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God’s People At Work – Reaching Into the Woods (continued from March story)

The Storyteller Tells a Story of Faith…

Acts 13:47 “I have made you a light for the gentiles that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.” NIV

“Fun, excellent, wonderful, we’ll be back,” all comments from participants and guests who attended the recent Sportsmen’s Banquet at Mt. Zion Church. More than 300 people came together on March 18 and 19, 2016, not only for fellowship and a great meal, but also to hear speakers Harry Ward and Sid Bream provide their hunting and fishing stories and their personal testimony.  Vendors of outdoor supplies and products were also available to speak with the guests and answer any questions they might have.  All those who commented were thrilled with their experience at this special event.

As Steve Trostle (MZ) stated in the previous story, it takes a “small army” of volunteers to host an event such as this. And the volunteers came – some from Barnitz UMC, Mt. Holly Springs UMC, Mt. Holly Church of God and New Life Community churches.  Whether the volunteers contributed time or food, every person and the job he/she did was appreciated immensely.  Guests from these churches all came together with volunteers from Mt. Zion to serve and worship God.  It was an exciting time to share with church members and community members alike all connecting in love.

Dr. Dow Brophy who helped serve food and wait on tables stated, “It was fun. Those who didn’t help, missed out.”  Dr. Brophy came directly from work to help and stayed until the clean-up was done.  Scott Singiser, one of the vendors said, “This (event) was very well done.  It is a first time for us, and everything is excellent.” “Good so far,” commented Ken Bream, a kitchen helper one night and event guest the next.  He attended the event with his son, Kirby and grandsons Dillon and Cody.  Len Kuhn stated, “The meal was wonderful!  This is our first time here, and we’ll be back.  We are just enjoying the night out.”  At the point when these people were interviewed, the speakers had not yet begun, but at the end of the night, they were happy to be in attendance and hear what was said.  Randy and Tammy Stine, vendors from York Springs, specialized in custom work including building muzzle loaders and making knives, swords, among other things.  The Stines said they enjoyed their time at the banquet.  First time attendees, Zachary and David Hoover, are starting a new business selling Antler Chow, a deer feed and attractant.  They said the event was a good experience for them.  Keck’s Store and Archery featured Frank Deimler and Pete Holmes on Friday evening.  Choosing not to sell any products in the church, they instead concentrated on getting the word out about their business.  They agreed the experience was great and the meal was exceptional, especially the ham.

When this event was in the planning stages, Steve had the goal in mind of “bringing the community together to bring some folks into church who may not have otherwise entered a church.” That goal hasn’t changed.  In fact, that message has only strengthened over the years.  The two speakers were encouraged to share not only their hunting and fishing experiences, but also their personal testimonies.  Harry Ward, local author of the book, A Sportsman’s Life, talks about the relationships between people and how bonds are formed in a fictional story about a gun club.  Sid Bream talked about his faith during his childhood enjoying the outdoors and growing into adulthood as a professional baseball player and beyond.  The outdoors has always held a special place in Sid’s heart, but he’s very clear that God is the center of it.  Guests made “two first-time commitments to Christ and 29 rededications/recommitments during this event.  These are the numbers we can count – what we can’t count are the number of seeds that were planted that will later be harvested as those people come to know Jesus as their own personal Savior,” says Steve.

Titus 1:9a “He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine…” NIV

Steve adds, “Plans are already underway for next year, our sixth annual Sportsmen’s Banquet. Details will be coming soon.  If you would like to be a part of this event, please contact Steve Trostle (249-7211), Pastor Matt, Bob Trostle or Jake Wilson.   We always look for new ideas, speakers, vendors, door prize donations, pictures of animals and the outdoors to add to our video, and new animal/fish mounts to display for everyone to enjoy.   Thank you (to the volunteers) for all your help as we look forward to improving and making next year’s banquet even better.”

Telling of God’s grace and salvation to those around us is a goal all of us can meet with God’s help. Let us take every opportunity to connect people to God’s goodness – whether the location is in the woods, the marketplace, at home, or elsewhere.

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