For the third successive year VCF was able to have a stand at the BSAVA congress in Birmingham in April. Being located in the same area as previous years meant that folk have begun to get to know where to look for it and come back year after year.
But what did it offer?
A visible presence of Christ at a very busy congress. With more than 6000 delegates spread over the 5 days, it would be hard for folk to have missed seeing the posters, newsletters and leaflets whilst taking the sustenance of chocolate and oranges!
An opportunity for folk who know little if anything of Christ to see the stand, to take literature, and in some cases to see the faces of clinicians who they know well on the front of newsletters and to find out what their faith means to them.
Others would stop and chat in the quiet times and begin to ask questions and share some very challenging things they are facing. For others it was about a faith which they knew of many years ago but which had been pushed out by the busyness of vet life. It was an opportunity for them to see evidence from real life testimonies in the newsletters and on the pictures, of a real God loving and working in normal busy vet lives.
For folk already part of VCF it offered a focal point to meet up with friends. Duties, and life in general means it is hard for folk to get together, so it was an ideal opportunity to do so. Getting to VCF conferences can be difficult for many so it allowed the possibility of getting to meet other Christians within the profession without having to travel to VCF Conferences. To take time out from all that was going on at the Congress. Each evening, if anyone was free, we would head out for a meal and a time to relax together.
Chance for folk to meet where they can’t get to conferences and the busyness of vet life means they can’t meet outside of work
This year all of the stands had to be removed by the Saturday evening, but on the Sunday the empty spot still offered a focal point for folk to come back to 🙂
On the Sunday morning, BSAVA had allowed us the use of a room for a couple of hours to have our first breakfast meeting. Links had been formed with the ICC Chaplin Revd. David Butterworth, who helped prepare a short service if needed. In the end it turned out to be a wonderful opportunity for folk to be able to just drop in on their way to, or between lectures.
To allow them to gather on Sunday and even if not a formal meeting, to recognise the importance of Christ in their lives as vets.
Our grateful thanks go to BSAVA for all of their support and we pray that God will continue to build on conversations which were had, on literature that folk have read and on all that people have seen. May He be glorified in every part of it.