Every year for the past 60 years, the National Eisteddfod of Wales has been held in the first week of August.
The Eisteddfod, held in a different part of Wales each year, is the main cultural event of the nation, with an average daily attendance of 20,000.
There are competitions held during the day in a large pavilion, which is surrounded by hundreds of various-sized stalls. These stalls reflect a wide cross-section of life in Wales. Social, cultural, academic, sporting, business and religious organisations are all represented. And since 1949 the Evangelical Movement of Wales (EMW) has had a stall there to share the gospel.
This year, the Eisteddfod was held at Bala in North Wales, and the EMW had a large, four-unit tent. One section was for book sales, another for children’s activities, and the two central sections were for hospitality. Here tea, coffee, cakes and biscuits were served free of charge. This year, a team of ten workers and another 20 local Christian volunteers helped out in the EMW tent for different periods of time.
Team members had different responsibilities and worked well together. Some were responsible for children’s work, while others took responsibility for serving refreshments (nearly 1,500 cups of drink were served!) and having discussions with visitors.
Answers to prayer
Many distributed tracts and held discussions with passers-by. The tracts were specially prepared for the week so that each day’s tract was based on the theme of the main literary competition for that day.
The children’s work was based on C. S. Lewis’ Narnia books, and the children had their faces painted with the various characters in the stories. They enjoyed colouring in different pictures and filling in question sheets.
All this was done in front of an impressive 8×2 metre, painted backdrop of scenes from Narnia, including a life-size painting of Aslan!
It was very busy, and many visitors appreciated the welcome they received during the refreshments and discussions. Local Christians were most generous in preparing large quantities of cakes, which the visitors enjoyed.
The team was conscious of God’s grace in giving many opportunities to have worthwhile discussions with many people. This was a real answer to prayer.
It was a privilege to bear witness to the Lord Jesus Christ, knowing that it is our responsibility to sow and water the seed, and praying that God will give the increase.
Oh, that his name would be magnified in the land that has seen great outpourings of the Holy Spirit in years past!