It is that time of the year that reminds us to be thankful for all that God has blessed us with. For Kimberly and I, we are reminded all the time of how God blesses us! It is through friends and family just like you. As we look back over this year, we are reminded of big things and little things that some of you have periodically blessed us with.
Thank you for your love, prayers and support. In a ministry just like ours we rely totally on God and how He uses his people!
The last three weeks have been an example of just that. Below are some "God Things" that has happened.
A God Thing - Things that happen to us that we can clearly see that it is only God that can make something like this happen!
Last week, I attended the most incredible conference in Philadelphia, PA. The Eric Paul's Super Conference for Amazingly Successful Magicians helped me in so many ways of understanding the marketing avenues that we can help our ministry to grow. From understanding the importance of building a web site that is Google friendly, to including blogging sites, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and many other tools to drive people to our website. I learned quite a few new ways of marketing in my market. Even though I do not have much experience in this area, I am praying that God will bring my way someone who can make the web presence happen for our ministry.
God blessed in so many ways before and during the conference. First, as many of you know, I have wanted to and needed to attend a conference like this but the ministry has not been able to afford it. However, Eric Paul himself invested in me by giving me a scholarship to attend. Watch this short video of what Eric said about our ministry by clicking on this YouTube link. I then needed to raise around $500 for the expenses. By the time I left, God brought in $450 from His people who wants to help our ministry grow! I also wanted to try to book a show in the area for the Wednesday night before the conference. Well, God did that also. I ministered at Bethany Wesleyan Church in Cherryville, PA. There were 15 kids who received Christ that night!
Another God thing that happened before the conference is that I wanted to find a roommate to help cut the price. A few days before the conference, I received an email from a magician from Arkansas stating that he wanted a roommate. Again God moved, not only by providing a roommate but a Christian roommate.
The first night of the conference, we went around the room sharing what we specialize in. When it was my turn, I shared with everyone about our ministry and that we not only change the lives of kids like most of the others but I help change lives for all eternity. The rest of the conference, I had many of the Christian magicians approach me saying that they have been wanting to get into gospel magic and asked me how I do it.
While at the conference, I met many influential people in the magic and marketing world. One magician gave me two recordings he produced on birthday magic and preschool magic worth $50 because he wants to help us out.
Another magician I met is the founder of a brand new kid and family entertainment conference called Kapital Kidvention that is occurring at the end of January. As I talked with Louis Meyer, I shared with him that my mom has wanted to learn face painting. I told him that my mom and I are planning to come to the conference but we have to raise the $125 plus expenses to come. I shared with him that my mom has been selling hot dogs at a flea market to raise her money. He said that we needed to hurry because the conference is just about sold out. At the end of the conference, I went to him and asked him to save us a spot because I will be going home to try to get the funds raised to attend. He said, "Earl, I am a Believer also and the Lord laid on my heart last night to allow your mom and you to attend for free!". I could not believe everything that God had done that weekend and what He is about to do with our ministry. I went to the restroom and just burst into tears because of the overwhelming "God Things" that happened.
On the way back home, I was blessed to stay with fellow magician friends whom Kimberly and I met at Kidabra Convention about 5 years ago. Lavern (The Puppet Man)and Kathy Seibert from East Berlin, PA opened their home up and welcomed me in. As a fellow magician Lavern has pledged this past year to tithe to our ministry from what he makes doing shows. Check out this endorsement that Lavern vidoe taped for me. Click on Lavern and Uncle Ernie to see what he says.
Those of you who gave so that I could attend this conference had no idea what God was about to do but you believed in our ministry and what we are doing. Your donations have multiplied and will multiply in the weeks and months to come because of this conference.
This past weekend, we were blessed to travel to Leesburg, VA to minister at Destiny Church. They celebrated 10 years of being in ministry and we were honored to be a part of their celebration. Part of our show included many birthday tricks including baking a birthday cake magically as seen in the picture.
God blessed and we saw 17 kids receive Christ! One kid that came up was our son Chase. Knowing that he has in the past come forward to receive Christ, we asked him why he came forward during the invitation. He said, "Because I had been sinning in the hotel room by not listening to what you and Mom told me to do and I wanted to ask Jesus to forgive me!" I just love it!
The pastor Greg Wigfield said, "I have been hearing many great reports about how exciting you were in the children's service and how much of an impact you had on the kids. We looked at many children evangelists to bring in. However, you guys were the only ones we felt was a perfect match for our celebration!"
After the service, we loaded everything up and headed to Washington DC. This was the first time the boys had been there. We only had about 3 hours to look around before we needed to head home.
They wanted to see Rexy from A Night At The Museum movie. We took them to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History first. One of the first things they saw was the bones of a T-rex (Rexy). Chase was excited. Most of our time was spent in that museum and then we hurried over to the Museum of Air and Space. We were only able to be in there 30 minutes before they closed the doors. This made us only want to come back and spend a couple of days seeing the sites.
The only thing that Rian knew about Washington DC was that the Lincoln Memorial was there. All he talked about all day was that he wanted to see it. Therefore, on the drive out, we drove by the Lincoln Memorial. I dropped Kimberly and Rian off so they could see it and as Chase slept in the van, I drove around until Kimberly and Rian were done taking pictures. After finally finding my way back close to the Lincoln Memorial, I picked them up and headed back home to Lynchburg relishing the great weekend my family had together.
Myrtle Beach S.C. Kids Crusade
The first of November, Kimberly and I traveled to Myrtle Beach S.C. to minister to the kids during Grand Strand Baptist Church's "Jubilee By The Sea".
We did our Battle Protection Crusade which centers around The Full Armor of God.
We had a great time, met a lot of wonderful people, got to see some of our Ground Zero friends and ministered to a "slew" of kids. When the Crusade was complete, we wound up seeing 18 kids come forward to receive Jesus.
To see more pictures beside the ones on the side bar then go to Myrtle Beach Kids Crusade Pictures.
Thank you all for your prayers and support this year. It has been tough at times, much like everyone else these days but God is good and He moves in amazing ways! This year so far we have seen 457 receive Christ through Vertical Kids Ministry!!!
Earl, Kimberly, Rian and Chase Long
Vertical Kids Ministry
Vertical Kids Ministry
Earl and Kimberly Long
PO BOX 4632
Lynchburg, VA 24502
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Vertical Kids Ministry | 5945 Hines Circle | Lynchburg | VA | 24502