Mission Experience–Meetings

So…Once again it’s been a long time, but I will attempt to finish the two remaining ME posts tonight–so that the series will finally be completed. 🙂

We spent about half of our time in the Philippines conducting an evangelistic series for the people there…

Brookes Point evening Child Evangelism meetings.

Brookes Point evening Child Evangelism meetings.

Each evening, my team and I would walk to the local school and set up. I am honestly starting to forget some of the details and I may get some of them wrong, but I’ll do my best to share a few stories that I still remember clearly.

There were a couple nights that our Brooke’s Point CE leader was feeling ill and therefore was not able to come to the meeting. She had two main jobs: time-keeping and leading craft time. She also did all sorts of other random things to keep the meeting running smoothly, but those are the main categories that I can think of.

Cheyenne (our CE leader) had asked me to be the time-keeper in her absence. Basically that meant that I was to carry her phone and text Mr. Ted (the Public Evangelism time-keeper, etc. in Brooke’s Point), coordinate ending times with him, and make sure my teammates knew when it was their turn to do something up front. Simple right? Especially since Cheyenne’s phone was just an old Nokia? One like I used to play with…

But no. It was not simple. lol It’s amazing what a bit of stress can do to a person’s mind! For the first part, I couldn’t figure out why the phone was typing whole words instead of single letters, therefore I couldn’t reply to the simple text: “Who has the phone?”. Simple enough answer: “Samantha”, but I couldn’t–for anything–figure out how to type it!

In my frustration I zeroed my eyes in on the phone, focusing wholly on it. I typed and deleted. I desperately tried to figure out what was going on. But to no avail. I noticed the children around me started calling to me and I didn’t even glance. I simply concentrated harder and continued trying to figure that phone out on my own.

Finally giving up, I turned to the children and asked what they wanted. Their response? Simply to point in the direction to my left, where stood–patiently waiting against the wall….Mr. Ted.

I couldn’t believe myself.

I had just spent what seemed like an eternity, trying to figure something out when the answer was beside me. I pointlessly focused on my problem when I could have paid attention to the solution.

Now, in my defense, I had no way of knowing that Mr. Ted would come over to check on us. Therefore I had no way of knowing that help was right beside me (although I certainly could’ve responded to the children much sooner…).

But, once again, it taught me a lesson.

Sometimes, when life overwhelms me, I stare at my problem desperately trying to solve it. I stare so long and hard, I concentrate so fully that I can not realize that Jesus is patiently waiting to give me the simple answer. But when I do look up, He always patiently calls to me and shows me His way. He explains the problem and reminds me that He is the Solution. He never looks down on me for my ridiculous striving; but kindly, gently reminds me that there is a better Way.

There were often nights when the rain was pouring down hard as we met. There were nights where slightly creepy men followed us (specifically the girls) around. There were nights when the power went out–and thankfully came back on shortly thereafter. I spent many nights freaking out because there was one girl who specifically enjoyed taunting me with dreadful cockroaches! I was near tears by the time we returned to the lodge one night (which, if you know me, is very unusual)…It was just so freaky! I hated the spiders and the cockroaches, but the local people didn’t seem to mind them–and some even held them!!!!! ICK!!!

I believe there were over 125 baptisms on Sabbath afternoon! Praise God!!!

I believe there were over 125 baptisms on Sabbath afternoon! Praise God!!!

In the end, any sacrifice (or frightful creature) was worth it. We had a baptism on the last Sabbath that we were in the area. The joy on the faces of those gathered was unspeakable.

Oh that we all had that same joy, every day of our lives!

 

Pressing Heavenward,
Samantha

Mission Experience–Training

The very next day, after we arrived in Brooke’s Point, we began a week of training in preparation for two weeks of evangelistic meetings. I am amazed as I look back and see how God was working in my life, personally, and also through our team in the lives of the local people.

