Local playwright shares stories of faith, hope and courage

Local playwright shares stories of faith, hope and courage

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Susie Boer, of Snohomish, performs for small groups to tell the story of true heroes of the Faith, such as Corrie ten Boom, who hid the Jewish people from the Nazis during WWII (Boer in ten Boom costume above).

SNOHOMISH – In difficult times, people can see their faith and hope strained. They need encouragement and exhortation.
They need good stories.
Since 2008, Snohomish-area playwright Susie Boer has donned period clothing and the appearance of courageous Christian women and has performed solo shows in a variety of venues. With around 12 characters in his current repertoire, Boer calls his ministry “Faith Heroines Alive” a passion and hopes his work will strengthen the faith of those who attend his performances.
Her first and best known is that of Corrie ten Boom, the middle-aged Dutch woman who, along with her family, hid Jews from the Nazis during WWII.
By popular demand and following the suggestions of others, she added other heroines along the way. Lately, she has also picked up stories of outstanding Christian men, such as the English slave trade abolitionist William Wilberforce or Brother Andrew, who smuggled Bibles into Communist countries. Sometimes she tells the stories of men in the third person, or by featuring the heroes’ wives and friends.
“Give me a good story and I’m like a fish that’s released back into the water,” she said.
Prior to Covid-19, Boer was doing 10 to 12 performances per year in Snohomish County and roughly the same number outside the county. The pandemic changed everything: “In 2020, everything was canceled,” she said.
Boer’s dramatic ministry was a life in the making. The daughter of a Midwestern history teacher, who was also a great storyteller, Boer began by telling missionary stories around a campfire at a denominational church camp in the 1970s. She loved to sharpen the story. young people’s appetite for learning more about heroes and heroines, and perfecting the “art of the cliff hanger,” she says.
“It was very well received,” she said.
Boer’s spiritual life changed significantly in the early 1990s, she said, when she truly understood the Christian gospel message and “left the wilderness” of a “dysfunctional” denomination. .
She ended up at a Bible believing church in Bothell that “needed all the help it could get” with its great ministry to children. The pastor asked him to take over as the Holiday Bible School (VBS) storyteller. He created a “big big whale” in the parking lot and Boer told a version of Jonah’s biblical story – from a worm’s point of view – to about two dozen children, all hanging out with her at the interior of the “whale”.
Eventually, Boer began portraying Corrie ten Boom on VBS after studying ten Boom’s real-life videos and honing her accent and manners. The pastor said, “Oh, man, you look like my Dutch grandparents! ”And asked him to make a ten Boom“ cameo ”appearance in front of the whole church.
After that, word of his talent quickly spread.
A friend asked Boer to play the role of ten Boom at two tea parties to raise money for a mission trip. The $ 20 tickets sold out and $ 600 was quickly raised for the trip.
Another woman asked, “Are you doing any other fuss? This led Boer to delve into more research – and ultimately to play the role of British maid-turned-missionary Gladys Aylward. The next character she took on was Darlene Deibler Rose, a missionary who spent four years in a Japanese prison camp during World War II.
With a degree in French from the University of Washington, Boer said his main reason for performing in the early years was to raise money for mission trips to Marseille, France, to show “The Jesus Film” . Now she just sets down and see where God is leading her.
“… But I love to tell stories,” she said.
Boer bills his performance on a sliding scale. For a church audience, the fee is $ 250, with a non-refundable deposit of $ 75. A retreat, where she plays three or four characters, costs around $ 500. For small groups, the fee is $ 100 to $ 150, depending on the size.
Regarding his work, Boer likes to quote the American pastor and theologian AW Tozer, who said: “Next to the Holy Scriptures, the greatest help in the life of faith can be the Christian biography.
For more information on Boer’s work, visit www.faithheroinesalive.com

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