Shows & Markets 2007
Post date: Sep 28, 2008 9:1:49 PM
Eric & Daphne Bouch (Keswick Market)
It always amazes us how people can stop by the stall at Keswick and God has prepared their hearts for what they are about to hear, possibly for the first time. Keswick on the whole seems to get busier and the use of the stall is no exception. For Saturdays in August there has been someone visiting the stall most of the time with crowds gathering at times. It is wonderful.
During the school holidays there are many families in Keswick, looking around the Market and the children are just drawn to the "guessing Box". One week we thought we would experiment without the box because we thought the items inside were a bit ragged and not very appealing when the children dragged them out. Very few children seemed to visit the stall, so we bought one or more two items that would relate to bible stories and the children once again flocked to the box.
When the Lord Jesus, in the synagogue, read the words from the prophet Isaish, He spoke of the work that He had to do: "...to preach the gospel to the poor, to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives to give sight to the blind and to free those who are oppressed". Indeed - on the stall we can see how the Lord is bringing people, in their need, to the foot of the Cross. Please pray with us, that many of these souls may be blessed and freed from the shackles of sin.
These are just a few of those who were spoken to and need our prayers:
A man, possible about forty, who came right inside the covered stall, stopped in front of the display of Bibles and said: "I want the truth". He was told that the Truth would set him free and that Jesus said: "I am the Way the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father but by me". Jesus could set him free! We went on to explain how his sins cold be forgiven and that one day he would have a home in heaven. He said: "Is that the Truth", and when we said that it certainly was, according to the Bible, he wanted a Bible. Please pray that this man may see the truth, which is only found in the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
A little girl about nine or ten with her father. They were camping in a small tent and it was pouring down for most of the weekend. Her mother had died just six months previously and they were both hurting. They were Christians but just needed a listening ear and a word of comfort: we had one or two little booklets that we could give them. She said: "Daddy said that I was a godsend and one day we will meet Mummy again". Real situations but such tearjerkers. They stayed some time and they were thrilled with the stall.
A young boy spied the guessing box as he was walking down the street with his father. He wanted a go but his father said "No". They then stopped at the next stall and he again asked if he could come and have a go, so his dad agreed. We explained how he had to guess the article and then see if he knew a bible story that related to that item. He said that he didn't know any bible stories and by this time his dad joined him. "I really really need to know these bible stories and I really really need a bible", he said. We asked his dad if it was okay if we gave him one of our free ones. That was fine with him. The bible just happened to have a combat cover that matched the shirt that he was wearing -- his eyes nearly popped out of his head. He said:, "I promise, I promise, I promise that I will read it every day and learn all these bible stories", and that was even before we had said a word, such was his excitement. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal the truth to him as he reads the Words of Life.
A Belgian family who spoke limited English, were attracted to the guessing box as they walked by. The two teenage girls couldn't fully understand the instructions of how it worked, so their mother was doing the interpreting. The girls then became less interested but the mother was greatly interested and wanted to know more. They accepted bibles, albeit in English, and we said that they would read the Words of Life and that it would also help them with their English. The mother asked many questions and was really keen to know the truth; she had never heard all this before. So many different situations, so many that need the Saviour's love, please pray for the work on the Markets, that it will be used more and more for the furtherance of the Kingdom.
David Filby (Kirkby Stephen Classic Commercial Vehicle Rally)
We were welcomed to the Kirkby Stephen Classic Commercial Vehicle Rally in the early morning and given a position for the Unit near to the entrance to the Cattle Market (only one of many locations used in Kirkby & Brough). This proved to be rather narrow, particularly when the canopy was fully open, and vintage coaches, buses and lorries were going in and out. This was taken up with the Steward who offered a vacant space between a well visited memorabilia stand and a large stand selling scale models, also a good attraction for visitors.
The lady owner of the memorabilia stand to the right of us said her daughter was training to be a Lay Preacher and so she was quite willing to listen to our reasons for being at the rally (hearing The Gospel) and accepted literature to read for herself.
One man who visits each year with his classic camper van paid us a compliment on the quality of the Unit and 'praised God that at last there was an evangelical presence at the Rally'.
