Bonnie and Jim Blank worked as real estate agents in Delaware and Maryland in the late 1980's. Bonnie and other realtors were asked to dress up like clowns during a real estate convention in 1989. That was when she first became aware of a Christian clowning ministry that was active in hospitals in Delaware. After the convention, she contacted Daisy Ding Dong. Daisy was one of the clowns active in church and hospital clowning in the area. The next day, she performed for a children's hospital and quickly became part of the world of Christian clowning."Clowning comes from the heart. Deep down there is a desire to make others smile if not on the outside, then on the inside for sure. Blessings return to you a hundred fold, a thousand fold! The Bible says that the joy of the Lord is our strength. My desire is to, at times, make Him laugh right out loud!" - Merry Heart
Later that year, she attended a Christian Clown Conference in Ohio. "I loved it," Bonnie said. "I was blown away. I came home and dove into it." Jim on the other hand was not nearly as enthused as Bonnie. He would tag along to help set up and perform other duties but had no intentions of becoming a clown. Bonnie continued to encourage Jim for about 8 months and he finally joined the act! Once he was involved, he found he loved it as much as Bonnie.
The following year, they returned to the Christian Clown Conference in Ohio and purchased 5 puppets. This was the beginning of their careers as puppeteers. They actually performed a puppet show for an audience of 10,000 people at the end of the show!
This is Jim in his first show!
Their ministry evolved to be predominately a puppet ministry and their list of puppets grew from five to hundreds! The Blanks felt the response they received from the audience was priceless and made their work worthwhile. They performed for every denomination (or nondenominational) because "Our primary goal was to reach the children (young and old) to bring Christ into their lives." Bonnie said "I believe the children are our future. It is always amazing to me that God gave us something so much fun."
They have paraded in the Disney World Main Street parade, that is Jim with the crowd, Christmas parades and have been interviewed by officials with Focus on the Family. They have had articles written by the Associated Press for nationwide distribution which also appeared in local newspapers across the country.
Thank you for taking a little stroll with us down Memory Lane. If you would like to see more photos please visit our Facebook page.
LORD, as I stumble through this life, help me to create more laughter than tears, dispense more happiness than gloom, spread more cheer than despair. Never let me become so indifferent that I will fail to see the wonder in the eyes of a child or the twinkle in the eyes of the aged. Never let me forget that my total effort is to cheer people, make them happy and forget at least for a moment all the unpleasant things in their lives. And LORD, in my final moment, may I hear YOU whisper: "When you made my people smile, you made ME smile."
In the name of our Big Brother, JESUS, amen.
Read our "Trailer Story", an interesting tale about how the Lord provided for our needs...
Last but not least let us share The Clown Wedding with you... and they lived happily ever after. Smile.
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