I mentioned in my post: Mission Experience—The Pre-Trip Stories, that I was very afraid of going on a mission trip. I was afraid of travelling and being so far from home, but most of all I was afraid to get out of my comfort zone and speak. I am typically a very shy person and just to introduce myself to someone who first introduced themselves to me is beyond my comfort zone! I knew when I applied to go on the trip that I would either be in the Public Evangelism (PE) team or the Child Evangelism (CE) team. Both teams included both public speaking and—as I would soon find out—our whole team would be given lots of opportunities to personally invite people to attend the meetings.

The parts of our day which were actually considered classes were first Group Training and then Child Evangelism for me and the rest of the CE team and Public Evangelism for that team. In Group Training we learned some basic things about speaking effectively and properly along with some Filipino culture. In CE, we learned about how to speak enthusiastically so as to keep the interest of the children, practiced reading our scripts of the stories for the different evenings we were assigned to and did a lot of preparation of craft supplies and such. But, while these classes did fill most of our days, we also had some time to do other things…Things that scared me terribly, but also gave me an opportunity to see God truly working drastic changes in me.

Each afternoon we had personal time and quiet time. During personal time we could practice instruments, for those who brought them; we could take care of laundry; we could just relax, chat or whatever else. I usually spent that time either sleeping or cutting crafts out for CE.

One day, Mr. Ted told us that he was going to take all the girls to the market if we wanted to go. It was not very far away and we walked there during personal time and wandered around for quite a while. I had a nice time just looking at everything.

A picture Mr. Ted took for me while we were walking Sabbath afternoon...We called him the "camera tree" because he was holding most of our cameras to take a group picture for us. :)

A picture Mr. Ted took for me while we were walking Sabbath afternoon…We called him the “camera tree” because he was holding most of our cameras to take a group picture for us. 🙂

As it was nearly time to go, Mr. Ted told us all that none of us could leave until everyone had invited at least one person to the meetings. I foolishly tried to get away without inviting anyone, but Mr. Ted had apparently already noticed a few days earlier (on a Sabbath afternoon walk with most of our team) that I was not one to just go up to people and start talking—I had not invited anyone Sabbath afternoon until Mrs. Evert told me to walk with her and she started the talking…Not to mention the fact that I made a terrible mess of that invitation. So…Mr. Ted asked me directly if I had invited anyone.

I shook my head “no” and he said that I absolutely had to. Ugh…I was so nervous! Seeing that I was practically frozen to the ground in 100 degree weather, he looked around for someone to invite and then said “Come on, Samantha” and headed toward her. He introduced himself to her, told her a bit about our group and then introduced me and said “Maybe you’d like to tell her about the meetings we’ll be having.” I think I managed to make a bit more sense of that invitation than the one with Mrs. Evert, but still…Mr. Ted had to fill in a lot of details (such as what time) just because my mind was so jumbled I couldn’t even think.

Also on Sabbath afternoon: a few people from our team got to go to a local AY (Adventist Youth) program while the rest of us stayed back at the lodge. I was very relieved to not have been chosen to go to AY! For those who don’t know: AY is pretty much a Sabbath afternoon get together for local SDA youth to sing, share testimonies and just hang out with a spiritual focus. Little did I know, shortly after we got back to the lodge from church, it was announced that those of us there were going to have our own AY program!

Long story short, I was one of those selected to share a promotional: a short testimony, thought about a Bible verse, or a mission story. Once again, my mind froze. A few friends and I were each supposed to choose one of the above options and come up with something to share with the group within about 5 or 10 minutes.

I couldn’t think for anything—even once it was suggested to me that I share how I ended up on Mission Experience. And I still couldn’t think even when Mr. Ted practically told me my own story. Finally he mentioned a quote which his father, Mr. Evert, had shared with me while I was fundraising and that struck a chord in my memory. I quickly scribbled down a few thoughts and then our time was up.

As we were walking back to the meeting area to share our promotionals, I said: “I’m going to have a heart attack!” To which Mr. Ted replied: “That’s ok, I know CPR…” I think that comment served its purpose and I relaxed a little bit…I was still majorly nervous but I didn’t have a heart attack… 😉

As I kept having these experiences where I was terrified and couldn’t even think, I learned how to wholly rely on God. I can assure you: my brain surely didn’t do me much good! But God is faithful! I know this post is getting long, but I just want to share one more story…These actually happened during the weeks of the meetings, but they go along with this subject.

A couple days after the meetings started it was my turn to go visiting in the local community. There were some of the local church members who came to walk around with us and we usually had at least one other from the ME team with us, as well.

I was quite nervous that first time I went out. I had not been away from the lodge, yet, without Mr. Ted and this was a new experience. As we were walking, one of the local girls, Jessa, told me that I was going to be the one doing the talking at the next house. My first thought was “NO WAY!” But she insisted, as did the others.

I opened my Bible to find a verse that I could share at the next house and, as I flipped through, I came upon Isaiah 41:10: “Fear thou not, for I am with thee, be not dismayed for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee, yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Jessa asked to see which verse I had chosen and so I handed her my Bible.

She read it through and then said: “That’s your verse!” I was confused as to the reason she said that and so she repeated: “That’s your verse, Samantha…Fear thou not!” Wow. Here God was giving me the exact promise that I needed for that moment and I had applied it in my mind to far-off circumstances.

I wonder how often we do that to God. How often do we take the promises that He shows us and say “Yeah, when such and such happens 20 years from now, I will remember that promise and it will give me the strength I need to go on.”? And then we go on saying that God has abandoned us in our current situation, when really we’re just storing up His blessings instead of using them…And God is there saying: “No! This is for here! This is for now! Claim it, count on it, use it! Twenty years from now, I’ll give it to you again!”

By the end of Mission Experience I was almost completely comfortable walking up to random people on the street and inviting them to the meetings—all details included. It was on the last day of visitations that I wasn’t nervous at all as I was talking to someone I’d never met. I was practically jumping up and down! Hallelujah!

Whatever God is calling you to do, don’t refuse because you are fearful or unsure. His grace is sufficient and it is in our weakness that He can supply us with His divine strength because then we realize our total need.

And I pray that as we read God’s promises, that we will apply them to our lives now. That we will see His grace in the simplest situations, that we will accept His love for today—no matter how small or unimportant this specific trial may seem.

Blessings, my friends, as you endeavor to climb out of your comfort zones for God!

 

Until next time, (When I get to share some more amazing stories—this time about our two-week series…)

Samantha

 

Mission Experience–Journey to Brooke’s Point

So last time I shared a post entitled: Mission Experience–The Pre-Trip Stories. I shared about how I ended up applying to be a Mission Experience participant and how I struggled to trust in God through the fundraising experience. I vaguely mentioned that  God had provided in amazing ways and left it at that. Well, as I was washing dishes after writing that post, I was thinking about those “amazing ways” and decided to just share one short story with you.

I had received an email from YD that pretty much said that I needed to promptly apply for my Philippine visa…They had finally gotten our flight schedule worked out and we didn’t have a whole lot of time to spare. The only problem for me was that I didn’t have any money to spare. (Read: I didn’t have any money at all!) We were asked, if at all possible, to have our visas applied for by Friday.

That Sabbath I went to church still wondering how I was going to pay the $30 fee. I had learned that it did me absolutely no good to worry about it and that God would take care of it, but I still wondered “how?”. As always, God had an answer.

A friend came up to me just before the church service started and handed me a check–for $30. I was so excited! Isn’t God awesome?!

 

So now I get to tell you about our exciting journey to Brooke’s Point, Palawan! 🙂

 

Believe it or not, I got up on Sunday morning about 15 minutes before the time when I was supposed to leave for the airport…that was when my Mom finally decided that if she didn’t get me up–I’d be likely to miss my flight. :/ I jumped out of bed, dressed, made my bed, grabbed a bite (quite literally) to eat, threw my things in the car, and left the house headed for the airport.

We were running late (for obvious reasons), but as we were driving down the road I realized that I’d forgotten my water bottle at home. Thankfully that was the only thing I’d forgotten and we were able to quickly stop by a store and grab a new one.

