Members of Eastern Idaho Churches Unite to Reach State Fair Attendees
Members of five congregations in the Eastern Idaho pastoral district united to reach out to those attending the Eastern Idaho State Fair in Blackfoot, Idaho, this past September. With nearly 200,000 attendees passing through the gates of the event, it seemed like a wonderful opportunity to reach the community for Christ.
Each church contributed toward the purchase of a canopy, display tables, signs and literature to have a fully functioning booth for use not only at the fair but other events. A prominent health message, "Got Grip?" drew interested visitors to the booth. Each visitor received a free grip-strength test, literature, and the opportunity to win a cookbook.
Several people made visits repeatedly to see if their grip strength improved throughout the fair, to obtain health improvement information, and to share prayer requests. The booth also featured two district schools and children's crafts for a day.
More than 30 church members took turns manning the booth, with guest appearances by David Prest, Idaho Conference president, and his wife, Ellen, who took the opening weekend Sunday-shift.
Members helping at the booth received several requests for personal Bible studies. A family of three from Fort Hall, Idaho, was excited to see an Adventist booth because they had been watching 3ABN. Jim, a ticket-agent at a nearby gate, came by every day to register to win the cookbook. He has prostate cancer and wants to change his eating habits. Members arranged for him to receive a cookbook and gave him a copy of the Full Plate Diet.
More than 2,000 people visited the booth during the fair's eight days. The majority of fair-goers seemed to know little about Adventists. But, those who had some connection or interaction with Adventists were quite willing to come into the booth. Members hope this year's booth will help others recognize the Adventist name and be more willing to visit again during what they intend to be an annual event.