Speaking at the opening of CRE South West 2022, TV broadcaster, Simon Thomas shared about overcoming fear by knowing the reality of God. He officially opened the exhibition at Westpoint Exeter on Wednesday 23 January, featuring over 100 stands.
“Whatever you’re feeling right now, whatever the last two years have been for you, God is real in so many ways,” he said. “This event here today is a celebration of that. CRE South West is an enabling event that enables us to go forth and tell the rest of the world, the rest of this country that this Jesus figure that we follow, this God that we worship, is real!”
CRE South West 2022
CRE South West 2022 is the first in several years and Steve Goddard, managing director of Christian Resources Exhibitions shared how delighted he was that people could once again meet face to face, rather than mask to mask. The amazing IDMC Gospel Choir captured this atmosphere of celebration with a number of uptempo songs.
“Cast your minds back to two years ago, life was about to change for every one of us,” Simon said in his address to visitors and exhibitors. “My book is called Love Interrupted, but for all of us, two years ago, our entire lives were about to be interrupted in the strangest of ways as we were asked to stay at home.
“Church doors began to shut, things went online and we wondered if we could ever do normal things like this again. Life changed massively for us, so isn’t it great that CRE can finally happen again?
Fear goes when you know God is real
“We are now emerging from his strange two years and it’s a time to celebrate. However there is still an awful lot of fear out there… now the cost of living is going through the roof and we have a crisis in Ukraine beginning to unfurl. So I guess, if you’re like me, you’re wondering, ‘Where is God in all this?’ There’s so much fear, so much worrying about what the future holds….”
To conclude, Simon shared a testimony of how he overcame his fear of skydiving when he received a direct confirmation of the reality of God, after a friend had prayed for him. He encountered a young man on a San Deigo street who simply looked him in the eye and said. “I want you to know this. Jesus is real.” When Simon looked back, he had disappeared.
CRE South West runs at Westpoint, Exeter until February 24th. CRE National 2022 will take place at Sandown Park, Surrey from 11-13 October 2022.