At the Medford, OR airport, my Mom dropped me off and headed home. I was there alone with only my luggage as company. 🙂 Mom hadn’t been able to park anywhere that she could go in with me and so I was left to figure out how to check in. Kinda funny…as I think about it now I realize that somehow shyness doesn’t matter when you’re in a “great, big” airport and you have no idea what you’re doing!

I didn’t even consider trying to figure that place out on my own! 😉 I wasn’t sure how to check in so I asked a fellow passenger, who thankfully knew more than I did, and managed to get to my gate with time to spare. While waiting I was reading some worthless stories and God prompted my heart “Is this really what you want to share with those you meet during this trip?” The answer was “no” and so I turned my phone off and grabbed a book by Mrs. White to read.

I had been told to meet up with Helen, another ME participant, in Seattle, WA and then go and meet the rest of the team at the Alaska Airlines check-in counter. I safely arrived in Seattle and waited for about an hour before I decided I’d better just go find Mr. Ted–I still hadn’t seen Helen. So I walked all over the place trying to find the Alaska Airlines check-in, and I even had airport security starting to watch me closely. I finally asked someone and was told that I just needed to go up “those stairs”.

I went up the stairs and saw…nothing. Turning around, I saw that there was another set of stairs that I assumed I should climb. Once upstairs I saw about 5, yes FIVE, Alaska Airlines check-in counters!!! Oh, which one do I choose?!?

Those shirts were sure helpful when trying to keep track of each other!

Those shirts were sure helpful when trying to keep track of each other!

Soon I spotted some other people with red ME polos on and ran over to them. It was so good to not be alone anymore! We chatted for a while before we saw Mr. Ted and the other people who drove with him to the airport carrying things into the airport. Now I totally didn’t have to know anything…Mr. Ted already did! 🙂

We spread out the supplies, that needed to be brought, among all those traveling. We each had one YD box or bag and one personal bag to check in. Mr. Ted was able to contact Helen and soon she joined the rest of us. I’m pretty sure we flew from Seattle to San Francisco, CA, to Taipei, Thailand, to Manilla, Philippines, and then to Puerto Princesa, Philippines.

We had a lot of fun together, although I have to say: the trip home was even more fun! But you’ll just have to wait to find out why. 😉

All throughout the trip I was very nervous. You see, I’d only flown once before and had never been outside the United States. Security and customs were the most intimidating part, besides the constant fear that somehow I’d get lost or Mr. Ted would get separated from us. But through the experience I learned an important lesson.

Most of us know that in order to really live a victorious Christian life we must constantly keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, right? Now how do we make that practical? We can’t really see Him…

For just a moment let’s use my airport experience as a parable. I represent a Christian, striving to become more and more like Jesus. Mr. Ted represents Jesus.

Here’s how it’s practical…

To put it simply, I was nearly constantly thinking of Mr. Ted during the whole entire trip. Where was he? Would he be likely staying put? Or heading somewhere else? If he was going somewhere else, where would that be? What was he doing? Was there any way I could get closer to him? (Within reason, of course….) Will this activity I’m doing put me in a position where I might lose sight of him?

Do you get the point?

Friends, if we are to stay close to Jesus we must fill our every waking (and even sleeping) thoughts with Him! I didn’t exactly ask myself those questions, but I was constantly answering them. If our group was doing different things, and I had the choice, no matter which looked like more fun–I chose what he was doing. No matter how entertaining or fun the things of this world seem…We must choose to follow wherever Jesus leads. I would only go somewhere if I was absolutely sure that Mr. Ted would both approve and be there when I returned.

You see, I had no idea what I was doing in those airports that make MFR look tiny. But Mr. Ted knew exactly what he was doing (most of the time) because he had traveled through them before. Hasn’t Christ traveled this path of life before us? I assure you, He does know the way!

When we arrived at Sunset Lodge we were greeted by this awesome sign. :)

When we arrived at Sunset Lodge we were greeted by this awesome sign. 🙂

 

In Puerto, we met up with Mr. and Mrs. Evert and a few people who had flown from the East Coast and arrived in Puerto a day or two before the West Coast group. We stayed the night in Puerto, had breakfast at the mission there and left in a Jeepney for Brooke’s Point the next day.

