Phil reflects on his first day on the Seventy-two stand at Spring Harvest Harrogate:
Believe it or not I am quite a shy person. So having negotiated the exhibitors’ arrival bay, set the stand up, and eventually worked out where all the panels went I was faced with the most difficult task of all – to actually stand there and talk to complete strangers. As the arrivals began to file past, I took the plunge and following Alex’s prescribed instructions blurted out “Welcome to Spring Harvest – where have you come from?” – “10 minutes up the road” came the answer as they refused my Seventy-Two leaflet and carried on walking. Things were not going well; It was going to be a long afternoon . . . . and then Jack came along.
“So tell me about Seventy-Two” he began “No – before you do, would you pray for someone at work? He looked really down so I asked “can I pray for you?” – Amazingly he said “yes”. So I prayed – just quite generally that he would know God’s peace and stuff. Then I saw him 20 minutes later and asked him how he was “I’m flying!” he replied “thanks so much for praying for me.” And then he stopped and said “would you pray for my colleague’s brother too? You see he’s really in a mess and he’s done a lot of stuff he shouldn’t – would you pray for him?” And I feel I need to share it with someone,” Jack continued, “so would you pray for his brother with me?”
So we prayed . . . and when we’d finished praying Jack asked me again “so what’s Seventy Two all about?” And I just said “Seventy-Two is about what you’ve just described to me Jack – our dream is that every Christian would be like you and do what you have done, instinctively and regularly. Imagine thousands of people like you!” Jack was startled “Wow that’s amazing . . . I don’t always get it right you know, I’m still a learner – I’m just trying to follow the prompts of the Holy Spirit.”
We talked some more and then he went on his way. I even forgot to get him to sign up to the Seventy-Two newsletter, but for those few moments I knew that I needed Jack and Jack needed me. Whether it was for our benefit or his I’m not completely sure, but I knew that we were in the right place and doing the right thing.