Exciting experiences that happened this month in the California Youth Rush Student Literature Evangelism Programs.
Numerous students have been used to change lives and have themselves been changed by student magabook programs. Each day they come back with all kinds of experiences to tell. Here are two that ranked at the top of the list this summer.
It was a hot day in Porterville, California. As she knocked on yet another door, little did Sheela know that she was about to have an extraordinary experience. As Sheela showed her books to a lady we’ll call Jane, she popped a routine question at her, attempting to make friends: “What church do you go to?” Jane answered, surprisingly, “I don’t go to a church really, but actually I’ve been thinking about attending the Seventh-day Adventist church.” Sheela was in shock. “Really? I’m a Seventh-day Adventist!” she exclaimed. Now it was Jane’s turn to be surprised. “Wow, that’s great! I thought only Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses go door-to-door!” she said.
At that point Sheela showed her all the books and Jane said, “You know, Sheela, I have to tell you something. Just before I opened the door I looked through my window and saw that your face was lighted up and shining; you seemed so happy, and it made me want what you have. I knew there was something different about you.”
Sheela showed her Man of Peace (modern English Desire of Ages), Lessons of Love (Christ’s Object Lessons), The Great Controversy, and Final Events DVD by Doug Batchelor. She gave Sheela a $50 donation for the five books/DVDs.
Jane was still in disbelief as she said: “I just can’t believe that a Seventh-day Adventist came to my door. You are an answer to my prayer. I had been praying that someone would come and talk to me about religious things. And the shine on your face is great!” Sheela then had the presence of mind to ask her how she knew about Seventh-day Adventists. Jane replied that she had known about Adventists for a long time, and had been curious about them, adding, “I’ve been reading my Bible, and it seems that what they believe is right.”
Sheela offered Bible studies, which Jane accepted, and then proceeded to tell Jane that she knew of a Seventh-day Adventist family who lived close to her. After they prayed together, Sheela left. Upon hearing this story a few minutes later, her leader thought, “It would be fun to return and sing for her at the end of the night.” So, she took the whole group—seven of them—back to Jane’s house to sing for her. The very next Sabbath, three days later, the lady showed up at church, saying how amazed she was that young people could be so vibrant and on fire for the Lord, singing and working for Him.
Over in Salinas, California, Raeann was surprised by a very welcoming smile, and the words, “You’re here”, as she knocked on a door, like she had hundreds of times before. The lady continued, “You’re the students, right?”
At that moment the husband arrived in a car, and Josie started waving her hands wildly and saying, “The students are here! The students are here!” As he was exiting his car, he exclaimed, “We’ve been waiting for you for so long!” Raeann was somewhat in disbelief. “We’ve been waiting for you students with the books for over a year now,” said Josie. “What other books do you have that we don’t have?”
Then, the story unfolded. Four years ago, a student knocked on Josie’s door, and she rejected him. The next year, she rejected another student. The third year, she got a Final Events DVD by Doug Batchelor; she watched it and loved it. The next year (the previous year), a student, Anna, knocked on her door, and Josie chose The Great Controversy for her husband. In January of this year, her husband read The Great Controversy, reading it through twice; he was now reading it for his third time. Raeann’s leader arrived at this point and began talking to the husband. The husband was so excited. “I have never seen anyone more excited,” she said. “He was waving his hands.” He then asked, “Why don’t you guys come every six months instead of only once a year? . . . How much money do you want for these books? I will pay you good money for them. Is $20 for each one good enough?” He showed her his extensive library of Christian books, and proceeded to choose six of Raeann’s books and give a $100 donation. Raeann told them about the location of the local SDA church and invited them.
The very next Sabbath—only three days later—Josie came to church, and sat with Raeann and her leader. After church, the rest of the students (about 15 of them) met her, and she said to them: “You all never stop doing what you are doing. I rejected the student two years in a row!” She added, “I recently talked to my [Baptist] pastor about the Sabbath, and my pastor told me to leave. . . . The Bible has become alive to me this year more than any year in the last twenty years.” With students gathered around, our pastor prayed for her, and when he finished, she was crying. “This is how heaven is going to be like,” Josie said, “with all these kind of people around you.”
For more information on the California Youth Rush Student Literature Evangelism Programs, please visit their website YouthRushCentral.com.