Sunset Lodge, in Brooke’s Point, would be our home for the next month…which is a story for another day…

Until next time,

Samantha

Mission Experience–The Pre-Trip Stories

I love YD!

It was a wonderful time of the year…The most wonderful time of the year, if you ask me, although it has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas or Winter and everything to do with Summer. Any ideas what I’m talking about? YD camp, of course! 🙂

To catch you up on events:

Early in 2012 I received an information brochure and application for Mission Experience from Young Disciple. I read over it and asked my Mom what she thought (She totally thought I should go!) and then placed it in my drawer. I wanted to forget about it because the idea of going overseas was terrifying.

Yet I was constantly nagged by the thought that this was something God wanted me to do. This nagging got unbelievably worse when I went to YD camp last year.  I did my best, I could not forget it.

Now for the story…’Twas the most wonderful time of the year:

I arrived at camp on Sunday extremely excited! It was an amazing two weeks (of course!), but all throughout those weeks I was trying very hard to ignore everything shouting at me to surrender to God and apply to go on ME (Mission Experience). I finally did that when, during choir, Mr. Tony asked which of us would like to introduce the song “I Will Go”.

No one else was volunteering–and I certainly wasn’t! But there’s something about wanting to do things to make others happy that is very powerful in driving a person to do things they didn’t want to do. 😉 I nervously raised my hand, agreeing to speak in front of way-too-many-people for me to stay in my comfort zone.

He put my name down for the program Sabbath afternoon and I was stuck. If there is one thing I won’t do, it’s tell you to do something I refuse to do myself. So if I have to remind you  of the Great Commission and urge you to go and fulfill the mission Christ has for you, I also have to give in and fulfill my mission.

The thought constantly in my mind for the next couple days was: “How can I introduce the song ‘I Will Go’ without saying ‘I Will Go’?” You would not believe how ridiculously hard I tried to figure that out–from asking Mr. Tony, to asking my unit counselor and even the head girl’s counselor…It was unavoidable.

So that Sabbath afternoon, as I introduced the song for choir, in my heart I told God “I will go.”.  As soon as I got home, I filled out the application and sent it in. Long story short, I was accepted and started on the fundraising journey.

Fundraising:

In the beginning I was very excited to see what the Lord would do in and through me–the miracles He would work–as I sought to raise the funds needed for the trip. But, as so often happens, I soon became discouraged by the disbelief surrounding me and began to wonder if it was really possible.

A few people had asked me what would happen if I wasn’t able to raise the whole amount that I was supposed to raise and I had to tell them I had no idea. I told my parents this and they advised me that I should call YD and ask them. I didn’t really want to (have I mentioned that I’m terrible at phone calls?), but ended up calling anyway.

I’m so thankful that most–if not all–of YD staff are perfectly willing to have mostly one-sided conversations, if you can’t figure out what to say! I tried to call Mr. Ted, but he wasn’t there so I just called the main office number and ended up talking to Mr. (Will) Evert. Here’s the gist of our extremely encouraging conversation.

Conversation:

I asked Mr. Evert what would happen if I was unsuccessful in my fundraising and he told me that no one had ever been unable to go because of a lack of funds–some raise more than they needed and some less, but either way God provides. I told him that was encouraging and he said “Oh, so you need encouragement too, huh?” We ended up having a rather long conversation during which he shared some awesome things with me. I’d like to share the two which have really stuck in my head ever since.
1. “When we give ourselves wholly to God and in our work follow His directions He makes Himself responsible for its accomplishment. He would not have us conjecture as to the success of our honest endeavors. Not once should we even think of failure! We are to cooperate with One who knows no failure!” –Christ’s Object Lessons, pg. 363

2.”Work hard…Pray hard…Trust hard…And God will answer prayers!” –Mr. Evert

So when we give ourselves completely to God, working faithfully for Him, cooperating with Him through prayer, and trusting in His power, God will answer our prayers–through Him we CANNOT fail!! That’s awesome!

