How Much Impact can Literature Evangelists Have in a Week?
After one week canvassing in Virginia, sisters involved in Allegheny East Conference's literature evangelism program leave a tangible mark on the Virginia Beach community.
Story by Reginald Alexander
Gessy and Hongkara Desir, students from the Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Md., were among the five students who recently participated in Allegheny East Conference’s (AEC) Youth 4 Change literature evangelism program. The students spent a week canvassing the Virginia Beach, Va., area and accumulated nearly 70 community interests, touched the lives of countless others and were blessed with examples of God’s providence.
One day the Desir sisters entered Sporty’s Perfect Gentlemen Barber Salon in Chesapeake, Va., and shared with customers copies of the book Bible Answers. Three out of the four purchased Bible Answers, including Anthony Harrell, the owner of the shop. Immediately afterward, the gentleman in the chair getting a hair cut started a conversation on God’s grace for sinners. This led to the sisters giving them a Bible study right there on the spot.
Harrell later sent a text to Reginald Alexander, the program director, which said, “It was record low temperature today, but the ladies came in the shop and set the shop on fire with a good Word. They are truly representatives of Youth 4 Change.”
The sisters were also an answer to prayer for Sylvia Smith who leads a local church. Smith had just visited a local Christian bookstore seeking a devotional book and a Scripture-based book that could help her answer some difficult questions. When she didn’t find what she was looking for, she turned to God in prayer.
“[Four days later], two young ladies walked into my office,” Smith said. “There is a ‘No Soliciting’ sign on the door but I knew I had to speak to these two young ladies. When the girls told me they had a book called Bible Answers, I was so excited that I yelled to my friend on the phone, ‘These young ladies just walked in with the answer to my prayers!’”
The sisters also shared with her Lessons for Living, a devotional on the parables of Christ. Hongkara said of this minstry, “One thing that continues to motivate me in this ministry is my total trust in God and His awesomeness upon my ministry; knowing that God will provide at any given time. … I don’t ever know how, when or where but He does come through because He has people in need of His encouragement and message.”
First Baptisms at Coastal Shores Plant
The first baptisms at the new Coastal Shores mission, which opened January 18, were also a result of Youth 4 Change. Pastor Keenan Tyler credits these baptisms to the work of the Desir sisters who first made contact with all three.
“Thanks to their hard work, Coastal Shores held its very first baptism in February and two souls went down into the watery grave," Tyler says. "Another accepted the gospel through profession of faith. All three souls were new to the Seventh-day Adventist message, and were first ministered to after God ordained a knock on their doors. God has already moved on Coastal Shores behalf, and we know by the grace of God, greater is coming!”
Reginald Alexander is director of the Youth 4 Change program.