When i was 8 my parents gave me a ventriloquist “doll”. As an 8 year old boy i didn’t see this puppet as a doll at all, i didn’t even see him as a puppet. He had a string coming out of the back of his head and when you pulled it it wasn’t like some of my “G.I. Joes” that would say phrases. YOU had to put words into his mouth.
I gladly did little improvisational shows to my family but when it came time to “perform” in front of larger groups i would freeze so, my dad would talk to the puppet and i would make the puppet answer. We did some church meetings, took him to youth centers and to The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Centers (The ARC). Sure when i pulled the string his whole head would move but people seemed to still appreciate my attempts and they would respond with a laugh.
As i grew older i was able to get better puppets and eventually “Justin” came along, last name “Case”. I would pull him out when a special guest would not show up or when i went to jails, prisons, nursing homes, orphanages and such. 20 some years later when people would see me and recall me from some point in their past they would sometimes as, “Hey, how is Justin Case?!” more interested in his welfare than mine. I think that is hilarious but also a blessing to know they remember him and the ministry i once did.
I’m sad to say, Justin is no longer with us. He didn’t die, for he was never alive, he is just no longer with us. Major Ron Mott was nice enough to purchase a new puppet i can use in the ministry of The Salvation Army of Saint Augustine, FL. When i opened the box i found out, “it’s a girl!” So, Sunday Night i introduced,
“Colonel Sue Case”
She currently has a police uniform on but we are slowly going to change it into a Salvation Army uniform. Right now there are some jokes about what happen to her husband “Justin Case” and how the police department has lots of “Cases”.
When i introduced her Sunday night i asked everyone to come into the chapel quietly and reverently because our special guest, Colonel Sue Case, has been at the alter this whole time while were were in the foyer. The chapel lights were dim and as they came in and forward they saw this…
Immediately they understood the name i had been saying all morning, “SUE CASE”
I opened up the case and explained the background of how the Lord has used ventriloquism in the past and requested that those present would pray for this future ministry.
At the bottom is a link to one of the skits i do with the puppet (dummy) and i hope this will bless others, further the gospel of Jesus Christ and inspire others to think outside the “Sue Case”
“God can use a dummy, just like he used a donkey (Numbers 22:21-38)”
Puppets are just another mode of transportation for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Tom “Beetle” Bailey
I work at The Salvation Army of Saint Augustine, Florida
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And if you’re ever in beautiful Saint Augustine, Florida visit us
at 1425 Old Dixie Highway Saint Augustine, FL 32084
Wednesday Nights 6:30pm Men & Women’s Ministry
Thursday Nights 6:30pm Bible Study
10am Bible Study Sunday School
11am Worship/holiness Service
6pm Salvation Service
We also offer opportunities for “Community Care” visits, projects and more
call me at 904-824-6956 Ext. 4407