Open Air: By Appointment

Let’s see: Tuesday, Blackburn Royal; Wednesday, doctor; Thursday, dentist. It’s a busy week, but what about Wednesday? If I keep the appointment, I’ll miss another important one in Manchester at 12.30pm! Well, those who have tried to make an appointment with their GP recently will appreciate that actually getting one is akin to finding gold in the River Calder… And so it is that, reluctantly, I ask Stephen whether he minds doing this week on his own. He is kind enough to say that he will.

So, how did it go?

By 12.45 I thought I could hear the distinctive tones of Roy Orbison warming up, but Peter and Brendan soon arrived to silence him. So we must have got going around ten to or maybe five to. I was pleased that they stood nearby instead of over by the shops in their usual spot until more help arrived to relieve them.

Hmm. Yes, I remember standing in the middle of Manchester all on my own after Stephen Holland handed the Open Air over to me, some years ago. “Only The Lonely” was indeed what I sang softly to myself, in the weeks before Dan arrived out of the blue to offer his help - for which I was most grateful.

Later Kieran and an older gentleman I have never met before, called Rick, arrived maybe around 1.15 or 1.30. I don't think they arrived together but Kieran knew him, though Peter and Brendan didn't. He gave me one of the tracts he was handing out on behalf of his church. It was "Where will you spend eternity?" by R.A. Torrey.

As I’ve remarked previously, folk who tell us that they’re born-again bible believers are welcome to stand with us, unless they’re obviously trying it on for one reason or another. If they have any doubts about us, they are welcome to take a look at our Salem Open Air Ministry Statement Of Faith. And if they express an interest in preaching for us, agreement with that Statement is entirely necessary.

We had interest from a group of Muslim schoolgirls. I'm not sure whether there were two groups or one group that came by twice. They asked for a bible and Kieran and Rick spent a good while talking to them.

Indeed. On Thursday, when I arrived (v. late, due to my dentist’s appointment) at Great Harwood Christian Fellowship’s Literature Table, we remarked on how Muslim ladies were much more likely to take tracts when they were not accompanied by men.

The poster went on the big pillar because I didn't want to hide or remove a "missing person" poster on the usual one.

By the prayer time at the end we were a band of six, having been joined by a guy whom Kieran called Paul, though Peter knew him by a different name! I have seen him before on very rare occasions. I don't think he took part in the outreach - but perhaps he did. It was only the usual crew for refreshments afterwards.

Indeed again, everyone who comes along is invited to join us for refreshments - but if they want to work the second shift, so to speak, then that’s good too.

I spent over an hour preaching so didn't do any tracting, though I did give out two bibles - one to the Muslim girls and one to a chap who asked while I was packing up. I'm afraid I forgot to ask for notes from the team. I was generally warm enough, though my feet were cold by the end. And it remained dry!

Reading through what Stephen had to say again, I just wish that I’d been there. Never mind, next Wednesday approaches, so there is something to look forward to.

If you would like to join us, we’ll be in the usual place, just opposite Superdrug, at the usual time of 12.30pm, God willing. If you can’t join us, then please pray for us, if the Lord puts it upon your heart to do so.

Every blessing!