On October 15, Mehhgumi the Sheep made her singing debut in Tokyo at a fundraiser for a nonprofit benefitting kids in care homes. Mehhgumi, (who is also known as “Barbara”), with a bit of help from me, sang the Sesame Street classic, created by Jeff Moss, “I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon.” Have a listen:
Jones, that old hound dog, had begged with his big, old puppy eyes, to be taken along to the fundraising event. He was thrilled when Elvis showed up and belted out the “Hound Dog” song. Jones danced and howled along with the music, gracing us all with doggy breath and delirious drool.
We had a marvelous time, crooning tunes and dancing like loons. I did my best to help by singing and playing the harmonica along with the John Denver classic, “Take Me Home Country Roads.” Towards the end of the evening, something very mysterious and magical happened.
For several weeks, I had been planning trips to Nagoya, Kobe and Osaka on behalf of JOEE. I would be preaching at a couple of churches and visiting orphanages with my puppets. One event that I was looking forward to attending was a birthday party for a little girl in Kobe. The theme of the party was rabbits. Did I have a large rabbit puppet that I could bring to the party to perform with? No, I did not. I had lions, cats, sheep, frogs, even an elephant. But no large rabbits. So, I was thinking hard about rabbits that night. I was wishing for a rabbit puppet. Guess what happened?
While taking a break from singing up on stage, a woman approached me and, out of the blue, asked me, “Would you like to have a rabbit puppet?” My jaw dropped in surprise. “Yes! I would love to have a rabbit puppet!” I wondered how in the world did this woman, (whom I had never met before), know that I needed a rabbit puppet. “Wait here — I’ll be back soon.” She returned with a beautiful puppet that had sat in her house, unused, for forty years. “I would be happy if you could use this puppet with JOEE.”
I accepted the new JOEE puppet with joy and brought it back with me to my home in Nagano. I call it my “Thought Rabbit.” And because “thought” is “kanga-e” in Japanese and because JOEE or “joey” means baby kangaroo, maybe I can call it “Kangae-roo.” It was a thought in my head and then it magically appeared and jumped into my arms.
We hope that good and magical things continue to happen through JOEE and that our supporters will share in our joy at helping others. Please help us reach our goal of raising $50,000 over the past three years by donating at the link below. Our Global Giving fundraiser ends on December 31, 2022. Can you help us reach our giving goal? Here’s the link: