As God’s people the Lord has given us a clear command in Mark 16 v 15 ‘..Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel..’ In his address to the disciples, Jesus is clear that their role was to ‘go out’ and reach, rather than ‘stay in’ and invite. Christ was acutely aware of how blind man was to the truth of the gospel and therefore understood their stubborn hearts. He knew that the practical outworking of faith by engaging with the unrighteous in their everyday lives would yield much fruit and cause many to turn from their sin and follow him. Consider the women at the well or the way in which Christ called the disciples themselves.
And so, just this month, Hope for Youth Ministries had the fantastic opportunity to take up a stand at the Balmoral Show, which is held at the Kings Hall, Belfast every year. The event was attended by over 70,000 people over the 3 days and was a great platform on which to present the good news of God’s Salvation. The event attracts people from all walks of life, ranging from families to farmers, food manufacturers to photographers, and business professionals to equestrian enthusiasts. The needs of these people are as varied as their professions or aspirations, however they all have one thing in common – the need to hear of how God loved them enough to sacrifice His only Son, so they could know forgiveness from their sin.
The outreach consisted of 3 elements. 1). Book and literature stand located inside one of the main exhibitor halls. 2). Short Bible quiz/questionnaire 3). Tract distribution on the main thorough fairs and entrances. During the 3 days, the 23 strong team, distributed over 15,000 tracts (both children and adult). It was so encouraging to see how the tracts were widely accepted by all, with only a few refusals. Many people stopped to look at the book stall with the ‘Daily Devotional for children and early teens’ being the most popular purchase. The short Bible quiz/questionnaire was a great way to engage with both young and old as they passed by. In the form of a light hearted memory test, visitors were tasked with answering simple questions about a verse of scripture or even recalling famous verses from the Bible, such as John 3:16. It was such a delight to read Gods Word to those who volunteered, especially to those who never or rarely had come in contact with the scriptures.
Perhaps what encouraged us the most, was the reaction of both other believers and the exhibitors around us. It was clear from our conversations that people were glad to see a little corner of ‘truth and light’ amidst all the pressure of commerce and business. It is our prayer that God will use the simple fact that His people were not ashamed to proclaim the glorious truth of his word even amongst all the hustle and bustle of such an event.
We are careful to give all the glory to God and pray His still small voice will speak on in the hearts of those we came in contact with.
Perhaps you are a Christian, but feel you might not be able to witness to others in this way. Consider what the Lord says to us through His word in Isaiah 40 v 29 – 31 – He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
We encourage you to live boldly for God and walk in the confidence that He has gone before you and has already prepared the way. He alone will guide and offer strength which will enable you to take your stand for Him.