Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Craft Show Testimony

This is the story of a journey.  That started with an idea and ended with God fulfilling a promise.

Early this year I was thinking about organizing a craft show.  I really wanted a place where artisans like me could be featured.  Folks that pour their life and soul into their work selling their handmade goods.  I knew that it would be a ton of work and I had no idea what I was doing.  I asked God if this was something I should pursue and He clearly confirmed for me that I should do it.  I felt peace that He would be with me the whole way.

The researching and planning was overwhelming.  I never knew how much would be involved in promoting a show.  Several times I would cry out that I couldn't do it.  He would call back, "no  you can't, but I can, go forward and I will be with you."  And I would keep going.

God showed His care and goodness so many times.  I remember praying one day "Lord, I don't have the skills to design a flyer, how am I going to do this?"  A few minutes later I had a message from a graphic designer friend offering her services for free.  I was blown away by that immediate answer to prayer.

I had also done research that had told me to put out a press release but I could not figure out how.  I was trying to collect contacts to send the information out to but kept coming up with nothing.  Then one day on a visit to a friend's shop he brought up the subject of press releases.  When I told him I didn't know how to go about it he offered to help me put it together and to send it out to his list of contacts.  That was a huge answer to prayer!  His help is what got the attention of the Public Opinion which got us a great article written up.

At one point God gave me a vision for how successful the show was going to be.  I pushed it back in my mind saying "that is only wishful thinking, keep your head out of the clouds Angel."  Then a great friend told me to make sure that I was trusting God to do what He has promised He would do.  That stopped me in my tracks.  I knew God was leading me in this process and I knew He was going to do something great.

The day before the show once the room had been set up for us, a friend and I spent some time alone in the room.  We prayed.  We walked around that room laying our hands on each table and praying.  We prayed for each vendor individually.  We prayed for favor, positive attitudes, safety in travels, salvation for those who may not know the Lord.  Mostly, we begged God for His presence.

I could barely sleep the night before and was up and at the hotel by 5am.  As I watched the vendors arrive and set up my stomach was in knots.  I wanted so badly for them all to have a great day and all I could do at that point was wait.

Just before the show started we pulled all the vendors together for a group photo.  One vendor told me later that this meant a lot to her as it created a sense of camaraderie instead of competition that can be felt at other shows.  Then, we all gathered for a short prayer.

At 8am when the doors opened and shoppers started to arrive my heart stopped.  I ran over to my booth and looked up.  What I saw took my breath away.  My vision was real.  By 8:10am there was a line of shoppers waiting to come in.  I could barely stand but I somehow held myself together for the day.

God's presence was in the room.  It was evident in so many ways.  When it got hot because of all the people no one complained or got nasty.  When the aisles were crowded and folks had to wait to get through they didn't get impatient or rude.  They waited with a smile.  It was amazing.

At the end of the day around 900 shoppers had come through and all 26 vendors reported having a great sale day.

This show in an amazing testimony and I feel so blessed that God used me in this way.  What a testament that God cares about us and everything we do.  Even about a craft show!  The day was an  amazing success and to God alone is the glory.