“Do you have a minute? Can I tell you a story?”
It was Peter* on the phone. I had never met him before. He called a few weeks ago and shared a story that really touched my heart.
Peter is a Christian, though not a Seventh-day Adventist. Every Monday evening he attends a men’s Bible study at his church. Peter’s story, however, is really about his neighbor, Rich.
For years Peter had tried to reach Rich for Christ without success. Rich is actually rich; and he’s never seen the need for a Savior. Rich and his wife are not only wealthy, they have ties to a “rough” crowd. In fact, Peter mentioned to me how he once saw a few Hell’s Angels motorcycle club members at a funeral for one of Rich’s family members.
About four months ago, one of Rich’s grandsons died unexpectedly. And then, more recently, another grandson was involved in a head-on collision — putting him in a coma. The doctors were not giving his grandson much time to live.
As Rich was sitting in the hospital, he saw a small GLOW tract called "What Makes Canada Great." The tract shares about times of crisis in our lives, and our ability to recognize our need for help outside of ourselves. It mentions our need of a Savior.
As Rich read the tract, he thought about his great need. He broke down and wept. All his money, power, and reputation could not save his grandson. Although Rich was not a believer before this, he made a life-changing decision to turn to God that very day. Whether his grandson lived or died, Rich knew that he needed Jesus.
Later that evening, Rich crossed the yard to see Peter and he shared with him what was happening in his life. He told Peter that he believes everything in the tract and wants to know more about God. Peter was so happy to help and asked if he could pray for him right then and there. Rich agreed and also asked that the men’s Bible study group pray for him and his grandson.
The grandson’s life was hanging by a thread. A group of 25 men started praying faithfully every day. And as the prayers went up, the power came down. The grandson’s condition started to improve.
Peter shared with me how, for the next few weeks, he had lunch with Rich on Mondays, got an update on the boy’s condition, and then told the men that evening about how God was answering their prayers. Within four weeks the boy came out of the coma. Today he is walking and doing well! The doctors cannot understand it, but Peter and Rich know where the healing came from.
Peter called me to get some GLOW tracts. He wants to give them to the men at the Bible study group and to share them with others so all can recognize their great need of Christ.
Before hanging up, Peter told me this: “For years I have been trying to reach Rich for Christ. God used this flyer to finally reach him. This tract did something in a moment that I’ve been seeking to do for years. It did something that I could not do.”
God’s Word still changes lives today. Literature ministry is all about connecting people with the transforming Word of God. Ellen G. White’s words are still true: “The living preacher and the silent messenger are both required for the accomplishment of the great work before us” (The Review and Herald, April 1, 1880).
“Reaching Rich” is just one of the many stories in the making through literature ministries in Canada. In 2019, the Lord blessed our efforts to enlist more than 500 church members and 75 literature evangelists to visit 375,000 homes, pray with and for 13,200 individuals in local communities, and distribute 593,000 books and tracts.
Join us in praising God for what he has done through Lifestyle Canada in 2019, and as you are able, please partner with us to share even more transformative books and tracts in 2020.
— Jonathan Zita is director of Lifestyle Canada, Canada’s literature evangelism ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
*Names were changed to protect privacy.