Lydia Christensen Prince
Lydia Christensen Prince (1890-1975) was born in North Jutland, at the northern tip of Denmark, the youngest of four sisters in an affluent family. Her father was a successful builder who played an important role in developing their home town of Bronderslev. Lydia became a teacher in the state school system of Denmark and was a pioneer in the field of home economics.
By 1925, she had obtained a post as director of home economics in a large new school in the town of Korsor. While seeking more meaning for her life, she started reading the Bible and received a vision of Jesus Christ that led to her salvation and baptism in the Holy Spirit. After months of earnest prayer and waiting upon God, she became convinced that God was asking her to give up her position as a teacher and go to Jerusalem in the tumultuous days before Israel became a nation.
In October 1928, at the age of thirty-eight, she set out for Jerusalem with about $200 in traveler's checks, no mission or church to support her, and no idea of what she was to do when she arrived.
She soon established herself there, learned Arabic, and founded a children's home, becoming the cherished "mother" to dozens of Jewish and Arab orphans, mainly girls, eight of whom became her own children. She also began ministering the gospel to Arab women and later to the British soldiers who visited Jerusalem during their furloughs in World War II.
In the mid-1940s, she met and married Derek Prince, a philosophy and language scholar, who was serving in the British army and was stationed in Jerusalem. They ministered there together until the birth of the State of Israel in 1948 when they moved to England with their eight girls. The Princes served congregations, taught, and ministered while living in England, Africa (where they adopted their ninth daughter), Canada, and the United States.
After settling in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, they began traveling internationally as Derek preached and taught the Bible in many nations of the world. Throughout these years, Lydia took care of their family, worked tirelessly and faithfully alongside Derek in their ministry, and even returned to her home economics roots when they were in Africa, teaching home economics to the African women students.
Following a stroke and a two-year illness, Lydia Christensen Prince died in October 1975. Her passing was deeply mourned by her family and thousands of people worldwide from a wide variety of backgrounds whose lives she had touched in her nearly fifty years of enthusiastic, energetic, and compassionate ministry.
Brigitte Manuceau is a delightful, kind hearted individual with unparalleled sensitivity to the world around her, particularly when it comes to children. Brigitte worked as an actress and singer for many years, touring internationally, performing in cabarets and theatres until finally settling in Paris, France where her life took a major turn.
One day Brigitte received a copy of a book on the life story of Lydia Christensen Prince, entitled Rendezvous A Jerusalem, which she read and then set aside for a time. One night she awoke from a deep sleep and instantly wrote several songs which eventually grew to 35 songs, a major feat considering she had never written a song before. The songs were truly inspirational and upon review the songs paralleled the life story of Lydia Christensen Prince.
One day, out of the blue, while working at her day job selling Baccarat Crystal, Brigitte was approached by a Canadian gentleman with a broken glass goblet, hoping to have it replaced. Through the course of their discussion, Brigitte asked the gentleman what he did for a living and found out he was a producer. Talk about divine intervention! She wasted no time, telling him about her performing career and even broke out into song. The gentleman advised her to get a recording together and he would audition it.
On another visit to Paris, the Canadian producer dropped by to see the status of the shattered goblet and Brigitte presented him with a audio recording along with French lyrics and a copy of the book Rendezvous à Jerusalem. The gentleman took the material and listened to the music, but had no idea what to do with it until he read Lydia's book. The end result is the animated fairy tale entitled “The Story of Lydia”.
In addition to writing songs, Brigitte spends much of her time performing the songs from "The Story of Lydia" as a musical play for schools, church groups and at major rallies, including the March for Jesus which was held in Paris on June 2nd and attended by over 30,000 people.
“The Story of Lydia” was produced, directed and written by Steve Thomson, President of Backstage Productions International - a Canadian company with offices in Toronto, Paris and New York. Thomson is very passionate about his work, particularly this story, and notes that “this is a God inspired creation”.
He is certain that God guided him in respect to the making of the film and directed him to touch the hearts and minds of the children because “children are our future”. So impressed by the historical facts and Lydia’s own recounting of her life in her biography, Rendezvous à Jerusalem, and the beautiful and well written songs of Brigitte Manuceau that Thomson immersed himself in the project and worked tirelessly developing and producing the animated short film entitled, “The Story of Lydia”.
Producing the music, adapting the story, and finally putting the whole package together in English, French, Hebrew and Arabic versions has been a labor of love not only for Thomson, but also for everyone else who has worked on this project. “It is indeed a wonderful story set to delight the young and the young at heart” says Thomson.