It’s late at night. I’m sitting here alone in front of my art pad drawing, praying and seeking how I should share with my dear friends and family the exciting changes happening in my life.
I’m both thrilled and – to be honest – a little nervous about two major changes in my life that are about to occur. Sometimes God brings into our lives thoughts, ideas, even opportunities to redirect us. I’m sure you’ve had that same experience. As someone who I’ve known for a good deal of my life, I wanted you to be among the first to know.
For the last few years, I’ve been in a relationship with Adrian, an illusionist and speaker with FaithSearch International. He has spent his life performing and entertaining crowds all over the globe… and the best thing is, he always finds a way to share the Gospel through his program. He really has a heart to see people know Christ, the savior of our fallen souls. As an artist myself, I’ve always hoped God had a similar plan for me. That somehow, God would be lifted up through my love of performing arts and theater. During these years of dating and friendship, it’s been a good time of learning and getting exposure on how challenging and how fulfilling of an experience it is to win others to Christ.
God has used Adrian’s illusion show to reach hundreds of thousands of people in over twenty-five countries… places where people hear about Christ the least! During the fifty-one mission tours Adrian has been on, he has seen countless families and individuals who would never darken the door of a church (or have access to one) flock to see his international award-winning illusion program. These same un-reached people groups, who would typically not be at all interested in listening to a preacher’s sermon, eagerly listen to the message of salvation that Adrian shares in each of his performances. Watching him engage with audiences just here in the United States is inspiring. The passion he brings in sharing God’s truth touched my heart in a profound way.
I am very thankful that God brought us together AND… to share with you the first big change in my life, Lord willing, we will be getting married this fall!
A New Partnership
What is even more exciting is what we hope to accomplish together. We are both artists, both love theater and performing arts and we both want to make a difference in the lives of others – an eternal difference. As frail and as fallen as we all are, the very least I can do is bring a smile to someone’s face and perhaps try to see to it that God’s love fills their hearts. As nervous as it can be to join your life to another, now the other challenge and even more nervous part… did I mention that Adrian goes to some of the most un-reached places in the world? That’s what we hope to do together… to combine forces in love and vocation in hopes that God would be even more lifted up through our lives together than could be done apart.
Several weeks ago, during a pre-marital counseling meeting with one of the pastors at our church, our pastor very highly encouraged us to pursue a mission opportunity together before we marry as a way to continue to leave our future in God’s hands, will, and direction. A sort of “putting on the altar” of our entire future together, you might say, as a way to affirm our union.
After much prayer and reflection, upon taking his pastor’s advice, Adrian reached out to one of the organizations that he works with every year to reach the Muslim world. It turns out, they had an integral team member needing to leave a tour early and they were scrambling for what to do to meet the need. When they received Adrian’s inquiry as to whether or not there were any opportunities we could join, they couldn’t believe the timing! Before we knew it, we were planning to join a last minute and urgent need to do open air performing and evangelism in Albania and Turkey next month!
One thing I know is that God’s calling for the body of Christ to reach the nations seems to be His direction for me – that is, reaching the lost through my talents as an artist. Adrian has been answering that calling since he graduated high school and he and I are so excited to be a part of what God is doing and is going to do with us… as a team.
The way I see it – how many people have the opportunity like we have to share the truth of God’s love as shown through Christ’s death and resurrection with so many people in such a memorable and powerful way? God has literally laid a priceless blessing in my lap. But we both are going to need a lot of help to take full advantage of the opportunities ahead.
Your Opportunity to Change Lives
I want to ask you to stand with me as one of our partners. More to the point, I want to give you the awesome opportunity to literally carry the Gospel with Adrian and me to Turkey and Albania. During Adrian’s last tour in Albania, he was able to share his faith on national television for over eleven millions Albanians!
In Turkey, we not only will be openly and boldly sharing Christ in the most un-reached country in the world (read abouth Adrian’s first tour here), since they knew Adrian was coming, they’ve invited him to teach and perform at a youth conference in Istanbul that is centered on how to mobilize young people to reach Turkey. There will be over 300 Turkish and other nationalities there to learn and plan on how they can make a difference in lives of people there.
Although Adrian has been working with FaithSearch since the late 1990’s and was also on staff with Cru for 9 years, this past Winter, Adrian joined full time with FaithSearch to share the gospel with evidence to all peoples everywhere. And as with most missions organizations, they do not have any central funds to pay their missionaries. Nor does the organization having us come to Albania and Turkey next month have the means to cover our transportation and in-country costs.
