If I had a dollar for every weird look, awkward pause on the phone and email that went unanswered regarding my particular brand of ministry I think I would at least be able to buy a new snake... I absolutely love what I do. Somehow God has allowed me to combine my two passions into a job that really doesn't seem like a job at all. I get to do what I love, how many people can honestly say that? God is growing this ministry exponentially all of the time and I get to experience more and more things that I otherwise wouldn't get to experience. The draw back is that most people don't share my love for ALL of God's creation. I get asked to leave on occasion due to my scaly ministry partners, people often gasp or run out of the building when I pull out Rosie the rather large red tailed boa constrictor.
I see the faces of parents grimace when I talk about the hognose snake's toxic saliva and cane toad's poison glands (both of which are harmless to us!) but the best part of what I do involves the joy on the faces of children when fear is replaced with wonder. And in the end even the most squeamish of spectators is at least intrigued.
You see I firmly believe that God created everything inherently good in the beginning. Sometimes it may take a moment for us to realize the goodness of say venomous snakes (which I do NOT use in presentations!), but God is good and so is his creation.
The curse of sin obviously changed the nature of everything that God created BUT the hope is that we can still see the good in everything and give God the glory for it. My job is one part evangelist and one part conservationist. God has entrusted us with some pretty awesome natural resources and I think he takes pleasure in our responsible stewardship of said resources. At a very basic level if I can illustrate the unconditional love of our heavenly Father and explain the effects of sin, separation caused by the curse and redemption in Jesus Christ and that snakes (and other creepy creations) aren't evil; then I have done my job. My heart is to teach you, your child and anyone else that God not only loves you but he has a plan for your life and wants you to be made into a new creation.
Jesus desires a relationship with you and it all started in that garden both before and after the temptation that came in the serpentine form. After saying all of that I sincerely hope you will consider having me at your church, public or private school, vbs, summer camp, youth group, family service or really anywhere that has a captive audience and wouldn't mind my animal ambassadors. Thanks for your prayers and support from the bottom of my heart!