A Vision Beyond 2020

As you may have already surmised 2020 represents the very first Easter season in 35 years that a physical presentation of the passion play, “He’s Alive” did not take place. Due to the global pandemic we know as the Coronavirus or COVID-19 all of our PPMI ministry teams around the world were forced to cancel presentations just weeks before taking the stage. 

give online

In mid March we began receiving calls. First from Denver, CO then from our teams in India, and South Africa; Mexico, Central America and the Middle East. With each new call ministry leaders expressed the same heartfelt agony that they were forced to cancel their scheduled presentations and dismiss local ministry teams for the remainder of the 2020 Easter season. Even our plans for the expansion of the ministry to the Philippines had to temporarily be put on hold.

Until this spring we had never once considered a scenario where every one of our international ministry teams operating autonomously could simultaneously be sidelined.  Needless to say we hadn’t developed a contingency plan to deal with such a situation. As the Coronavirus spread across the globe like a wildfire, with only days remaining ahead of Palm Sunday, it appeared we might not have even a single opportunity to present the gospel … then by God’s amazing grace we discovered a new and exciting way forward. 

On Good Friday 2020, we hosted a special online presentation of the Passion Play featuring five PPMI host communities. Recent video presentations of “He’s Alive” from Barquisimeto, Venezuela, Denver, Colorado, Cape Town, South Africa, Tegucigalpa, Honduras and Farmington, New Mexico were seamlessly blended together to become one powerful representation of the cross and the empty tomb. 

It was an amazing illustration of all that the Lord has accomplished through the work of this ministry over the past three and a half decades. It was the essence of the prayer Jesus prayed in John 17:21 That they all may be one… that the world may believe. 

In the weeks following Easter, friends and ministry partners from around the world have contacted us repeatedly. All of them encouraged to witness the ministry moving on through difficult times but inquiring what the future might hold for the ministry of the Passion Play.  Though the query comes in many different forms all have basically asked the same question, “Does PPMI have a vision that takes the ministry beyond 2020?”

Guys, we’ve never been more excited about our vision and the opportunities to reach the lost in our generation. At the moment we’re obviously not in a position to rehearse with a cast, take the stage or host an audience but behind the scenes we’re producing the tools that will allow us to facilitate on line training for the next generation of ministers. PPMI’s Production Handbook is about to meet YouTube.   

In 1st Corinthians 1:18 the Apostle Paul said this, For the preaching of the cross is to those who perish foolishness but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 

Will you join us?

Please tune in to the Passion Radio Network 

July 28th and 29th, for

“A Vision Beyond 2020”

Two powerful days of broadcasting on the Passion Radio Network where we will:

  • Celebrate God’s faithfulness through 35 years of ministry
  • Communicate the exciting new opportunities that lie ahead
  • Anticipate God’s provision for a new generation of ministers

We need your help to equip the next generation of ministers with this powerful ministry tool we’ve discovered in the presentation of the Passion Play. Will you partner with us? 

If you live in the Four Corners area we invite you to listen live to this event by tuning in at 95.7 FM on your radio. If you’d like to listen anywhere else in the world you can log via your cell phone, tablet or computer by visiting our website www.passionradio.org and clicking on the listen link at the top of our home page.

Thank you in advance for your prayerful support of this ministry

Stan Burgett
Executive Director
Passion Play Ministries International

 Interviews

A Vision Beyond 2020 Interviews

As heard on Passion Radio2020














































































He’s Alive! 2020

Long before we all became armchair virologists and the words “social distancing” became a topic of conversation, groups of people around the world were preparing to share the story of the cross and the empty tomb with their neighbors in time for Easter.

This pandemic has drastically changed or canceled plans for all of us. As we approached Holy Week, unable to take the stage for the first time since 1985, we wanted to do something to share the hope that we have found time and again as we have come together to share this story. 

