Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

With Branson 2008 now to a close, we've just enjoyed three days at home -- getting unpacked and full of preparations for our own family celebrations!

And our hearts continue to rejoice in thankfulness and awe as we think of the Lord's great workings over the past several months. Although I have not kept this journal very up-to-date, we have daily sensed the prayers and encouragement of you, our blog readers, as well as our church family and others who were specifically praying for our time in Branson.

It's time to say a big "THANK YOU", along with a few testimonies of how we saw the Lord working over the past weeks....

(We've been busy preparing for our own Christmas these past few days, so I'll sprinkle a few pictures amidst my jottings.....)

God's Drawing -- The whole two months we were consistently amazed by the number of people who came to our show. Even during ice storms, and with many other shows cancelling due to low numbers, people continued to come.

Overall, our average crowd size was in the fifties, with a total of over 2,000 people coming through the theater doors during the 7 weeks. And this, with no expensive advertising. Other Branson performers asked us for our *secret* -- which we know was a direct result of so many daily prayers!

Health & Strength -- Each day was certainly packed to the brim....not only the weekdays, but also the weekends as we sang for several Saturday/Sunday trips. In fact, in December we sang 23 times in 21 days, not including "teasers" for the show multiple times every day.

And yet the Lord gave strength -- and aside from a short 12-hour flu, we all stayed healthy and well! We are so grateful!

Lessons Learned -- Over the past weeks we've [once again] learned that sometimes when you're serving, you serve in faith, trusting the Lord to bring the fruit. Trusting that He will bless where He leads. Even though many times you wonder if God is really working through your efforts!? If people are really being touched!?? If you're really making a difference?!!?

But then every once in awhile the Lord will pull back the curtain to a person's heart to let you see that indeed, He is at work.
And here is just one example...

Subway --
While on a late-night run to Subway, we met and shared free passes with a family who were patiently waiting behind our order of 15 foot longs (no small test of patience!). And we were thrilled when, several days later, they indeed came to our show! By their own words, they were unchurched and by their expresssions, we didn't couldn't tell what they thought of the show at it's conclusion.

However, our friend bumped into them a few days later and visited with the father of the family for 10 minutes or so. The father shared how the show has really made him think about allot of things...especially the things Dad had said at the end (the gospel). Our friend was able to encourage him and share a few more things with him.
Except for a 'chance' meeting, we'd have never known how the Lord touched his heart.

And this is one of several such testimonies. Again -- our heartfelt gratefulness for your prayers!

And now we're home for Christmas Eve -- time for our family traditions and celebrations. Josiah and Abi will join us tonight for our traditional soup supper and we'll all gather 'round to hear Daddy read the Christmas story before beginning our gift exchange. Oh, the joy of family traditions during this special season!

Tomorrow, Christmas Day, at 12:30pm we'll be sharing in a Wisconsin prison. We'd covet your prayers as we rejoice in this great opportunity to share Jesus' love in a place that needs it so desperately during this special season!

And from our family to yours -- we wish you a most blessed, treasured, and merry Christmas season! Oh, how MUCH we have to rejoice in! Our Savior has come!

"For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9:6


Desiree said...

I am happy to hear that you had a great time in Branson. Hope you have a Merry Christmas too.

arnie said...

Merry Christmas!

The Longs said...

We were at your final performance and as always just amazed at your alls talent. We really enjoyed the show immensely and listen to your new cd all the way to IOWA,,we were at the front center table, and yes those rolls were mighty fine. It is so neat watching the young ones grow as we discovered you 1st at 'old threshers right before the baby was born, Keep the faith and songs coming and we will keep the prayers going along with sharing you guys with others who like GREAT MUSIC
MERRY CHRISTMAS to each of you. Your show was our Christmas Present to each other,

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas! Wishing you a fantastic day filled with lots of love, joy and blessings!

Josiah and Abi Wissmann said...

A very blessed CHRISTmas to you all too! Thank you for such a special evening!!:) We love you!

Lisa said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! Love the pictures. Have a great day!!!
Praying for you. ~Lisa

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas, Wissmanns! It was such a blessing to see you again!We really enjoy and appreciate your cd! Cont. prayers
Conners John 1:14

Stephanie said...

Merry Christmas! Its such a blessing to hear the way the Lord is continually working.

Hannah Michelle said...

I'm so happy hear of the conclusion to that subway story! How wonderful. You just never know what might be an opportunity. God bless you guys - I'm sure more hearts were touched than you'll ever know. :)