To insure we can cover the costs of our work in Albania and Turkey, we need $2,500 by September 1st. I know that seems way too soon and not very much. Fortunately, our church was able to sponsor us enough so that Adrian could book the international portion of our mission. The remaining funds we need will cover our country to country and in-country costs.
I am asking only my friends and family to make a commitment to support our mission through prayer and a financial gift. Please prayerfully consider contributing a $100… $250… or even $500 for this immediate project. Of course, any gift, no matter how small or how great, is a tremendous help!
I don’t know what God may be calling you to do, but I can promise you that whatever you choose to pledge – having seen the images and heard the accounts of Adrian’s previous three tours in Albania and Turkey – your gift will be used by God to introduce many many Muslims to His wonderful gift of salvation.
This will be the first mission I’ve ever ventured out on. I’m nervous, for sure. This is also going to be a crucial transformative time for Adrian and me as we seek God’s affirming direction for our future together. I can’t wait to share with you how it all unfolds!
Our need is urgent
I do apologize for the last minute nature of this request. Would you take a moment right now to pray and consider giving a gift, letting me know you’re standing with us? As you do, we’ll keep you informed of how your investment is changing lives via email.
I really appreciate you and want to thank you for your role in my life as well as standing with me on this mission. I am looking forward to hearing from you very soon.
Partnering With You for Christ,
Alyson Louise Degnan
God builds doors of His blessings
We just have to accept His grace and love
Taking that step through His open door
Trusting Him with all our heart
A little ABOUT Adrian Van Vactor
Adrian was nine years old when he saw his first live magic show. Little did Adrian know that Tucson, AZ, where he lived, was the home of one of the largest chapters of the Society of American Magicians. Through relationships Adrian developed as the youngest member of the local chapter, he quickly develop his skills. It was also through the club that Adrian met his first follower of Christ, who later led Adrian to the Lord.
Having a wealth of performers to learn from, whether at monthly meetings and performances, or at practice in Tucson, Adrian decided to begin competing on stage at national conferences around the country. His exposure earned him an invitation to headline as a teenage performer at the world famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, CA.
Then it was time to move on to the international competitions. In 1994, Adrian was selected by audition as one of ten performers from around the globe to come to Las Vegas and compete. This annual international conference is called the “World Magic Seminar” and hosts thousands of professional performers from around the world as well as some of the most renowned names in the performing art of illusion.
Adrian won FIRST PLACE at the event, being the fist young performer to win the Lance Burton Award. Later that same year, Adrian was selected by a board of professional peers to receive the Milbourne Christopher Award for “The Most Promising Young Magician of the Future.” Previous recipients of this prestigious award include David Copperfield, as well as Siegfried and Roy.
In his early 20s, Adrian learned a unique combination of performing the art of illusion and evangelism while touring with “The Andre Kole Magical Spectacular,” a ministry of Cru, where Adrian is currently on staff.
For over twenty years, Adrian has used his international award-winning show as a way to challenge the minds of skeptics and share God’s message of love through Jesus Christ in a relevant and entertaining way.
Adrian has received extensive training as a speaker and evangelist in addition to his many years of performing the art of illusion. A graduate from The Communication Center under Cru for evangelistic speaking is where Adrian received over 160 hours of specialized evangelism training in presentation, speech development, and Christian apologetics, enhancing Adrian’s skills and ability to be relevant and effective in a variety of platforms.
In addition to his Cru training, Adrian completed The Billy Graham School of Evangelism, a thorough addition to Adrian’s knowledge and skills in communicating the Gospel to today’s world.
Adrian has performed in over twenty-five countries on six continents, with thousands of evangelistic outreach and public speaking engagements, before hundreds of thousands of people in university campuses, churches, prisons, and youth groups. Adrian was invited to speak and perform for over 11,000 people at the World’s Fair in Hanover, Germany. Adrian has been humbled to present the Gospel and see tens of thousands of men, women, and children commit their lives to Christ.
When Adrian is not traversing the globe sharing Christ with the un-reached, he lives part time in the Southwest U.S., and part time in Minneapolis, partnering with FaithSearch International, where he continues to combine his expertise in the art of illusion with his public speaking and teaching skills to share the life-transforming grace and love of the Lord Jesus Christ in appealing and unforgettable ways for all audiences.