By Editorial Staff
Published December 1, 1988
TULSA, OK (FR) – For the first time in history, a professional theatre company from the U.S. composed entirely of Christian artists performed in the Soviet Union. Members of the traveling company, known as Impact Productions, performed 18 times before a combined audience of 75,000. Tom Newman, director of the company’s musical production, “The Toymaker’s Dream,” said the response was overwhelming.
Before the tour, Newman said he gave a presentation to leaders of the Young Communist Party, the Moscow Music Society, and the Peace Committee. “The guys went crazy and started signing up for dates. I stopped them … and said I wanted to make sure they knew what I was coming for,” said Newman. He explained to them in clear terms that the message of Jesus Christ was the theme of the musical. “‘The toymaker represents God,’ I told them, ‘and the toys represent the different people of the world. It’s important that Americans and Soviets get together, because the same God, Jesus Christ, loves us all.’”
The Peace Committee official reacted to Newman’s remarks at that point. He responded, “I understand what the story is about, and the people will understand. But don’t ever say that in this country again. I will not let you do this presentation in its full entirety if you mention that.” Newman explained that the official was simply reacting against hearing the name, “Jesus.”
But the group still had an open door to perform at the annual International Peace Day in the Young Communist Peace Palace in Moscow. “It was an extreme sacrifice for people to come since tickets were sold for a full-day’s wage – six rubles. Tickets for the Bolshoi Ballet are only two rubles,” Newman said. “We sold out our first night and the next day we came to rehearse at 3:30 and people were standing in lines.” Pravda, the official state-run newspaper, published a front page story on the performances.
The Soviet government covered all hotel and transportation costs for the Impact team. “We were treated like royalty,” said Newman. In Leningrad they performed in the same 10,000 seat arena where rock star Billy Joel had been in concert. At their last performance, Newman said he decided to “stick his neck out” and share the gospel: “I told them, ‘I would like to have more freedom to share. So many people misunderstand our mission. We come in the name of peace and love, but 2,000 years ago a man came to tell us how much He loved us. And He was crucified for our sins. We love you, but more importantly, God loves you.’”
“The people went crazy,” related Newman. “They stomped their feet and shouted, ‘Yes!’” Newman said that the audience showed unexpected eagerness to hear about the Christian message. In addition to this encouraging incident, 25 Afghan generals came backstage in tears and asked the Impact team to come to Afghanistan. The group was also invited back into the Soviet Union for a three-month tour, as well as Cuba, Bulgaria, and other Eastern-bloc countries. “We can’t wait to go back,” he said.
Besides performing, the group also met with other Christian believers. “The Christians would hide behind a building and run up to us with tears running down their cheeks, pointing to their hearts signifying that we had reached them.” Politburo officials had mixed reactions to the performances, however. Newman said that the policy of glasnost, or openness, is partly responsible for their open door to perform.
Impact Productions is an outreach ministry of Victory Christian Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Russia, Ukraine and former USSR
Your comments are welcome!
Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
$12.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
$9.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
$49.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the Free Study Guide!
God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.
Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!
Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:
1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?
Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.
Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!
Running Time: 240 minutes
Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)