On November 2nd, 2019, the Annual Cotton Festival was held in Dunn, NC. Kiosks and tables lined the streets of this little downtown area. Walking from your car to where the fun began, the smell of food called to your nose hot smoked turkey legs, popcorn, French fries, hot dogs….
You could get your face painted or pick up a cup of free popcorn. You could buy handmade crafts or homemade cinnamon rolls, holiday dip mixes, or scented candles. Merchants passed out free tote bags, and spread literature advertising new windows, the best gutters money can buy, the industry’s finest home water purifiers, etc…. It was a happy, carnival- atmosphere kind of day.
But on the corner of Edgerton Street and Wilson Avenue in front of the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement Church building, was a table spread with life-changing literature—the books Steps to Christ, The Ministry of Healing, and The Great Controversy, along with magazines on health, spiritual topics, and Spirit of Prophecy articles made into magazine-size publications. Standing on the pavement leaning against the end of one of our two tables, stood a large rack of pamphlets about many different topics from life after death to facts about the Sabbath.
Bro. Nataren started out sitting behind the tables to answer questions. A Spanish-speaking elder sat next to him. Then our enthusiastic brother was standing, pointing out the various magazines available for free, and leaning toward interested passers-by. Finally he was in the street putting magazines into the hands
of daddies carrying toddlers on their shoulders, mommies pushing strollers, teenagers licking ice cream cones, and senior citizens strolling by. Some of the church members observing his techniques joined in. In all, the church was able to give away books, magazines, and pamphlets. The brethren were able to engage many of the folks in conversation and invite them to church.
The church presented two demonstrations. One was plastic bags containing the amounts of sugar found in various common foods such as Twinkies and flavored yogurts. The biggest bags of sugar represented 72 teaspoons of sugar found in a Burger King chocolate shake. Along with the sugar demonstration there was a printed fact sheet about sugar, fats, and fiber. Nearly all of the hundred copies were taken.
The other demonstration was a tote bag holding six 5-pound bags of potatoes. It surprised people to pick up the bag and see what it felt like to carry around 30 pounds of extra weight. We also had a blood sugar and blood pressure test for those who wanted to receive it.
It was the first time the Dunn SDARM had ever done anything like that. We were pleased at what was accomplished and we look forward to polishing and refining our presentations for other upcoming street festivals. We pray that the Holy Spirit will water and nurture the gospel seeds planted at the Cotton Festival so that one day they will bear fruit for the kingdom of God.