Stories Open Mic Captivated at the Keswick Convention Feba CEO Bob Chambers shares about his week at 'Base Camp' - the venue hosting Keswick Ministries' global mission agency exhibition. I love getting ‘out and about’ to meet with supporters – to talk with all kinds of people about Feba’s ministry. Whether they’ve been part of Feba’s journey for many years or never heard of us before, it’s great to have opportunity chat things through. This summer, my trip up to the Lake District for the Keswick Convention was one such venture. I’ve been to the Keswick Convention a number of times now – initially with my family on holiday together, and more recently (since 2014) as an exhibitor with Feba. The ‘Base Camp’ mission exhibition is an integral part of the event, a space dedicated to agencies involved in a variety of Christian mission activities across the globe; a Fairtrade café offering assorted goodies and an extensively stocked book shop help draw people into the venue throughout the week. Keswick quite reasonably has a reputation for being a Bible-based teaching event, but mission is central to its identity too, with ‘serving God’s mission’ being one of their three pillars of ministry. people are thrilled with the realisation of just how powerful radio and audio can be in mission today. Having been for the last four consecutive years, I recognised several regulars – as the Convention attracts a lot of returning visitors. Many people stopped by to catch up on developments since we last met, some referring to projects of particular personal interest, perhaps something they had read about or prayed for from Feba’s quarterly ‘voice’ magazine or Prayer Diary. It’s great to be able to reconnect and hopefully develop the relationship a bit, through even a brief conversation. Another reason we attend events is to make new contacts, and to let people know what God is doing through Feba. It is thrilling to see people’s eyes light up when they ‘get it’ – when they hear for the first time some of the stories about lives being changed through Feba’s ministry. Sometimes people have a particular geographical or thematic interest that fits with a certain project; other times, people are thrilled with the realisation of just how powerful radio and audio can be in mission today. 2017 is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, when Martin Luther asserted "my conscience is captive to the Word of God". It was no coincidence that the theme of this year's Keswick Convention was "Captivated: Hearing God's Word." In hearing and studying the written Word, we can meet and get to know the living Word - Jesus Christ. This resonates deeply with Feba's work using radio, as listeners tune into programmes that captivate their hearts and minds, transforming lives. During the week I met some fantastic supporters. I was struck - even captivated - by the warmth, generosity, faith and commitment of some of those I met. There were several encounters that stand out as being particularly noteworthy, including these three: Dot I first met Dot and her husband Don back in 2014 when they were both volunteer stewards in the exhibition venue, and I have seen them at Keswick each year since. Dot remembers vividly listening to Feba broadcasts in India as a child, with her mother, and is always thankful for the contribution that ministry had – many years ago – to her own Christian walk. It’s a fairly demanding week for stewards but Dot has an unshakeable cheery outlook! Rob and Jen Several people spoke to me about the RadioCan resources and told about how they had used their cans at home or at church; a couple of people told me that they’d lost their converter kits and would like replacements; Rob and Jen had gone to the trouble of remembering to pack their full RadioCan when preparing for Keswick, in order that they could bring it to the stand in person! Doug and Rachel The committed, faithful support we have from certain people is really humbling and inspirational: Doug and Rachel have been journeying with Feba for more than 49 years, right since they started their working lives! I first met them at the beginning of this year when they decided to gift a house to Feba (having owned it as an investment property for some time). They were camping locally and only at the Convention for a couple of days, but made time to visit the stand. Their heart for mission and Feba is wonderful. It’s not easy to quantify the value of Feba’s attendance at events such as Keswick, but I believe it’s an important demonstration of our desire to meet with supporters; it’s certainly not simply the immediate financial return that we consider. It is encouraging, however, when we receive new Direct Debit instructions, grants from new trusts, and first time gifts from new individual contacts with whom we have met face-to-face on an exhibition stand – all of which have occurred in the days since I returned to the office from Keswick! I have no doubt that there are many people praying for Feba’s ministry too, and that support is vitally important to us. It’s lovely to speak with supporters who enquire about people or stories they’ve read about in ‘voice’ or the Prayer Diary, specifically in order to inform their praying. RadioCan The main feature of Feba’s stand at events is our ongoing ‘RadioCan’ campaign. In essence, the campaign challenges a misconception (particularly among young people) that radio is an old technology that has perhaps had its day. To counter that, there are several bold claims we highlight to draw attention to some of the ways in which our partners are using radio and audio media to great effect today; We believe that radio can: Share God’s love Inform and educate Save lives Unite communities Change the world If you’ve not seen or heard about RadioCan before then you might like to watch a short introductory video - narrated by Jeremy Vine - by clicking here. There are also some themed resources available to anyone wanting to support Feba including a clever can converter kit (order one here), a craft for young children, some teaching / discussion resources for youth and adults, and a DVD with three different length versions of the video. If you or your church would be interested in any of these resources then please do get in touch.