Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Of Such Is The Kingdom..

The day started scattered and hectic. It seemed as if nothing was going as planned. And then it suddenly came time for the 4:00 P.M. Bible study. As Mom and I jumped in the car to go, she asked me to pray. I felt discouraged, and didn't feel in the frame of mind to be going to help give a Bible study. But as  I prayed, a softness filled my heart again, and I somehow felt I would be blessed.

As we drove into the little neighborhood, we spotted the Bible worker, "Chris", parked on the side of the road, waiting for us. We jumped out, and walked with him to the house we'd been at just  the week before. Last week, we'd given the Daniel 2 Bible study to the 4 children, as the Mom was lying very sick with the flue on the sofa. Such precious children! We did hope for the Mother to be well today though, as we walked to the house, in the bright, cheery sunshine.

And so we knocked and waited.

The answer came that the Mother, nor children were home, but down the road at the neighbors house. "The house with the trampoline in the yard." (And there was more than one house with a trampoline in the yard) After finding the right house, we only found  two of the children, dripping wet from playing in the water! They didn't even know where their Mom was! So we asked them if they would like to study the Bible again, and they answered excitedly, "Yes!" And so as we walked to their house, along the way, we gathered 3 more of their playmates, who also wanted to hear the story of the three men who walked in a fiery furnace without being burned!

As we set up a place outside for the drippy kids to have the study, the meager furniture in the front yard, (coolers, turned over crates, and discarded broken chairs, as well as the filthy front steps) I couldn't help but smile, as I saw the eager faces around me! I saw "The least of These" in their little faces. All three of us pitched in to tell the story, and as the kids who were learning for the first time how to use a Bible, they were enjoying reading some of the texts! They were amazed at how those three men obeyed God, even to the point of possible death! They were totally convinced that God is with us everywhere, and we have nothing to fear when He is by our side, even though Satan tries to scare us.

One of the girls spoke up and asked, "when we do really bad things will God forgive us, or will He send us to Hell?"

1 John 4:9 immediately flashed into my mind, and so we turned there. And I explained to them that when we tell Jesus we are sorry, He will forgive us, and wash our dirty hearts and make them all clean! Joslyn beamed!

"So He will forgive us, and wash us clean" she said excitedly! "Yes He will!" I smiled.

Then it was time to go, and Joslyn volunteered to pray. Hugs followed.

And then... Joslyn asked for a Bible. As she said she didn't have one of her own.


A Bible.

Then every last one of them chimed in...

 "and me too, me too!"

We promised to bring each of them their own Bible next Tuesday!

As I got in the car again, to make our homeward way, an unspeakable joy filled my heart! There's just nothing better than seeing little children excited about reading the Bible, and getting to knowing more about Jesus!

"But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence. " Matthew 19:14-15

"...and a little child shall lead them." Isaiah 11:6

Please pray, as it looks that if the mother doesn't respond next Tuesday, the Bible worker will leave this Bible study contact for us to take up on our own. What a wonderful thing could start.. as the group of kids gets bigger, it could be a challenge for just the two of us to handle their energy, but what an opportunity to teach these dear little ones about the God of Heaven!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Canvassing Stories

(Just to forewarn you, this blog post is pretty long.. But if you want to read some Canvassing stories from my last Canvassing ventures, continue reading!)

What a wonderful journey the past few months have been! There's just something wonderful about Canvassing...

Feet pounding cement.. severe cold or heat. Day after day, hour by hour, walking in the  footsteps of Jesus.
It pushes me way out of my comfort zone. It drives me to my knees. It brings tears to my eyes, as I see the worlds pain, and Gods. It brings unspeakable joy to my heart as I meet people thirsting for the words of life I bring in my bag, in those beautiful books.. His word.  And to know that Angels walk by my side.

Recently, my younger brother, Arron, and I spent 2 months Canvassing. A month in Wichita, TX and then another month in New Orleans, LA.

The first week in Wichita was bitter cold! With temperatures in the teens, wind, and snow. But still we went. Bringing God's word to those dear people there.

                                                              The church we stayed at in Wichita.

                                                                      I guess these people don't want solicitors! Good thing we're not solicitors! =)

                                                                                                                     Lol! Thanks for the invitation! =)

I remember one bitter cold day, my van went to one of the smaller surrounding towns, which was about a 45 min. drive  away. We worked there for about an hour and a half, before the police wanted us to leave. But just before pick up, I came to my first house, after Canvassing businesses. That day I had been praying for an extra special blessing, and here God gave me one! The house didn't really look promising. It was big, and looked almost empty. No car in the drive. I was frozen, and hoping for a kind heart'd person to at least invite me in, to thaw for a few minutes. I made my way to the big entry way, pushed the door-bell,  then stepped back to wait. A sweet looking, older lady answered the door, and almost immediately motioned me to come in, out of the cold. I was so very thankful! Just a few seconds into the Canvass, the phone rang. So off she went to answer it.  As I stood there in the entry, playing with the tiny dog at my feet, and praying for wisdom, I overheard the conversation she was having with the person on the phone. She was mentioning something about things being hard after her husbands passing, and so on. Hmm, I thought, I feel this could be a divine appointment. Hanging up the phone, she came over to where I was standing and said, "Honey, I would love to help you, but since my husbands passing, things have just been so hard." And here she started to choke up, as tears streamed down her face. I reached out my hand and grasped hers, looking  into her eyes, I said gently, "I'm so sorry... could I share some Bible promises with you?" She nodded. And so pulling out my little Bible from the bag slung over my shoulder, I started reading precious promises to her about death. She went to get a pen and paper and started writing down the references. After a few minutes, with still a shaky voice, she said, "I have so many questions  that no one seems to be able to answer." She invited me to have a seat in her living room. As I sat down, I noticed that on the table, stood a framed picture of her dear husband. Setting my heavy bag down, I again opened my Bible, and gave her a mini Bible study... the best I could! Eventually the Canvasser I was supposed to be meeting knocked on the door, and she also invited her in, and we both shared with her. We shared mainly about "Peace Above the Storm", and "The Desire of Ages". She said she would buy the "Peace" and so went off to get the money, and came back with enough for both the books! We had prayer with Rose before leaving, which so touched her heart! She told us how we had been such an encouragement to her that day, and that she knows the Lord brought us there! My heart was thrilled!

