Blessings Flow in NNSW
“The new year is just before us, and plans should be laid for earnest, persevering effort in the Master’s service. There is much to be done to advance the work of God…” CM p. 17
The new year is certainly upon us, and never has this statement been truer. As time continues, we are to become more earnest in our efforts to hasten Christ’s coming. And, just as the first half of this paragraph has never been truer, so I can say the same for the second half.
“…I have been instructed that the canvassing work is to be revived, and that it is to be carried forward with increasing success. It is the Lord’s work, and a blessing will attend those who engage in it with earnestness and diligence.” CM p. 17
We began our first program this year two weeks ago in Armidale, and our second program this week in the Central Coast, and although the numbers may seem small at first, the blessings have been flowing in abundance reminding us we have an army of angels on the team.
Book Stats for Armidale & Inverell
- 499 Path to Peace
- 119 Wholesome Homemade
- 71 The Great Controversy (Including 20 small editions)
- 46 Peace Above the Storm
- 34 Health and Peace
- 13 Lessons of Love
"It was lunch time, and I was just going into this next unit, so I go in the gate and Tim calls up to standby for lunch pickup. So, I go back out and standby. But before he could get to me the guy in the unit heard me from inside and he opens the door, so I go and talk to him.
“You know, I really need to eat healthier, but I just can’t afford it.” He tells me after I show him the cookbook (Wholesome Homemade). He tells me he knows that it would help his depression if he was able to feed himself better food.
“We have this other great book; it’s helped me and also my friends struggling with depression.” I tell him and begin to canvass him on Peace Above the Storm, giving him a small personal testimony, telling him how it helps.
I pull out the survey and tell him about the depression recovery program that is going to be running next year in the area, and he tells me he’s ready to try anything. As I’m getting ready to put down his contact, he’s flipping through the Peace Above the Storm.
“I don’t mean to be rude, but I just see a lot of the word God in here” He says and begins telling me his life story.
He told me he had a lot of anger towards God because of the many things that had happened in his life, telling me endless stories of tragedy that happened to him.
“I just get out of bed, shake my fist at the sky and tell God, ‘What do you have coming for me today? How much more could I take? What have I done to deserve this?’”
He used the illustration of a torture device where a man is laying down on the ground and a board is placed on his forehead, and stones continue to be piled on the board until the weight eventually kills them.
“Just like with God, He keeps putting more on me, when I’m just getting over it and I think things are going to be fine, then something else comes up”
So, I did a lot of listening as he was pacing and shaking his fist and yelling at God, and then he began crying because he’s a broken man, he’s struggling, and he doesn’t feel like there’s a reason to live. He told me he never felt loved in his life, except by his cats, which are his reason for living.
I could see these were his feelings towards God, and that he had a very hard life which has led to those feelings, it didn’t justify it, but I could understand where he was coming from. So, I asked him if he believed there was a devil. He did, but because God had created him, he felt it all ultimately came back to Him.
He told me about the time he was having Bible studies, how he reached a certain chapter in Revelation and from that he came to the conclusion that God had created us just to destroy us. So, he walked out of the Bible study and never came back because he wanted nothing to do with it if that was God’s character. Which is understandable.
The Armidale/Tamworth team had the priviledge of sharing experiences, special music and serminetters while taking the services at Guyra church and Armidale church.
“I understand where you’re coming from, but this way of life isn’t giving you any hope” I told him. He had no joy, peace or enjoyment in life. “If it was remotely possible that God was a God of love that cared about you and gave you something to live for wouldn’t that be worth trying? What would you have to lose?”
“Not much” He answered.
We talked about a lot of topics. We talked about God allowing free will, and this is proof that God does love us. We even talked about forgiveness as he has so much anger for the people in his life who mistreated him. I told him holding onto the anger was destroying him, that it wasn’t doing anything to them, but it was robbing him of a better quality of life. It was good to talk to him about that.
I was just reinforcing the good. He was down on himself, but I told him I saw how generous he wanted to be with people, and how much he loves his cats and wants to take care of them, and just pointing out he has so many good qualities as well. Despite everything I could still see hope and faith that things will get better someday.
Finally, after lots of conversation I did end up getting his details on a survey. Not to sign up for anything, but he just wants a visit so he can talk to someone. He has so much on his mind but he never has the chance to let it out because he has no friends to support him.
I really feel like he just needs to see Christ’s love demonstrated, and I was glad that I could do that in a small way just by listening. I feel like God helped me with my words and to just stay calm and see him for who he was.
Kellie and Bailey out canvassing in Armidale
After being picked up for lunch I went back to the church where some church members were there setting up for the food bank the next day. They asked if I had a story to tell because I came back later than everyone else. So, I ask about the food bank and who it’s available to. I wanted to share it with the man I had just met but didn’t want to disappoint him if it wasn’t available.
“We could set up a hamper and you could take it back to him this afternoon” they told me.
It was providential that I met him that day, and that they were at the church, and they had asked me about my experience.
So that afternoon Grace and I took the food back around to him. From the beginning he was touched. It meant so much to him, he couldn’t stop thanking us. He invited us in to meet his cats. It was really nice that it meant so much to him. He spoke to us for a bit and it felt like we were friends which was nice because he doesn’t have that experience.
“You know what you were saying before? I still have a little bit of hope” He told me at the end. In the short amount of time since I’d seen him, he was already so much brighter and more hopeful.
We encouraged him that he doesn’t have to conquer everything in a day, but that every small step is progress and he’ll get there.
“I don’t say this lightly but this was a real God send”
After spending so long hearing him explain his thoughts on God, to hear that he recognised that this was God working was amazing.
“We pray every morning that God will lead us to people He wants us to meet” I told him. “This didn’t all happen by chance.”
It was a blessing to see how it worked together, and God lining things up in ways that I couldn’t have even prayed for or thought to ask for!"
Jessica 27/11/19 (Armidale)
Book Stats for the Central Coast
- 261 Path to Peace
- 69 Wholesome Homemade
- 34 The Great Controversy (Including 12 small editions)
- 20 Peace Above the Storm
- 6 Health and Peace
“At the last house before pickup, I met a Pentecostal lady named Lisa* and her friend. I showed them both the Peace Above the Storm (Steps to Christ) and The Great Controversy. Lisa decided to get The Great Controversy and her friend got the Peace Above the Storm. As things wrapped up, I asked if there was anything I could keep in prayer for them, so they invited me inside to pray. I prayed with them and after Lisa began to tell me her testimony. I found out that she comes from Sydney and only comes to visit her friend every now and again.
The next day Emmanuel received a phone call from Lisa. She said she’s been loving The Great Controversy and is wondering about the Sabbath/Sunday question. She asked about Seventh-day Adventist Churches in the area and would like to visit some. She’s also been watching a TV channel that has sermons about the Lord’s day being on Saturday and not on Sunday, but she was afraid to talk to her pastor about it. She was hoping to find out more about the Sabbath truth, asking to be sent a few more simple resources about it, and maybe order more books.”
- Michael 05/12/19 Between Erina Heights and Springfield (Central Coast)
*Name changed for privacy
The Central Coast team having a relaxing Sabbath afternoon
After only two weeks of canvassing we have already seen many ways that God has been working through us. These are only two of the many testimonies that have been shared in the past few days. We look forward to seeing God's leading as the program continues.
Please continue to pray for these young canvassers that have devoted their summer to spreading the gospel!