After that I went back to my fundraising with a renewed hope and energy. God provided in so many ways and on Sunday, March 26, I was on my way with an amazing team to experience my very first overseas mission trip. Scary, but amazing…And that’s another story for another day.

Until next time,

Stay Faithful!

Samantha

My First Sermon

Written October 22, 2012

It was a lovely Sabbath afternoon. My brother and I were out hiking with some church friends in the beautiful Oregon countryside. Most of the group was enjoying the walk and scenery with Mrs. Witcombe, our Pastor’s wife, but Jonathon and I had opted for walking faster and enjoying pleasant conversation with the Pastor. Pastor Witcombe decided that perhaps it would be a good idea to stop and rest awhile so that the rest of the group could catch up a bit. Well, as we stood there Pastor mentioned that he would like Jonathon to do a sermon at our church sometime. This was an okay conversation–I agreed, he should! As the group caught up that specific subject was dropped, but as we started walking again Pastor said “You should do it too, Samantha!” Ummm…bad turn of events! In my mind, I was thinking “NO WAY!”

Fast forward about a year. I’m spending time on my knees Sabbath morning, my 16th birthday. This really is a long story, but I’ll summarize it for you. (Watch the video linked to at the end of this post for the whole story. 😉 ) For a couple years now I’ve struggled with the subject of music. This specific morning I’d been battling with God as He prompted me to destroy the last bits of it that were still in my life. When, at last, I surrendered I was at such peace that I told God that there was nothing that could keep me from sharing it. Ummm…remember the story this post started with???

So, I gave in and wrote my first sermon. After a couple weeks of “Am I sure I want to do this???” I wrote an email to my Pastor asking if he still wanted me to do that. Silly question. His response? “Yes indeed!” 🙂

He got me put into the schedule and last week I shared my first sermon. I was nervous at first, but by the time I stood up-God had put His peace in my heart. He always blesses when we submit our lives to Him and follow His guidance! What an awesome God we serve!

If you’re interested in listening to the message, it’s on YouTube.

Of Lessons Through Illness

Written October 13, 2012

I sit here tonight, in my cool messy room. My head is a bit painful, I’m congested, and my throat is less than comfortable. WHY???

Well, because you need it.

WHAT???

You need it.

SERIOUSLY???

Yes, my child. You need it. Remember you’re struggling with keeping your voice gentle? Well, I’m offering you some help. 🙂

So I sit. Yes, Lord, I think I understand.

Seems to be going around blogs, these days. I’m sick. Why? And God replies: “I have the best in mind.”

Quite recently I prayed that God would help me with my terrible habit of endless yelling. Raising my voice at the cute 3-year-old because he made a mistake. Or the growing 8-year-old who just never seems to get it.
I posted a while ago about getting quite ill after YD camp and thinking that I had whooping cough. You know how that finally got cured? I quit yelling. That simple. Shortly after, old habits returned…And guess where I am today! My throat hurts!! (I really was sick, and I managed to get over that…but my throat needed rest in order to fully heal…)

You see, I have a dreadful temper. If angered deeply enough I’ve been known to physically be a bit awful. Seems I yell my life away nearly everyday (if not every day). I hate to admit being controlled…but my temper controls me.
(Did you notice in the dialog above the all-caps in my responses? I didn’t think about writing it that way–that’s just what comes naturally to me. I’m frustrated. WHY AM I ALWAYS SICK??? [Isn’t CAPS the online way to yell?] For the record: I’m really not always sick.)

So I ask God for victory…He, in His infinite mercy, grants me some help when I can’t seem to do it on my own.

Last night, I lay on the couch. I was frustrated. I came home from babysitting for the day and suddenly noticed that the tiredness that had been in my eyes all afternoon was fever. I was having difficulties with changing the offices and positions I hold at church. (Last two years I was: chorister, Kindie Sabbath School assistant and greeter. It didn’t work out when different agreements came together and I was the Greeter, Song Leader, and Sabbath School Teacher all in one week! So, this year I’m only accepting Kindie Sabbath School assistant. But, the work is great and the laborers are few.) My room was a mess–and there was NO way I wanted it to stay that way! But I was tired. I told Mom all I wanted to do was sleep…And she said that was probably a good idea. But, no! I didn’t really want to sleep.

