Puppets on The Mission Field
We have discussed puppets in the classroom and puppets in medical care facilities, but I would be highly remiss if I didn’t mention the missions field. Now don’t push political correctness on me, I am not selling a particular religion in this post. Whatever you religion, part of it is to win converts, teach about your religion and educate on the fundamentals of your religion, whether to adults or children. Puppets are a great way to do that.
Now, the previous statement aside, I will use examples of the Christian mission field as that is what I am familiar with, but the concept works with any religion (and yes, atheism is a belief centered around one’s own personal perspective of the existence of god, therefore it is also a religion, argue this point if you wish).
Puppets have been used for centuries to teach. There was a period of time that the church thought puppetry to be uncouth and low-brow, but have come around. The concept of using entertainment to instruct is one of the most effective ways to introduce concepts and practices.
Puppetry isn’t going anywhere as long as there is a platform in which to teach with them.
There are so many places that you can’t take a audio/video setups, but you can always take a puppet and use what you have. In the middle of an African village for example, not much in the way of readily reliable energy. All you need is a puppet, your voice and possibly a curtain to create a makeshift stage. Also, if you are traveling, the more you have, the more issues you have.
Going off the last statement about travel, going through the airport with a puppet is great, if you get delayed, you have a way of entertaining yourself and others at the airport. Also, TSA loves it when you take one as a carry on. Once I was in the Rome airport and had a large alligator puppet in one of my carry ons. As it ran though the x-ray, all they saw was an animal shaped “skull” with two big eyes. I had two machine guns and a german shepherd at the ready as I had to pull it out and show them what it actually was. You don’t know how much fun it i to have gun pulled on you and then made to perform for the guards to prove you weren’t trying to smuggle illegal contraband into the country.
IF doing short term missions, should the place you're at have little to no supplies, you can leave them puppets, teach them how to use them and possibly even give them scripts and other accessories to help them start a teaching program using puppets.
If you do any type of missions, long term or short term, use puppets.