Wilsonville sons on worldwide mission

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 14, 2008

By SAMANTHA HURST / Staff Writer

WILSONVILLE – They make crazy faces and shoot water guns into crowds of students, but Rick and Mick Vigneulle are serious about their mission.

“Our philosophy is that if we can get a young person to laugh we can get them to listen,” Rick Vigneulle said. “We just tell them that we know that some of them might be laughing on the outside but hurting on the inside.”

The two brothers began their ministry 25 years ago this August. It all started with a ministry-based performance group they worked with at Liberty University. They started to see that many of the teens and kids they performed for responded really well to their personalities and then out of nowhere a friend said he wanted to get them booked for six school events they would do themselves. The only hitch — the program couldn’t have anything to do with God or religion.

“We didn’t have any material like that,” Vigneulle said. “But in a lot of the places we go there is more of a desperate need for motivation. Many, especially the reservation schools in places like South Dakota and Alaska, tell us their kids have a need for laughter.”

Laughter is what the Vigneulle’s have provided to schools in all 50 states and 14 other countries. The two ask the kids to take an “Attitude Check,” the name of their school program. By doing this the kids take an inward look at themselves and examine how they feel about things like suicide, school shootings, teen pregnancy and drugs.

“We have a passion for what we do,” Vigneulle said. “If we can help change some of these kids and turn them around, what better way to live your life?”

Away from the schools, the ministry also provides Christ-centered messages at churches in the places they visit. Rick said the students don’t always show up for the second event, but sometimes they do and that can lead to a new walk with Christ. According to their Web site, the ministry has helped more than 15,000 students and adults make decisions to give their life to Christ in just the last two years.

The ministry is booked through the next year, but to learn more about the Vignuelles and their ministry, visit http://www.rickandmick.com