In each of our host cities we perform the same play. This presentation contains footage from five cities on three continents: Barquisimeto, Venezuela; Cape Town, South Africa; Denver, Colorado; Four Corners, New Mexico; and Tegucigalpa, Honduras. It doesn’t matter if we are six feet or six thousand miles apart, the language may change but the heart and the message stay the same.

Our hope does not come from governments or talking heads. It does not come from social media or in a bottle of hand sanitizer. Unlike the ever evolving response to this crisis, the source of our hope doesn’t change, because our hope is found in Jesus. 

At this moment, we are living in a world in search of hope. Lives have been lost, jobs have gone away, businesses have been shuttered. At the end of scene eleven, Peter has a line that says “I just wish things could be the way they used to be.” God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Just like the scene that follows Peter’s somber line, brighter days are ahead.

Share this story with a friend who could use some good news and hope this week. 

On behalf of our cast and crew members the world over, Happy Easter.

Minya, Egypt


Last year during Holy Week, we were pleased to have with us a friend from out of town. Way out of town in fact: Minya, Egypt!

Victor Habib was making the rounds between our Denver and Four Corners presentations to take a closer look behind the scenes so he could help train the team in his hometown. While he was visiting the states he signed the agreement to produce, and his team will be staging their first presentation in Arabic in September of 2019.

Please keep Victor and the entire team in your prayers.

In the midst of all of the opposition, there is a great opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Christ in the Arabic speaking world.

The Passion Play of Las Cruces

This time of year, you may hear about Las Cruces, New Mexico because the NMSU Aggies are putting on a strong showing for March Madness. This year, however, there is something else going on in Las Cruces to be on the lookout for.

April 8th – 12th at the Dream Center the Passion Play of Las Cruces team will take to the stage for their inaugural presentations. It marks our first new domestic presentation for the ministry in five years.

They are planting a vision in the community for what we believe will be exciting growth over the next several years.

¡Hola Venezuela!

March 23rd and 24th 2018, the Passion Play of Barquisimeto, Venezuela will host their premier presentations of “He’s Alive!”  This effort represents PPMI’s first opportunity to partner with the body of Christ in South America. It comes at a time when the country of Venezuela is experiencing extreme political, social, and economic turmoil. Their national elections are scheduled to take place in the month of April. A dark cloud of uncertainty hangs over their future.   

Their presentations will be Friday March 23rd at 2pm, and Saturday March 24th 10am and 2pm.

The location for their presentations will be the Teatro Juarez Calle 25, Barquisimeto 3001, Lara, Venezuela.

The Venezuelan state orchestra has confirmed its plan to accompany the 150 actors in their presentation. Please keep this team in your prayers as they make their final preparations.

Recent news paints a grim picture of current conditions across the country. Reports indicate the average Venezuelan has lost 24 pounds in the past year due to starvation. Around 90% of the population is living in poverty.

Several sponsors have come forward to help make this presentation a reality. We still have several outstanding needs totaling $3,275.00, including: food and water for the cast and crew, lighting, utilities, and security. Please prayerfully consider partnering with this team financially as they take the stage to present the good news of Jesus Christ. We believe the hope for all of Venezuela’s tomorrows is still wrapped up in the powerful message of the cross and the empty tomb. It’s still the greatest message of hope the world has ever known….

He’s Alive!

You can follow along with the team on Instagram.

Imagine Yourself Stepping into this Story

 

For more than twenty years Focus on the Family has produced a beloved radio series known as “Adventures in Odyssey” I remember picking up our son, Tyler from school, listening to the program and holding the steering wheel just a little tighter as the kids in the program found
themselves in precarious situations. Often the programs drama was built around the characters journeying back in time through a George Avery
Whitaker invention known as the imagination station. It was amazing how involved I became in listening to this program on a daily basis.

Such is the case with our cast and crew for the Passion Play on an annual basis. Becoming a part of the cast allows us to live out the story
that is at the very center of our faith. When you look closely at the photographs on this site I believe it’s important to point out that
very few of the individuals who take part in this presentation come to us with an extensive background in acting. As a matter of fact all of
the actors who take part in this ministry annually are volunteers.

