HEAVEN NEEDS FIREMEN, 2003 REVISITED
I am reprinting here our newsletter from October of 2004. It records the astounding events of our performance of Heaven Needs Firemen at the Key Club on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood California.
Here it is, as I sent it out on that day, unedited, 4 years later:
I don't know what the promoters were thinking when they asked our
puppet troupe to play their rock and roll club in Hollywood. Maybe
they thought it would be a laugh to watch the "crazy Christians" and
Our attitude was "let them laugh" as long as one single soul was
brought to Christ...
By the end of the evening, we had 57 Professions of Faith!
57 souls were saved that night!
MIRACLES DO HAPPEN!
Please let me share this uplifting story with you. I had better
start at the beginning...
I was a little surprised when we received the phone call. I had
never heard of The Key Club, but I was told it was located on the
Sunset Strip in Hollywood, right next to all the rock and roll clubs
with names like The Roxy and The Whiskey.
I was even more surprised when they sent us the flyer for the
event. It was called "Puppet Terror". Apparently we would be
sharing the bill with a heavy metal band and someone calling
herself "Miss Satanica."
In Puppet2Puppet's 12 years of puppet ministry, we have performed
in some "far-out" places -- in the terminal wings of hospitals, at
an inner-city park recreation center for At-Risk kids, even in a
Juvenile Detention facility. But this was a first! I prayed that
night and the answer was clear. "Have Puppets, Will Travel" has
always been our motto, and nothing was going to change that.
The night of the show, as I waited backstage, I must admit that I
was nervous. The load-in had gone smoothly, but there had been some
snickers and knowing looks from the heavy metal band during our
soundcheck. I knew by now that this club had once been called
Gazarri's and that bands like The Doors and Van Halen had started
out here. I swear I could almost smell the years of sin.
Our puppeteers were tucked away behind our puppet stage, waiting for
me to introduce them and the curtains to open. I heard the
announcer call my name and I walked into the lights.
I looked out and 500 rowdy strangers looked back! The crowd seemed
to me a sea of black clothing and tattoos. I felt out-of-place in
my sweater vest and carrying my bible. I took some comfort knowing
that 30 of our people were out there, good Christians who had braved
the traffic and the rock and rollers -- people from churches as far
away as Orange County and Riverside. A group of young adults from
our church even joined me on-stage, to lend moral support...and to
get a front row seat, I'm sure!
The rest was a blur. I said something into the microphone about our
ministry and the Lord's work. And then I introduced the play.
I must say I was proud of our puppeteers that evening! We
performed "Heaven Needs Firemen", one of our most popular and
effective puppet plays. The timing and puppetry were impeccable.
The club's crew had done a great job, real professionals! We had 7
microphones inside our puppet stage, one for each puppeteer! The
lighting was very dramatic -- especially when the firemen appeared
in Heaven to fight back Satan and the flames of Hell. Our "fire-
hose" worked great, even if our puppeteer did get a little over-
eager -- I'm afraid a good many people in the front row got more
than a little wet!
We had added a special ending just for the occasion. Our Jesus
puppet appeared in our Heaven set to thank the Firemen and welcome
them to their eternal reward. He then asked the audience if they
were ready to meet their Maker.
The show ended, I mumbled some thanks and a "God Bless" and walked
That's when the real Miracles began!
Backstage, a crew-member from the club approached me. Voice
trembling, he asked me if I would pray with him. My answer was a
But the real surprise happened when I made it out front of the
club. I couldn't believe me eyes! There was what seemed like half
the audience! They were surrounding our friends from church, some
gathered in groups, some talking one-on-one with one of our people.
As the heavy metal music blared from inside, they began to pray.
They knelt, right there on the sidewalk! Right there on the Sunset
By the end of the evening, we had received 57 Professions of Faith!
I personally witnessed to a couple with matching devil-head tattoos
on their necks and rings through every part of their bodies.
Watching their joy as the Lord enter their hearts will be a memory I
will cherish forever.
Thank you for letting me share this story. All of us involved in
Puppet Ministry know that I can be a sometimes tiring and sometimes
thankless task. But the real joy is not in the souls we reach, but
in the act of celebrating the love of our Lord!
Please feel free to share this with other Christians who could use
"Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth; sing the glory of His
name; give to Him glorious praise!" Psalms 66, 1.
Yours in Puppets and in His name,
REVEREND JIM HILL
Puppet2Puppet Puppet Play Productions