Literature Evangelists Help Lead Outreach Initiative
By Danielle Perez
The numbers are impressive: 22,622 doors knocked on; 15,517 GLOW tracts handed out; 2,238 copies of The Great Controversy distributed; approximately 2,089 people prayed with; and more than 216 requests for Bible studies collected. More impressive than these statistics, however, is the fact that it was all done by young people.
More than 2,800 Seventh-day Adventist teenagers and young adults knocked on doors in Orlando, Florida, as a part of the annual Generation. Youth. Christ. (GYC) convention’s campaign to reach its surrounding communities.
In preparation for the outreach, participants gathered in the nearby convention center for training. The meeting was opened with testimonies about the impact of The Great Controversy on individual lives. Following the testimonies, four young adult employees from the Central California Conference trained attendees to go door-to-door requesting donations, for which a copy of The Great Controversy was offered.
The four young people who trained the participants have had significant experience with door-to-door work, as they are also leaders in Youth Rush, a 10-week literature evangelism program for high-school and college-age students. “The fact that we did in 38 minutes of training what would normally take two weeks in a summer program is great!” said Ranela Kaligithi, one of the four.
The donations generated by participants were given to S.A.L.T. (Service and Love Together), a local ministry focused on helping homeless individuals, low-income families, and children who live at or below poverty level.
After more than two hours of knocking on doors, and $16,000 in donations, participants came back ready to share their testimonies. “Thank you so much for the training,” said one young woman from Barbados. “We put everything into practice as we distributed our books. We loved outreach!”
Upon entering the house of a friendly woman, Jennifer Beltz and her older brother, AJ, were able to pray with the woman and leave a copy of The Great Controversy. “I had been praying all morning that God would send me an answer to the problems I was having, and you two are like angels sent from God to help me,” said the woman with tears in her eyes. The community management asked Beltz and her brother to leave the neighborhood shortly thereafter.
Respecting on the management’s request and reflecting on the experience, Beltz commented, “Praise God! It was awesome to see that God sent us to connect with this resident at just the right time.”
Not only did this outreach experience impact people in the community, it dramatically changed the lives of the participants. “Some of these people have probably never gone door-to-door,” Kaligithi said. “And the fact that they raised $16,000 with limited training is amazing.”
Ted N. C. Wilson, General Conference president, also participated in the outreach initiative. “It was a great experience,” Wilson said. “GYC not only gives young people a chance to grow spiritually through biblical messages, but it’s also a wonderful way to participate in sharing the Three Angels’ Messages with the public during GYC outreach activities. I was blessed to be part of it!”
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