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California, here they come

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From left, Stella Atkinson, Christina Howard, Annette Goggin, Janell Wardlow, Regina Walcott and Lydia Ferguson all worked on the puppet project at Foursquare Church. Not shown is Dee Wray who also worked on the puppets.
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A Kenyan boy sees a puppet for the first time while his mom learns how to use it.

By DONNA CRONK - dcronk@thecouriertimes.com

Two-hundred handmade puppets, each slightly unique in appearance, departed New Castle last week, bound for Foursquare Mission Press in Los Angeles, Calif. There, they will go into children’s gospel boxes and end up in Kenya. The puppets were made by volunteers at the New Castle Foursquare Church.

Escorting the puppets is one of their creators, Regina Walcott of New Castle. She said of the project, “It was just a lot of fun.”

When she found out that she was going to California to visit her brother, Gene Vincent, at about the same time the puppets were due at Foursquare Mission Press for packing, she volunteered to take them with her on the train.

Vincent planned to pick her and two cousins up and take the puppets to L.A. for delivery.

Said Walcott of the trip before she left, “This is going to be a real experience.”

The children’s gospel boxes, which contain tools to start a children’s ministry, go all over the world. Each box contains enough teaching materials to reach 150 kids. Foursquare Church’s NextGen Minister Natalie Werking trained leaders in Kenya on how to use the box materials. The boxes have been in 55 nations. 

The puppets are made by volunteers all over the country and assembled into boxes in L.A. The New Castle Foursquare puppets are destined for Kenya in May with two per box. Werking says if there is any local church mission team needing children’s gospel boxes for short-term mission trips, contact her for details. The boxes do cost $150 a box and contain enough materials for 150 children. Contact her at natalie@gotofoursquare.com.

The local church’s sewing team will be making 400 more puppets, those to reach the Phillipines. For more about the gospel children’s boxes, visit ww.cgbox.org. Any local sewing circle or group that would enjoy helping make the puppets is also encouraged to contact Werking for details. Werking says the patterns are very simple and to contact her if interested in making some.

According to the website, “Our Mission is to produce culturally effective children’s materials, and provide effective training free of charge, for the mission field.”