The preparation meeting at Western Way Chapel was a good time of training and fellowship before the Three Counties Show 2014. 16 volunteers turned up at the Show on the Wednesday to help with preparations and a good number again on Thursday, helping set up tables, chairs, an attractive water feature, a children’s corner and several displays including a Christian bookstall supplied by the Good News Bookshop in Newent.
Friday saw the start of the the Three Counties Show under a clear blue and sunny sky, it took a while for the public to turn up but soon the the tent was humming to conversations around the tables as the free tea, coffee and biscuits were consumed.
The free literature was readily accepted by a wide range of people, the most popular being a replica St John’s Gospel from World War 1. This struck a chord with the older population who told stories of their grandparents being gassed, shot and wounded in that dreadful conflict. Many soldiers would have carried this little comforting booklet in their pockets when they went into battle and the grandchildren, now grandparents themselves were grateful for the gift of the Gospel.
A group of young men from the army display team behind our tent came in regularly for drinks and they too related to the Gospel of Saint John given to troops in the First World War, as they could find themselves in war zones and several took a copy away to read later.
The bookstall was busy and several people were attracted by the titles of the books and shared with me how they might help them. One lady, Ruth purchased a Hannah Dunnett painting which was based on Psalm 139, the opening verse “Oh Lord you have searched me and you know me” along with others were attractively woven into the picture.
She shared her Christian story with me explaining that 8 years ago she was helping a Christian teacher friend prepare some Easter material for her class at school, this led to a discussion on life, death, heaven and hell and, as a result she accepted an invitation to Bethesda church in Hay on Wye. The Pastor preached on this verse which challenged and convicted her and this soon led to her conversion and a commitment to serve and follow Jesus. She said the Psalm now brings her great comfort and helped turn her life around. She now lives just outside Hay and runs a successful honey business, not only is it a good natural food but she attaches verses of scripture to the jars to help other people think about the Christian faith!
This and many other encounters had by the team, as they talked to people over coffee were shared at the prayer time the team held at the beginning and end of each day. These prayer times would often end in praise to our God for his goodness to us all and for the privilege we had being at the Three Counties Christian Witness tent last weekend.
(Vic Newman June 2014)
(Vic Newman June 2014)