In Marquette—in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Jose shared a copy of The Great Controversy with a woman. When the woman saw it, she exclaimed, “Oh, you guys are back!” Confused, Jose asked what she meant. This woman explained that she had received a copy of The Great Controversy from another colporteur many years ago. “This book,” she told Jose, “has the truth.” | Photos by Jeffrey Saelee
Kim was a student colporteur working with Youth Rush—a 10-week student literature evangelism program run by the Michigan Conference’s Literature Ministries department every summer. Mission-minded Adventist youth across the United States dedicate their summer to spread truth-filled literature across Michigan. Youth Rush has been operating in Michigan for close to 20 years, but this summer has been very different.
Prior to this summer, many parents and students were concerned that any form of door-to-door outreach would be very challenging due to the presence of COVID-19. However, according to David Pano—assistant to Kamil Metz, the Literature Ministries Director—"it has been the opposite.”
“From week one,” Pano shared, “book [sales] have increased immensely.” To be specific, donations are 47% higher than in 2019—the most recent Youth Rush summer. Why? Pano explained that people are far more receptive than in previous years. There is a “spiritual hunger” in the community that Youth Rush students are meeting through truth-filled literature.
But community members weren’t the only people impacted by Youth Rush this summer. This summer, students participated in a special four-day intensive led by the Michigan Conference’s Personal Ministries department called Summer Evangelism and Literature (SEAL). This 4-day training program, led by Mark Howard and Kameron Devasher, taught students how to win souls, give Bible studies, have devotions, and share their faith. SEAL had a particular impact on Samuel Calvelage, a student who cited the program as a significant factor in his decision to get baptized at the end of the summer.
But…what about Rick? What did he do with the hundred dollars?
When Kim began to show him the truth-filled books she was carrying, Rick realized, “That’s what the hundred dollars was for!” With the cash he had saved, Rick was able to receive ten books, including The Great Controversy, The Promise of Peace (a compilation of chapters from Patriarchs and Prophets and Desire of Ages), and The Answer Book, which explains our 28 Fundamental Beliefs in question-and-answer format. Rick also signed up for Bible studies, and has recently started attending his local Seventh-Day Adventist Church, located in Williamston, Michigan.
Canvassers like Kim meet people like Rick every day—people who are searching for truth and ready to join His remnant church. But they also leave books with many others who are open to learning more, but not ready to act on it. We call those books “seeds”. Sometimes we see the results of our planted “seeds” right away, but often another harvests for us.
In Marquette—in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Jose shared a copy of The Great Controversy with a woman. When the woman saw it, she exclaimed, “Oh, you guys are back!” Confused, Jose asked what she meant. This woman explained that she had received a copy of The Great Controversy from another colporteur many years ago. “This book,” she told Jose, “has the truth.”
In addition to reading The Great Controversy herself, she had also been reading the book to her children. Though she was a devout Christian, the woman confessed to Jose that she didn’t attend church regularly because she couldn’t find a church that kept the Sabbath. Jose eagerly shared the address of the local Seventh-day Adventist church and signed her up for Bible studies.
Jose and Kim are just two colporteurs—two students—who took a summer out of their lives to serve God. Their efforts were blessed with success, but this is only a foretaste of the rich harvest of souls they will reap at Christ’s second coming. The colporteur who sold The Great Controversy to that woman in Marquette won’t know the result of their faithful efforts until they get to heaven. Many students this summer may think nothing of a book they left behind, but God has already reaped souls from their efforts—and will continue to do so. And with 31,428 pieces of literature scattered across the Lake Union from this summer, He has plenty to work with.
Judy Klein, Michigan Youth Rush canvassing leader