My sweet sister then came over and felt my forehead. “Oh, you’re quite hot!” And off she ran. Before long she was back with a cool washcloth and placed it on my head. I said something about freezing to death (quite the exaggeration, and I wasn’t even talking about current situations), but off she ran again. Quickly she returned with her warm feather comforter and snuggled me up cozily, there on the couch. Then she got another bright idea. “May I go in your room, Samantha?” “Uh, I guess” (She didn’t seem in the mood to get into mischief 😉 ) Off she ran again and soon returned with Mr. White. (My teddy bear…that I seem to not sleep well without.) She lifted the blanket and put it in my arms. Touching the washcloth she exclaimed, “this is already quite warm!” and again, off she ran to cool my washcloth. The timer went off and she ran to get dinner out of the oven. Dinner time! I considered getting up out of my cozy bed to get something to eat. Not for long…My dear sister was soon by my side with a plateful of food.

How could I be angry???

It makes me think: God in His great mercy came down to this earth, suffered for me, paid the price for my sins, served His whole life long, went back to Heaven and sent us the Comforter, and is currently preparing a place for me.

How could I be angry???

He did the same for you.

How could you be angry? Or depressed? Or troubled?

Jesus longs to give rest to the weary soul. I think it’s about time we ask, don’t you?

“Dear Father, thank you so much for coming down to this dreary place to save us. I pray that you would draw very near to all who would read this, that you would grant them the peace you have promised (John 14:27). I thank you for hearing and answering this prayer. In Jesus’ precious name. Amen.”

This is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us!

Until next time,

Samantha

Literature Evangelism Experiences

I had SO much fun in LE (Literature Evangelism) class the first week of camp! On Monday Mr. Eugene Prewitt (our teacher) shared some tips and instructions on how to be a successful literature evangelist. He also gave us some time to go over our canvass and make sure we knew it.  We got to know each other a little bit and then were ready to go out the next day into the community.

On Tuesday I went out with my unit/tent counselor, Katie. She was one of the experienced canvassers so I was able to take a little time to get comfortable with the situation. 😉 After the first house she asked if I’d like to do the second and I told her “no”, so she did that house. As we walked to the third house she said “okay, Samantha you are doing this house!” I said “okay…I guess” Then when we got to the house I noticed that the owner was outside and for some reason that is intimidating to me…Katie did the talking at that house as well.  After that she insisted that I do the next house so I knocked on the door and nobody answered. Oh, the suspense! We finally left and after asking if she’d do the next house since I knocked on that door I ended up doing the next one…and nobody answered! I was getting a bit annoyed–nobody was answering their doors for me and I’m one of those people that is terrified of doing something new until I try it. Finally after 3 or 4 of those houses I at last got to talk to someone–and my mind went blank in the middle of my canvass. I was thankful that Katie took over!

We had some really neat (and some scary) experiences that day. We met a dear lady who bought some books and then told us that she knew Sylvia Evert (Mr. Tony’s wife) and that because we didn’t have a “Real Heroes” Bible story book that she’d just ask Mrs. Evert for it. 🙂  Then as we went along we met another lady who told us that she’d bought one of our cookbooks-More Choices-from one of the canvassers on the ferry last year. She wanted to see the other cookbook and ended buying that.  The creepiest thing that happened that day, and really all week, was when we walked up to this house and there were 4 or 5 men sitting outside. There was also a lady who was in a wheelchair and told us that we needed to talk to her mom about the books. So we did and she wasn’t interested, but before we left one of the men told Katie that her voice was sexy…Oh wow, and we’re turning our backs on these guys! Praise God He can take our backs while we move forward for Him!