A Liverpool City Mission worker came up to encourage us, as did several other Christian families.
A number of local folk that our Fellowship had contacted and befriended were engaged in useful conversations.
The Unit was open all day Saturday and Sunday and whilst there was never a crowd gathered or vast quantities of literature given away there were one or two Bibles accepted, and David, Jim and ]ohn, with others felt this was an event worth attending because several conversations with other stall holders suggested the event is growing and particularly at the Cattle Market location.
We have made our mark - we have been invited to attend next year (DV) and the Lord will honour these first steps taken in His name.
Robert & Moira McGibbon (Keswick Market, Gosforth Show)
At its busiest, the market in Keswick is such a mixture of people. There are holidaymakers for a week or a day or two, there are day trippers from Newcastle, Liverpool or even Clasgovy all together with some local people and the other stall holders, many of whom we now count as friends. A few people often make time to stop for a chat and accept literature from the stall.
Each time we set up stall in the grey light at 8.00am, we think and pray over who will come to the stall. We pray too that we might be ready to be guided to help people find just the right leaflet and speak boldly for our Saviour. Our thoughts go to the youngsters who will be engaged with the guessing box, who need the gospel of our Lord explained carefully and simply. There are always so many needy people. Humanly our hearts go out to so many who are bereaved, deserted and those stressed by events in their lives. Listening can be only for a few minutes, so we are glad to pass on Bible study notes or even a 'daily strength' booklet.
Christian brothers and sisters who stop encourage us and join in the witness.
Each time it's our turn to be on the stall, we come back with specific people to pray for. In November 'O7 when it was pouring with rain (i.e. very few customers), one fairly young man stopped and talked for an hour or more. He said he had just moved into the area and had been to a church in Keswick the week before. He promised to come back after he had been for something to eat, so we waited and waited with the tracts he'd selected in a bag but he didn't come. Perhaps someone else will get the opportunity to speak again on the stall or someone in a local church. He is like so many who are known to the Lord, who we cannot name but the Lord can use our witness and that of others to bring them to salvation.
We remember a grandma who wanted to give her newly saved granddaughter some good Bible Teaching for young people. It was a privilege to send some children's materials from Emmaus Bible School. Then there was a mother who was concerned that her son might not read the booklets that went with the seed-sower pack. We were able to reassure her that even if he left them on the train on the way home, who knows who would pick them up for a read.
Gosforth Show gave similar opportunities. This year Raymond Atkinson and I had to be towed on through the mud but it was much easier coming off after the sun came out and dried the people and the field out! (It reminded me of the outing to Lowick Green in August 'O6 where we needed to be towed off by lunchtime). Once again contacts were made. A long conversation was held with a teacher and Learning Support assistant from a Roman Catholic School in Liverpool who were very happy to take away literature. A family from New Zealand came to look at the Cumbrian sheep but spent quite some time talking and trying out the quiz clock and the guessing box and took literature back with them.
It does not take much skill to speak with people. It is an occupation we all enjoy! In the Lord's Army there is a place for foot-soldiers to do the regular routine jobs to make the Saviour known.
Syd Nixon (Penrith Market)
It was good to turn up at the Market each Tuesday May to September during 2007. Although a small market, it is one where you quickly get to know the dozen or so market stall holders and can engage them in conversation. A good icebreaker (forgive the pun), and not just in May was to mention the 'greenhouse effect' or 'global warming'. This easily led on to the One who holds all things in His hands.
We were allocated a good stand for three Tuesdays in the month, but the fourth, being the Farmers Market, we had to go into one of the less frequented side streets, this usually meant finishing soon. We had quite a good number of conversations and were able to distribute many tracts, CDs and booklets. The guessing box as always proved to be a popular attraction at lunch times.
Normally a number of trip buses arrive during the day with the visitors streaming past the stall. This year it did not happen, possibly due to the weather.
It was enjoyable to accompany David Locke, Bill Fallon and some of the brethren from Kirkby Stephen during my time on the unit.
We are now preparing for 2008. If you are in the area at all, call and make yourself known, maybe you can help out for a time, it is always good to have fellowship in this way.