Our daughter Mary Evelyn calls the children who perform in her plays the Homeschool Dramatic Society. HDS has a theme which the children repeat in practice: To God Be the Glory.
As children and teenagers, our daughters had fun putting together plays in our basement. plays like “The Princess and the Pea” and, one of my personal favorites, “Cinderella on Roller Skates.” We parents loved the results when we went down to watch. There is a time for just plain fun.
HDS is different though. Each play is fun, but it is not only fun; it is a rich, life-changing, educational experience with powerful spiritual impact. Every play Mary Evelyn has written for HDS has been based on a particular period in history and many have told the stories of real people. More importantly, each has a story line that matters.
From the time the children read their scripts, through the time they learn their lines and songs, and for the two weeks they spend in intense daily practice, they are living a period of history. Cast members have looked at the life of Jesus through the eyes of the children who saw him. They have been immigrants traveling across the Atlantic Ocean while looking forward to new lives in America. They have hidden Jewish children during World War II. The children have been deaf students in the first successful school for the deaf in America. They have been orphans under the care of George Mueller and have escaped danger with missionary to China Gladys Aylward. They have lived through the Great Depression in the 1930s and through the scare of polio in the 1950s.
In every play cast members learn that God can be trusted in every circumstance of life and that He can change the life of every person who is willing to come to Him.
Yesterday we spent three hours in our first rehearsal for Fiona’s Gift. This year the children are living in New York City in 1913. Boys sell newspapers and shine shoes. Girls work long hours in factories. Little children do piece work at home. Families find it hard to pay their rent. In the midst of the struggles of their daily lives, they celebrate the light of hope that came into the world when a precious baby boy was born and His mother laid Him in a manger.
I’m thankful to watch as children do drama, have fun, and live the story of a play that matters.
Whatever you do in word or deed,
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks through Him to God the Father.