Preparations are continuing for
the Expo-Bible (Bible Exhibition) that is going to be held in Houlgate Evangelical Church, opening on Thursday, August 14th (not long now!) and running through to Sunday, August 31st.
This is a wonderful opportunity
to introduce the Bible, its contents, its history, its Author, and its Good News to hundreds, if not thousands,
of people from different nationalities, speaking different languages, who may know very little, if anything, about the Bible
and its message. Please continue to pray for the preparations and especially for the Expo itself.
In terms of the many practical tasks that
are involved in getting this Expo up and running, here is a quick list showing where we are at:
The Expo Panels: it was a great relief when they were finally delivered. We had a lot of hassle with
the delivery company - but that's a long story for another day... They have come from the French organisation "France
Pour Christ", and it was thanks to their patience and kindness that we finally got the delivery sorted.
The Expo Panel supports: all present thanks to Argos UK! (That saved a considerable amount of money for us).
Tie-wraps: To fix the panels to
the support frames. We had them shipped from the UK - that saved £40 or more, about 80% of the potential cost, compared
with buying them in the local equivalent of B&Q, even taking postage into account!
English-language Gospels: We have
a large number of NIV Mark's Gospel to give away to any visitors that speak English rather than French.
French-language Gospels: We have
some of these, Mark and Luke, in various translations. We have not been able to get hold of the quantities we wanted. A lot
more have been ordered from the French Bible Society a while ago. We have not heard yet whether they can supply them or not, and
being August, most of France is on holiday. Please pray about this as we want to be able to give a copy of a Gospel
to every visitor who comes to the Expo.
CLC Bookstall: We have
received the delivery of French Bibles and Christian Books from CLC for our bookstall. These are on a sale or return
basis. We are hoping several visitors will want to buy a Bible for themselves, or a book that will help
them understand the Bible and the Gospel more, or give them help on how to read it for themselves.
Christian Tracts:We have
ordered a considerable number of these, mostly in French, some in English, from the Scripture Gift Mission. They are
en route to us, and we hope they will arrive in good time. These will be useful for other opportunities besides
at the Expo.
Advertising Banner: This was
printed for us (3m x 1m) by a local firm. Their first attempt was not successful due to some technical problem they had and
due to information not getting from the right hand to the left among their staff. However, a banner has two sides, so they
reprinted it on the other side - thankfully for free, and Voila! we have a big banner to hang outside the church - it may even be hanging
by the time you read this, depending on the weather!
Feedback and Further Information Forms: These are almost ready for running off on the printer, bilingual, so that we can get feedback from visitors, and also
give them the opportunity to ask for more information about the Bible, about what it means to be a Christian etc.
English Translation of Panels: This
has been a major task - photographing all the panels (38 of them), getting the pictures processed on the computer, generating
a document framework for the pictures and the translated text, typing in all the text in French from off the panels, translating
it all into English, checking it, printing it, binding it... We are currently at the "checking it" stage, but hope to have
it all done in the next day or so.
Gifts: We have received many
generous gifts towards the cost of putting on the Exhibition from individuals and churches, for which we are very, very
thankful. One very successful fund-raising event was organised by one of our Trustees, Vivien Bounds, who with the
generosity of her friend who owns a Thai Restaurant, held a fund-raising meal which raised several hundred pounds towards
the Expo. Thank you Vivien! And thank you to all who shared in the meal and gave so generously.
Cooking!: In order to keep all
the "troops" fed during the Exhibition, and especially those coming over from the UK, Simone has been busy planning and
preparing meals. One family in the church at Houlgate have kindly lent us a freezer to have at the church so that
meals can be prepared in advance. They also very generously have not left it empty!
have received approval from the Reformed Church at Condé to hold two services a month there, starting from
September. We are thinking about holding a Harvest Festival service in October, and to hold a Carol Service
again in December. Hopefully these two special services will enable us to invite it people from the local communities, both
French- and English-speakers.
Houlgate Weekly Services: After
a "disastrous" first week, where we had zero visitors - I still preached! - numbers have been a lot higher - well they
couldn't get any lower, could they! - with well over 20 on July 27th. So far, as in other years, visitors in July and at the beginning of August have been predominantly Dutch.
Philip and Simone Loose