The expressions on each face are not manufactured they are the result of coming closer to the story than they’ve ever been before. Imagine yourself sitting at the last supper table with Jesus as he begins to break the bread or standing so close to the cross you can actually touch it. Imagine being there as Jesus makes his way into Jerusalem or finding the stone rolled away from His tomb and coming face to face with your risen savior.

These are the kinds of experiences we have witnessed now for more than 28 years and the opportunities to get involved continue to expand. It doesn’t matter what your gifts and talents might be, we have room for you in this ministry. On the stage, behind the scenes, in front of a keyboard or sitting next to the Cello we invite you to become part of a ministry that’s making a lasting impact in the lives of thousands annually.

Perhaps you’re interested in bringing the ministry of the Passion Play to your community. Who is more qualified to get the process started than you? If you share our vision for building up the body of Christ and reaching the lost with the greatest message of hope the world has ever know you can get started today by checking out the rest of our website.

The Shiloh Connection

The Picture on the Wall

It had been quite the 48 hours. After a mixup with the airlines had nearly stranded two of our traveling companions, and a hop across the pond, seeing the front door of our friend’s house in Melkbosstrand, South Africa was quite a relief.

The house is a split level. The family lives upstairs, and the first floor is an apartment with some spare rooms for guests. As we stepped through the front door I couldn’t help but notice a familiar picture. Printed out on an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper, taped to the wall, it was a photo looking out of the window of a building with corrugated metal walls. Outside of the window there was a large yellow and blue tent, the kind that you buy fireworks from, and there was a sign on the side that said “WITH GOD NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE”.

To those that live in the Wallacedene township, that was no fireworks tent, it was a church, and a place where three times a week their children could come receive a meal. The window that the photographer had been peering out of was the freshly built Shiloh Christian Outreach Center.

Ten days before that photo was taken 32 cast and crew members had made the trip to to South Africa to help them stage their first presentation of the passion play, He’s Alive! They had been to Wallacedene to help with the feeding program and had learned about the tent. Long story short, it was in bad shape, and if they lost the tent, they would loose the ground that the church met on, and in turn they would loose the ability to serve their community.

People that traveled to help put on a play joined hands with locals and quickly became a construction crew. Money that had been brought for souvenirs was pooled and turned into money for wooden planks, nails, hammers, trusses, metal siding and windows. With some more help from back home we were able to purchase all of the materials to put the building up. This was not going to be the crystal cathedral by any means, but it would be a more permanent home for the church and their feeding program.

Not long after the posts were planted in the ground and the first truss was going up, a large gust of wind tore the tent from top to bottom, we all knew that God had placed us right where he wanted us to be.

Knowing that Garry had been on that trip, I was looking forward to catching up with him and reminiscing about that great trip. As I laid my jet lagged head on the pillow I was thinking about that picture, but it wouldn’t be until a surprise later in the week that I would get a chance to ask him about it.

The Business Card

We had some very productive meetings, not to mention that my girlfriend had agreed to marry me, so by all accounts it had been a great week. It was our last night in South Africa, and we were sitting down enjoying a meal with our gracious hosts.

The evening was winding down, people were splitting off in to little groups carrying on conversations and laughing. I stood up and walked by a high top table, and noticed a business card sitting on the corner.

SHILOH Synergy

It must be a popular name locally, I thought, but I was curious, so I asked our host Kevin about the card.

Kevin is a businessman who helps create legal documents and contracts for corporations. He was helping Shiloh with a license for their school and feeding program so that it could be transferred to other townships and communities.

After a few “do you know so and so” type of questions we were all amazed that independently of one another we all had a connection to Shiloh. That small church we had helped back in 1998 had grown up and was reaching well outside of its walls.

With God, nothing is impossible. Actors can become construction workers, a church on its last leg can find new life, and that new life can spread much farther than we can see, or would even dream of.

What will you build today? How far will it go?