Two students of The Urantia Book in Santa Cruz decided to present the book at the 18th International Book Fair of Santa Cruz (FIL) that was held over 12 days from 31 May to 11 June, 2017.
Long before the book fair, we applied for a booth, only to discover our first obstacle: that all exhibition spaces were fully booked out. We were told we may get a booth if someone cancelled and were added on a waiting list with 15 other people. This was daunting at first, but we felt confident we would get a place—after all we were working for the Father! And so we did; after a while we received a call from the organizers telling us that there was a space. We gave confirmation even before we had the money to pay for it, which was due in 5 days. But the money also appeared! We paid and started preparing banners, flyers and spiritual vitamins.
Another big issue for us was that we didn’t have any books, and none were to be found in the bookstores of Santa Cruz. Thanks to the efforts of our brother Wilson Leo in Colombia, we received 40 books which were released from customs just two days before the start of the book fair.
We decorated our 3×3 meter booth with three banners: one that had the name of the book, another that was our classic image of the central universe and the seven superuniverses, and another that was an image of the ‘Journey to Paradise,’ which depicts the divisions of a superuniverse (systems, constellations, etc.) On the front of the stand you could see the title The Urantia Book next to the three concentric circles. In the corner a splendid fern kept us company for the entire twelve days. A small table displayed four standing books with flowers behind them and at the front we had a table which seated our five volunteers who took turns to rest now and again.
We had flyers with descriptors of the book, “spiritual vitamins” (which are rolled up pieces of paper with quotes from The Urantia Book inside), two copies of The Urantia Book and one copy of J.J. Benítez’s book, Lucifer. (The idea of displaying this book worked because it helped initiate conversations with readers of this well-known author. In the last page of his book, the author acknowledges and thanks Urantia Foundation.)
This book fair attracted around 114,000 visitors. 2000 flyers were distributed and 75 people left their personal contact details with us. We sold all 40 books plus two of our own; we had to deny another two score people who wanted to buy a book because we’d run out of stock!
We gave a lecture on The Urantia Book that was attended by about 40 people. We were interviewed twice by a TV crew at the show itself, and we were invited to talk on a live show.
These were twelve very pleasant days—so much so that we did not want the book fair to end. The five volunteers bonded with one another throughout the event and have forged lasting friendships.
I think that because of this kind of work we have become more aware of the importance of the mission of disseminating the teachings of The Urantia Book. We have learned that people are now open and thirst for this new knowledge. I expected that there would be more people who would be critical and would mock us, but there was no such thing, rather the opposite. People were willing to listen. We realized the wisdom of the heavens in revealing these teachings to us in this day and age.
One of the volunteers celebrated his birthday during the book fair; he felt it was his most satisfying birthday party ever! We were very happy and satisfied in our work, which has increased our desire to continue working in this way.
Greetings, brothers and sisters of the world, from this part of the globe where we send you our appreciation and joy in working for the heavenly kingdom!