. God also showed me that all the ideas I have are from Him and that even though I may not see how it could be used for His glory, I need to be obedient to do everything He shows me when He tells me because He can use anything and everything to bring blessings to others.
God also reminded me that being obedient to act upon the ideas He gives us is key. If I hadn’t been obedient to sing “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” and have kites for the audience to fly, and if Marci hadn’t hand made the kites like she did, this event would not have taken place.
And Francis, well, Francis was blessed to be able to share her testimony of faith with us and the miracle that God did for her heart through a little paper kite. She told us that she has placed it up on her wall in her apartment where she can look at it every day and thank God for restoring her faith and answering a prayer she prayed for eighty years.
If you would like to watch the video of the HCP Performing Arts Team sing
“Let’s Go Fly a Kite” click here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M99Cp8Iditw
You can see Francis in the video during the song after she received her kite. She is the lovely white-headed lady wearing a purple blouse in the second to the last row waving her kite proudly!