Howard County Fair

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State or county fairgrounds may bring memories of 4H Kids with their animals hoping for prize-winning ribbons. Or memories may include amusement rides, funnel cakes, the biggest homegrown vegetables, beautiful hand-made quilts, exquisite artwork whether in oils, pastels, photography, clothing, or wood carving. 

For Triadelphia church members, the Howard County Fair at West Friendship, Maryland, meant an opportunity for sharing God’s love with many of the expected 100,000 people attending the Fair. Thirty four of us “manned” that booth for the week, August 2-9. 

The booth included a partnership with HOPE Channel promoting the David Asscherick 12-episode series, “God?” We distributed more than 500 free DVDs of the episode, “Why Do Children Suffer?” 

More than 100 fair-goers chose to “Test Your Bible Knowledge” on an eight-question quiz, including: What Happens When You Die, Which Day of the Week is for Worship, and How will Christ’s Followers Get to Heaven. “The Bible Quiz is an entry point for spiritual conversation,” says David Park, one of our young members who did an exceptional job of encouraging folks and showing them the Bible texts when their answers were incorrect. Many times conversations lasted 20-40 minutes. We gave the Answer Key to all Quiz takers, along with appropriate Glow tracts and little booklets by Pastors Batchelor, Bradshaw, or Crews, for further study at home.

Many more fair-goers were happy to take our fans with a message of God’s Love and an invitation to visit our church for group Bible study on Saturdays. And ALL the children were happy to receive a little baggy of toys that were actually left-overs from our Fall Festivals and past VBSs. “Successful Parenting” by Nancy Van Pelt was probably our most popular piece of literature. But we were able to give away other tracts, booklets and magazines on Bible topics and healthful living. 

Many interesting discussions occurred during the week as well as prayers with fair-goers. Ken Comstock found that sometimes a playful manner worked well. “One lady posed with me for a photo. I told her she was so nice, I was going to baptize her then and there, although I’d never done it before, but wanted to practice on her! Another couple’s young son, about five years, was attracted to the picture on a booklet about improving marriage. I teased his parents that he was a little young to be thinking about marriage but at least he had the right idea. They ended up leaving with more literature, including the one on marriage.”  

“Being instant in prayer is probably my best thought to share,” said Tony Williams. He then related his 40-minute conversation with a woman who felt the movie Noah was not accurate and began asking questions. Tony was “instantly in prayer” as God led them from the Biblical story on Noah to the Bible Quiz and to the Second Coming. She thought Christians no longer believe in it, but Tony pointed out that our very name incorporates that belief. “Clearly the Holy Spirit led in this conversation,” said Tony. “I had no idea how we’d ever move from Noah. Be encouraged.”  

Probably the most exciting time for me was when Debbie, a woman I had visited with as we stood in front of our booth, showed up at Triadelphia the next day, August 9, early enough to be welcomed into a Sabbath School class and she stayed long enough to be included in a picnic after church with some of the members. Debbie has quite an interesting story and I hope the Lord will lead her to come back soon. 

There are many other stories of the Spirit’s leading in conversations – we could fill this website! But our parting thought is:

Who knows but God what lasting impact we had this year at the Howard County Fair!