When I joined University, I made connections with the chaplaincy centre during Fresher’s Fortnight and learnt almost straight away about JUMP. JUMP stands for Jesus Understands Me Personally and simply put was a puppet show for children.
Myself and a team of between 2 and 4 others would go into one of the many primary schools in the city, with our collapsible puppet stage, made of difficult to place together plastic and tell a Christian story using the puppets. During my three years at Uni, I must have done around 50 of these shows, using three or four different scripts.
While at the shows, we alternated who had what role. Although I was often a puppet telling the story, there were times when I would present instead, which meant I was introducing us and giving the assembly a quiz after the show. JUMP was one of my favourite parts of university as it gave me the chance to get to know different areas of the city and interact with a lot of children.
As well as performing in the shows and setting up the stage, me and one other person also wrote a couple of the scripts as we were study Creative Writing and thought it would help us along the way, and it did. Here is an extract from Jonah and the Whale
Human: It is. Jonah was asked by God to go to Ninevah and make them behave better, but like you with your homework, Jonah couldn’t be bothered to do it, so he refused.
Animal: What happened?!
Human: Jonah ran away from God. He ran to the sea, agreeing to get a place on a boat with some sailors.
Animal: Huh? But he couldn’t run away from God, could he?
Human: That’s right [name] he couldn’t. There came a huge storm and the sailors realised that it was because of Jonah running from God. They prayed for forgiveness and understanding, and with Jonah’s agreement they threw him into the sea.
Animal: Did he drown?!
Human: Not exactly. Jonah was swallowed by a fish.
Animal: Wha-? It must’ve been a really big fish!