When explaining how our family became involved in the Homeschool Dramatic Society, I usually begin the story by telling about the day 23 years ago when our daughter Mary Evelyn asked me if she could write a play and ask homeschoolers from our church to be in it. I thought the idea sounded wonderful and answered yes.
Hosanna became the focus of Mary Evelyn’s English and the focus of much of our family’s homeschool during that time. No one in our family knew then that Hosanna was only the beginning and that Mary Evelyn would go on to do a play each year. She was a fifteen-year-old homeschooled high school student when she wrote Hosanna.
By the third year, Mary Evelyn was inviting other local homeschoolers to participate in her plays, in addition to the children in the church where Ray was a minister at the time. Mary Evelyn is the brains and the heart behind each play. However, they have been quite the family affair. Our daughter Bethany served many years as musical director. Ray is a chief editor. Our son John has acted in several, sometimes as the male lead. I am privileged each year to serve as her assistant director.
As I watched what God was doing through Mary Evelyn’s plays year after year, I began to pray that God would send her a husband who would support what had become a ministry. God answered amazingly. To my knowledge, Mary Evelyn’s husband Nate had never been involved in theater before their marriage, but afterwards, he immediately put his carpentry skills, his amazing creativity, and his belief in what she was doing together to create fabulous sets, besides completely supporting her in her efforts.
Like I said, I usually start this story by telling about Mary Evelyn’s request 23 years ago, but when I think back, I realize that seeds were planted much earlier than that. There was our friend Janay who gave Bethany dress-up clothes as part of a 4-H child care project. There were the hours our daughters spent doing plays with their friends in our basement. There was Wayne the Hebrew scholar who wrote plays for the church kids when Ray preached in Illinois and Kenny the new Christian who built sets for those plays. There is our son John who got our family started doing plays with the teens at church and is helping with the livestreaming this week. There were the parties where Ray and I did our silly version of Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s On First?” routine. There were our many homeschool trips to see plays.
Oh, how we like to orchestrate things in the lives of our children. I did nothing to orchestrate this wonderful aspect of our daughter’s life. I’ve just gotten to watch God put everything together.
What then is Apollos? And what is Paul?
Servants through whom you believed,
even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one.
I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.
So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything,
but God who causes the growth.
1 Corinthians 3:5-7
Here is a link to see a livestream of “America!” Here’s the link and a poster. You pay one fee of $5 and you can watch one performance or all four.