DONKEYS AT CHURCH
Many, many, many a live donkey has had the honor to join in the celebration of not only Easter Plays, Live Nativity Scenes but also petting zoos, free rides and just visit kids for fun in Churches around the world. There have been some hilarious stories come from these visits as well as stories of people who were brought to know Christ because of the realness brought to them with the program or because they had never seen animals "preach" for God before (came to see the animals, heard the good news of Jesus Christ).
Before you head out to Church with your live Donkey....there are a few things you may want to consider.
Is your donkey friendly and safe? You would, of course, never take an animal out in public that you know does not like or feel safe around strangers....and believe me, some folks are stranger then others <grin>. And seriously, you must think about that. Do hats bother your animals, glasses, strange voices? Keep it all in mind before you say "yes" to the Minister that asks if your donkey can be part of the local churches show.
Do you have a way to safely haul your animals to the church....not in that worn and torn up trailer with the old truck that leaks oil.
When you take your animals out in public you need to relies you represent all donkey owners and or Christian Animal Owners. That's right, when you take your donkey out in public, especially for a "show", it gives people an impression of all donkey/Christian animal owners. So do us all a favor and groom your animals, wash your truck, smile when you get there late, be kind to the children that run up on your animals, clean up after all of your animals, don't leak oil on their parking lot, thank the church (or other organization for having you), laugh when your animals do not stay to program, and most of all relax and have fun too.
What training should your donkey have before signing up for a church play? Well? Is your donkey socialized? Is it trailer trained? Can anyone lead it on a halter and lead rope and it will just walk right along? If the donkey is to be ridden, has it been trained and have you ever ridden it before the day of the play? If it is pulling or packing, same thing...is it trained? In other words... before you say yes, be sure you are ready for such as they are asking of you.
Don't just think about training to entertain at church; don't wait until Easter morning and then think, "oh yeah, I have been wanting to get my donkey ready for this moment". Do it now, today is a good day to start. Little by little, in a few short lessons a day, you could have not only your donkey ready for VBS, Easter, Christmas, or whatever....you could also train a dog, cat, bird or other animal to do a few tricks and teach or tell about Jesus Christ. It is not only kids that love to watch animals shows.
Below are some tips and tricks for taking donkeys (and other animals) out into the public for entertaining. I will assume no responsibility for the way your animals act (or you act <grin>). I am just telling on this website how it works for myself and my animals. How I train my own animals to get ready for an event. Every person, every donkey and every crowd are different, you must work with your animal so that you yourself and your animals will know what to expect before the show date is here. You must also be ready for anything that might happen with or to your donkey. You alone will be responsible for your donkeys actions.
First of all socialize your animals. Most people that own donkeys live out away from traffic and people. Load up your donkey in the trailer (on a nice day of course) and take it with you when you go to run errands...yes, it is a hassle, but ther rewards are great...plus you get all that practice at pulling and backing that big ole trailer.
After you have taken your donkey to town a few times to wait for you quietly in the trailer (how did that go?) remember to take your lead rope with you and this time when you go to town get your donkey out and walk it down the road...yes; you do have to clean up after it.
If your donkey will be ridden at church or if it will be pulling a cart. Get a helper to go to town with you and saddle up. The first couple of times, depending on the donkey you may not want to ride, just walk it wearing the tack. If you do ride the donkey and it is not used to being in town other then these few trips you are now making, have your heeler hold the lead rope while your ride. Take good help. Take someone who knows donkeys or at least equine.
You may want to take your donkey to the church on a week day and walk it around the parking lot, or ride it. The more you can do to get your donkey ready for the plays or shows the better. The better your donkey preforms the more happy and proud you will be. This preparation will also almost guarantee an invitation back to or to another church with your "performing donkey".
Now? About that pooping on the Church floor...I am still researching that. Lot's of prayer I suppose. <grin and a wink>
(more to come, wish I had more time just to work on websites <grin>)