The Holi Magazine
Report from 2016
There is only one place I can start the letter and that is with thankfulness.
Firstly, I need to thank God for his goodness towards us. As is always true, we gained so much more than we gave in the work. We experienced God’s love and we learned so much as we depended on him and read His word during the mission.
Thanks also to all of you who sent messages of support during the week – it was such an encouragement to receive a word or a verse at regular intervals.
Thanks also to the large number of people who prayed for us – nothing is done without God, and prayer is a vital part of this. Lastly thanks to all who supported us financially, by encouraging people to join the team or in any other way.
So what about the week…
It was great to have a team of people this year – we had at least seven members every day and 18 altogether. The team worked well as we supported, prayed and helped each other. My work as the leader was very easy as everybody gave their best and were so hard working. It was also great to see team members develop during the week as they developed confidence and learned to communicate the gospel effectively. I hope this will have a positive effect on our future witness as Christians.
The tent and the work
It was great to hear people saying how good the tent looked (thanks to some of the Capel y Ffynnon members for their help). The plan was to make the tent look and feel as welcoming as possible. We were also clear that the tent should not be an EMW tent, but a tent to make people think about the important things of life – that is why we had so many visitors that did not profess the evangelical faith. Our aim was to make it very clear why we were there – not trying to pull people in with events, illustrations or gimmicks. We wanted to talk about important things with people.
The work was simple – we started each day by reading the Bible, praying and then we spent the day talking to people. We used questionnaires that centred on three questions – Why am I here? What’s wrong with the world? What happens when I die? We also offered coffee, comfy chairs and a place to relax. We share 1000 magazines, again, designed to make people think and to show how God had a relevant message. We also used a simple tract and gave some resources free of charge to people who needed them (Books and Bibles).
I must start by reporting that people were mostly very positive towards us. Some even came and thanked us for being at the Eisteddfod and producing the magazine that made people think about the important things of life. This kind of response rarely happens, and I’m aware that it’s not something that we should be looking for (the gospel can often be a stumbling block). However, the positive response showed that people felt comfortable with us, and therefore were willing to listen to our message – we were not a stumbling block.
Generally, most people talked and shared with us freely. The major problems that we are seeing in the world today are making people think and ask questions. We were also able to go deeper than last year with people as the questions framed the conversation and made people think about things.
The contacts ranged from a few minutes of answering a questionnaire to spending hours talking and discussing things – some people came back to see us many times. We met many people who had not really thought about life and our work with these people was to make them think about things. We did this by asking questions allowing them to develop their own thinking. We also met people who did think about things – these people were generally younger and did not follow an organised religion. These people listened to the gospel and they wanted to believe in things – but faith was often a problem to them.
We also met a number of individuals who we felt that God was working in their lives. We felt that we could really help these people and I hope that the work we did with these people will be of eternal significance.
Please pray for:
Everybody who received a magazine or had a conversation with us during the week. It was very evident this year that we raised questions in people’s minds and communicated the gospel to many showing them their need for forgiveness and Christ – but it is only God who can save. This is the challenge we face to keep praying, and also the comfort to us as a team to leave everything with God. Please pray for the hundreds of people who we had contact with.
Especially for those who showed an interest in spiritual things. Many people showed signs of God’s work and we put them in contact with a Christian or church back home – pray that these people would flourish. Many people received gospels or books – pray that God would finish the work he has started in their lives. As this is a public prayer letter I’m not including any names or stores of individuals here – but if you want more fuel for prayer, get in touch with me.
Developments that we hope will be happening over the next few weeks. I am going to try and answer a question every week for a year on our website – I need wisdom to do this is a way that is both sensitive and clear. We are also considering producing another magazine (bilingually this time).
Pictures from 2016
Click on images to expand