Another day while I was canvassing with Victoria, we went up to a house and the man which answered the door told us that we ought to talk to his wife. So he got her and she came to the door. When we showed her the cookbook she wasn’t interested, but as I showed her the Great Controversy she said that we really ought to talk to her husband because “he’s the history guy”. She ended up shouting to him and he told her to decide. She said they weren’t really interested and we asked for a drink of water. She said sure and invited us in. Then she pulled out some chairs at the kitchen table (honestly, a canvasser’s nightmare) and asked us to sit down. We told her “thank you, but no thank you 🙂 ” and her husband said that she’d much prefer if we had a seat. Okay…I guess. So we sat there and drank our water as they kept us in constant conversation about EVERYTHING!! “So where are you from?” “Why are you doing this?” “What religion are you?” “Why would you go that far just for summer camp?” “Are you all alone?” “Do you know the area?” “If someone is driving you around, is he outside right now?”   Victoria finally thought we should be leaving and so told him that…His only reply “Who is the current governor of Florida?” Victoria wasn’t so sure and guessed incorrectly which got the man in a whole other conversation about the other man! I then said “we really should be going, we have a lot farther to go…” And then standing up touched Victoria’s shoulder and motioned when she looked at me that she should stand up too.  A couple minutes later of talk about the things they’ve been doing around their house and I repeated the fact that we needed to go and headed for the door. He finally stood up and said he’d let us out. The awesome part was that during that conversation we discovered that the reason they didn’t want the book was because they already had a lot of books…they ended up buying a DVD on Daniel 2!

Also that day with Victoria we talked to a man who told us he’d love to buy a book and help us out, but he didn’t have any money because he didn’t have a job. We told him we understood and then I asked if he’d like us to pray with him before we left. He said we could and so I had a prayer right with him at the door.

To you that may be a silly thing to be excited about, but to me (a girl who hates praying with anyone) it was a huge victory! Mr. Prewitt had encouraged us to pray with people at the door but I had thought that I’d just ignore that. Needless to say, God had other plans! Before I knew it we were on to the next house and I was praising God for His willingness to work with even the most nervous individual who wants to serve Him.

Then for the Grand Finale of stories…

Notice how the log hit the windshield more on the passenger side. The driver still had clear enough vision to drive all the way “home”.

On the way home from canvassing on Friday afternoon we could tell a storm was brewing. I don’t remember why right now, but for some reason we decided that maybe we should pray. Katie had a prayer for us asking God to protect us as we drove home and to also protect the others on the road and the campers at YD.  Just after she finished Mr. Prewitt saw visible rain up ahead and so started counting down to when we’d be in it: 5…4…3…2…1 BOOM!! (And he didn’t make the “boom”!) We all opened our eyes (shut them very fast because we were startled) and we saw that the windshield had been shattered!

This picture was taken sitting still waiting for the ferry to leave…It was STORMY!!

The “visible rain” that Mr. Prewitt was reffering to was not rain, but sticks and one of the large ones had hit the van. Mr. and Mrs. Prewitt and Katie who were in the driver, front passenger, and middle second row seats had glass all over them. Thankfully the windshield didn’t completely fall in, so somehow Mr. Prewitt had the presence of mind to just keep driving-of course he made sure everyone was ok.

We made it to the ferry and the two who were canvassing the ferry got the most surprised look on their faces that I have ever seen. Their mouths dropped open and they just stood still as statutes until we parked and then they came over and were like “what happened?!?!?!?!” Mr. Prewitt called YD and notified them that we were almost back and the van was not in the best condition but no one was hurt except for a very small piece of glass that got into one girl’s chin.

It was kinda funny when we pulled up by the kitchen–it almost seemed we could be celebrities! 😉 Mr. Evert was there to meet us and soon one of the camp nurses, a couple of the office staff and Mr.Ted were there also. I don’t know all who, but there was a crowd by the time we were all out of the van.  As we girls walked back to “girl’s village” we were taking glass slivers out of our shoes and shaking our backpacks, dusting our shirts and jumping to get it off of our skirts. We had an interesting story to tell our friends who weren’t with us in the van!

Praise God absolutely no one got hurt (or even close) on YD’s actual property! This really cool video shows how the Lord moved the storm around YD…

 

So, have any of you done LE? It’d be fun to hear about your experiences!! 🙂

Until next time,

Samantha