Canvassing in Port Lincoln - Week 2
Over October 16-20 the team scattered 133 large message books to residents around Port Lincoln:
- 56 The Great Controversy (including 13 small copies)
- 44 Peace Above the Storm (Steps to Christ)
- 41 Health and Peace (Ministry of Healing)
- 5 Lessons of Love (Christ's Object Lessons)
429 small Path to Peace (Steps to Christ) were also given or left for donations of any amount.
But on Sunday, October 15, we had no knowledge of the week ahead and the blessing of so many message books out!
Half our team headed to the coast in Pr Mark's Patrol. We pushed further along Whalers Way, then drove into Lincoln National Park to explore massive sand dunes. The landscape felt foreign, almost. What an amazing place...
Andy drove in from Victoria on Monday morning with a car load of books. Stocks were very low after canvassing during D'Sozo Camp and the previous week. Monday through to Friday lunchtime saw us in canvassing territory: Houses, carparks, businesses - even street passer-bys!
Local Adventists, Norm & Val Pope of Pope's Honey, kindly showed us their facilities on Tuesday afternoon. Norm explained how the Creator's design can be seen so clearly in bees. Thursday and Friday Pr Mark inspired us for morning worship. He spoke about witnessing methods and reported on a successful outreach effort in Guam that was spearheaded by a dedicated group of young people.
Driving north to Port Augusta on Friday afternoon, the team settled in at Port Augusta Seventh-day Adventist Church. During Sabbath School the next morning we testified of doors and minds that God had opened in Port Lincoln.
Sabbath came to a close while we stood on Devil's Peak - a local hike. Sunset bathed the South Australian countryside in a warm glow. Week 3 of canvassing lay before us. "And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof." - Revelation 21:23
Canvassing this afternoon I met a 30 something year old lady called Shannon. Loud music was playing but she turned it off and came out to see me. Shannon was kind of restless, moving her arms a lot.
I showed her Wholesome Homemade and the reading books but she gave them all back pretty quickly. She didn't want to talk much when I asked her about having a religious background. I took things slowly: A few questions, listening, then talking a bit more. She became a little more interested.
"Why do bad things happen?" she queried.
That's a great sign - when people start asking questions themselves. Shannon hadn't thought much about religion before and her question partly explained why she'd been turned off the thought.
She also asked me what I thought about gay marriage. I gave her my reasons for voting no, and they made sense despite her not having heard my point of view before. We kept talking about some other things. I tried to say as much as I could because it looked like she kind of wanted to go.
"Thanks for sharing," she told me as we finished up. "I guess I hadn't really seen things from that perspective before. I have an open mind."
I was really encouraged to hear that. Shannon declined the big books but took a Path to Peace and said she'd definitely read it. The big questions had always been a struggle for her; what were we here for? Plus the thought that there had to be something out there...
I'm so glad she has the chance now to make some conclusions!
Today I asked a guy about his religious background and he started talking about the Seventh-day Adventist church being a cult. I don't quite remember how the conversation came about.
"I'm a Seventh-day Adventist Christian," I told him.
The man listed some points about the organisation itself - nothing to do with the people. He didn't believe in church organisation at all. Surprisingly, he agreed with a lot of our beliefs. He agreed that Sunday keeping was the Mark of the Beast.
In the end, he took The Great Controversy and was quite interested in reading the book!
After I'd knocked twice, a woman came to her door talking really loudly.
"I don't have any time. My friends are here for dinner," she said.
"I'll quickly show you one of my favourites," I replied.
Intending to grab Peace Above the Storm but accidentally pulling out Health and Peace instead, I started canvassing the book.
"Oh, you want money for this?" the lady asked.
She went and found $5, then took Health and Peace.
I knocked. A woman came to the door so I gave her the cookbook and started canvassing.
"Is it vegan?" she interrupted, straightaway.
"Yeah," I said.
"Yes!" I confirmed again.
"Wow, that's cool. All my kids are vegan too!" she exclaimed. Turning to her kids, she asked, "Do you want another cookbook?"
First she came back with $30 for Wholesome Homemade. Then, she decided to give $50 because it was for the community.
"For that much I can leave you with some of the reading books," I told her.
The lady asked if they were vegan as well.
"No," I said, "But they are great reading books."
I started canvassing Health and Peace and she took it out of my hand and showed her kids. Then, I canvassed Peace Above the Storm. Finally, she took The Great Controversy before I could even tell her about the book properly!
"I'll give you another $20 for that," she said. Then, she added an extra $10 and brought the total to $80 for four books: Wholesome Homemade, The Great Controversy, Health and Peace, and Peace Above the Storm.
"You're doing a really good job," she said, while walking me out. "I'm going to give you a hug as well." She hugged me.
I don't know if the lady was a Christian. Every time I tried to talk she interrupted me, so I gave up in the end!
Matthew and I met an old guy named Gary this morning. He was about 70 or 80 years old and really friendly. Gary had Parkinson's disease and balance problems but he was willing to stand at the door and chat. He didn't mind talking about religion so I challenged him to consider some stuff he hadn't thought of before.
"I'm too old," was his excuse.
"You're never too old," I said. "God listens wherever you are, you don't need to be in some church."
I just told him how to receive salvation. How simple and easy God has made the way for us to receive eternal life.
Gary thanked us for coming around.