Puppets, sleight-of-hand help congregation introduce families to Jesus
Saumur doubles as Co Co, a high-voiced puppet who helps teach Bible lessons. Church member Charles Halsey, who works for the touring production Cirque du Soleil, built the puppet stage. The Verdun church plans to expand its building to accommodate its growing congregation — and to give Co Co more room to perform.
Although Quebecers tend to be skeptical about church, many allow their children to attend church activities, Mazzalongo said. Several members in Quebec came into the church through their children.
Maurice and Cynthia Dunkley, who immigrated to Montreal from Jamaica, started attending the church in the Lachine community after a neighbor invited their children to Bible class. Now they attend the Verdun church.
Wei dong Hu, an aerospace engineer from China, started looking for a church at the request of his daughter, who had visited a Chinese-language church in Montreal. One Sunday Wei decided to visit, but found the door to the Chinese church locked. The Verdun church was nearby, and Wei thought, “Well, maybe this door is open.” It was.
He met other engineers at the church and started studying the Bible.
“I believed technology provided for a secure life,” he said. “But for our spiritual life, technology can do nothing. Only the Bible can improve our lives.”
When church members asked him if he wanted to be baptized, Wei hesitated.
“I don’t understand the whole Bible yet,” he said. “How can I be a Christian?”
The members assured him he was in good company. Wei has since become a song leader for the Verdun church.
“His story is typical of how we find people around here,” Mazzalongo said. “They just fall out of the sky.”
Dec. 1, 2006