Here is our report from Sacramento, KY and Greenfield Village/Henry Ford Museum, Dear Born, MI. Please read all the way to the bottom as there is a huge opportunity the Lord has opened to us.
We headed to the 25th annual re-enactment of General Nathan Bedford Forest’s first battle. The drive was long but pleasant. We arrived on Thursday and started setting up. As we unloaded canvass and poles, something was missing; I had forgotten to pack the wall tent. Of all things to forget. Well my dear wife said, “why don’t we sleep in the cargo trailer?” And so we did. The organizers allowed us to park the trailer behind our tent backed up to the public rest rooms, which had showers. Faith did a great job of turning our trailer into a “tiny living” home for the weekend. We were comfortable but realized we are NOT candidates for “tiny living”.
Friday was school kid’s day and we were in a great spot to talk to anybody who came by about the formation and ministry of the US Christian Commission. The coffee wagon with those red wheels really attracted a lot of attention.
Saturday was a full day of serving coffee, talking to folks about the Commission and handing out Gospel tracts. It was an exhausting day as well as the heat soared to the low 90s.
Sunday’s worship service was not scheduled until 11 am so we made and served coffee and had extra chances to invite folks to church. We had a very good crowd and when the invitation was given, we had 3 re-enactors for salvation. PTL
We had planned on staying the night and leaving Monday morning as it was supposed to rain all day Sunday, and it started the day raining. Along around noonish the sun came out and the wind blew and dried all our canvass, so Faith decided we were packing and leaving, which is exactly what we did.
We arrived in Ypsilanti, MI on Monday evening and stayed in our friend’s Butch & Janice McDermott’s 5th wheel at one of our supporting churches, South Side Baptist Tabernacle. Tuesday morning Butch and I took the coffee wagon to Monroe, MI to hook up with Matt Switlock to get a limber pole fitted to the wagon so it could be pulled by horses when we got to Greenfield Village. Amazing, he had a 1908 artillery limber pole that fit perfectly.
Friday afternoon we headed to Greenfield Village. Re-enactors are not allowed into the Village to setup until after they close and the Village is empty of visitors, and that is about 5:30 pm. At this point it becomes a kin to the Oklahoma Land Rush as everybody (1,000 – 1,500 re-enactors) hurries in to stake their spot, unload and then get their vehicle to the closest parking lot.
We had been given a new spot to setup because of the coffee wagon. It was a GREAT spot. On a corner right adjacent to the Village green in the center of the Village. The visibility was awesome, plus we were very close to the troops and were able to make new relationships.
Saturday goes from 9 am to 9 pm and we were all exhausted from the mass of people we talked too. The wagon was hooked up to horses for the very first time in its 58-year existence. It was awesome riding around the Village, stopping at the camps and distributing coffee and cookies. It was a huge ice breaker for many of the re-enactors who would not approach us because of our stand for Christ. We toured the camps once a day for about an hour on our errand of mercy. On Saturday afternoon I was also one of the main speakers and gave a 40-minute presentation on the formation and ministry of the Christian Commission. That brought more folks to our camp.
Check out this 2 minute video clip of one of our trips; https://youtu.be/2HRzrBM5AWs
Sunday morning the church service was scheduled for 9:30 am so we had coffee for the troops by 7 am and extended an invitation to church. At 8 am the coordinators arranged for a TV interview. This was a hoot, and we heard all day from people who saw it on their local station and decided to come out.
Amazing, there were many new faces in the service. I overheard one soldier tell his pard, “I don’t think I have ever been in a church before”. One regiment marched up to the church, under arms. They halted outside, fronted and stacked arms so they could come in. This was a first.
As soon as church was over, I had to hurry back to camp to get ready for our 2nd of 3 rides around the village. At every stop visitors to the Village wanted to buy coffee or cookies. I told them where our camp was and that when we returned we would give them coffee. We distributed, for the three days almost 45 gallons of coffee.
Sunday afternoon we packed up early so we could drive back to Ypsilanti so I could give a report to the fine folks at South Side Baptist Tabernacle and preach the evening service. There was a very good interest and probably 2 score came out on Monday to support us at the event. We don’t know the total visitor count for the weekend, but we were told the head count for Monday alone was over 12,000 folks.
This next is what I am so excited about. The powers to be at Greenfield Village, for next year (2020), are going to allow us to setup on Thursday evening so we are in place for their school kid’s day. They average between 4 – 5,000 kids on the one day. They are also going to allow us to reprint a Child’s Newspaper, by The American Tract Society from the War to give one to each child that will take one. The man I was speaking too asked about the content of the paper and said, “there isn’t anything offensive in it is there?” I said, “tell you what, I will send you a copy for your approval” to which he said, “no that’s alright I trust you.”
Folks I cannot express how many other re-enactors that have told us that they are just standing in amazement at what the Village is allowing us to do. Things no other re-enactors have been allowed to do. We serve a mighty God.
Please keep this a matter of prayer. We have contacted a newspaper publisher to get a quote to reprint 5,000 newspapers. Anyone wishing to make a donation to help with this huge outreach can mark their donation “Child’s Paper” and send it to RMJC, Inc., PO Box 670, Concord, VA 24538.
God is certainly making our 35th anniversary year an interesting one as we strive to serve Him.
Thank you and God bless. Alan & Faith