Monday, October 01, 2001


Vantaa, Finland
Gospel Communication Outreach
Finnish Free Foreign Mission

The Best Medicine

And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" Romans 10:15

I met Paula Vanttinen in Bosnia during a Wheels to the World trip with Joni and Friends. We kept in touch for two years, and she invited me to minister at the hospital where she works as an occupational therapist. I had the opportunity to stop off in Finland in September, while on my way to Israel for TV production. In addition to a presentation at the hospital, Paula arranged for a meeting with the Finnish Free Foreign Mission, an evangelical mission group that has a wide outreach to children. I performed for the staff and directors of the organization, showing them ways to share the gospel “in greasepaint.” On Sunday, Paula and I took the train into Helsinki for a performance at her church, but as you can imagine, the performance began when we boarded the train – the travelers getting the explanation for a clown in their midst “it’s an American!”

On Monday the meeting Paula arranged with the doctors and nurses at the hospital was really an open door from the Lord. I spoke with first hand experience on the benefit of laughter to children in difficult environments.

A cheerful heart is good medicine. Proverbs 17:22

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? Romans 10:14

Clowns and doctors share a common goal – to improve conditions of those in pain. The goal is to affect a person in a positive way - physicians primarily through their knowledge and medicine – clowns through compassion and joy. There are two languages understood worldwide - tears and laughter – no translation is required. Healing the sadness associated with sickness and circumstance is possible even though outward conditions may not change, attitude can make all the difference – and we all are in the business of making a difference.