I could tell you so many other stories from Wichita.. of the Baptist  Pastor who bought a Great Controversy.. Of the girl living in the apartments, who's father was an SDA Pastor, but she had left the church, and how she was OVERJOYED to meet an SDA, and she also bought a Great Controversy, and was so very thrilled to have it!! And so many more... but I will also tell a couple from New Orleans.

There, in New Orleans, the weather was so much different. Most of the time hot and humid. Always it seemed I was in need of water. And my fair skin soon became red from the hot sun.  But the experiences I had there outweighed all the pain!

I remember one day, Canvassing one of the towns surrounding New Orleans. The morning was slow, and I was fighting back discouragement, when I started on a little strip of businesses, and  went into this one little business, I believe it was an at&t store, but I very well could be wrong. I was surprised to see only one lady in there as I walked in the door. The place looked so empty. I canvassed her on the books, and she was so delighted with the books that were in my hand set, so I started pulling the others out of my bag, and adding them to the growing pile on her desk. She ended up buying 5 or 6 of them, and ended by signing up for Personal Bible studies!! I was so very excited! Then a different day in the same town, I was put on a stretch of businesses, to meet up with Moses. I met with him at a Barber shop, where he was having a deep conversation with the man there. That ended with a leaving of a GC, and out the door we went. He said that he had skipped the business next door, because the business owner was busy at the moment. So we went in there together, and Canvassed the lady in there, who  was so delighted in the books, she ended up buying 7 of them! She wanted a picture of me and her, to show to her family.. because she said I was so sweet, and it was just so wonderful  meeting  us! =) She handed her phone to Moses, and I did the same, so I could capture the wonderful memory as well!

I will never forget this next story.. I must say it was my favorite one of the whole Canvassing trip. Simple though it may seem, it really pulled hard at my heart strings.

We were Canvassing in the heart of New Orleans this day. It was just after lunch break, and all of us Canvassers were still tired, and struggling to find the energy, and courage to keep going on, in this humid, secular minded place. It wasn't long after I was dropped off on my narrow, house crowded, little street, that I came to this house.

                                              That brown house you see across the street is the one were the boy was.

Up the stairs I climbed, and knocked at the glass door. Inside I noticed a man, with a little boy coming to the door, each with a different shade of skin. The man opened the door, looked at me, and snickered, nodding his head to the boy he said, "I'll let you talk to him!" And so saying, he turned and walked back into the house. I stood there speechless for a few seconds, then the boy stepped just outside the door, and looked up at me, and said, "What are you doing?" I thought, well, I guess I'll talk to him. So I started showing him "My Friend Jesus" and "Real Hero's" As he was flipping through "My friend Jesus" he said slowly, "I've heard about Jesus, I want to learn more about Him.." I then asked him if he had a Bible. Then he said to my utter surprise, "What's a Bible..?" Pulling my little Bible from my bag, I showed him what a Bible was. He said, "I've never seen a Bible." My heart felt like breaking! He said he was 9 years old, and went to a school nearby. His mom had left his dad, who he said has had 3 wives.. broke my heart. I asked him which book he would like to have the most, and he said, " I would choose "My Friend Jesus", so he could learn more about him. Right then the man came back to the door, and laid his hand firmly on the boys shoulder, and commanded him to go clean the bathroom. The boy left with the "My Friend" in his hands. Then turning to me the man said, "We are strongly against religion in this house, so we don't want your books.." I said quietly, "So Sir, then what do you believe?" He said, "Well I believe there could be a God, but that is for everyone else to argue about!" I turned to leave and said, "Well, have a good day, sir." As I walked down those stairs, I paused mid-way down, my heart breaking within, tears welling up in my eyes, emotion throbbing in my chest.. I sent up a prayer for that little boy in that house, who had just received a book about my dear Jesus! It may be his only way of getting to know about Him! Oh how I hope to meet that little lad in Heaven someday!

That is just a taste of my experiences there. I could tell so much more! I was so blessed... I don't deserve to be rewarded for my labors so. But I'm sure God delighted to see the joy in my face, for each book left behind.

When I got back to the school, (Ouachita Hills) a couple girls, (Kaitlin Arthur and Sarah Baute) and I  went out canvassing in a town nearby, raising money for them to go to YD camp this Summer. It was so much fun Canvassing with them, out in that little country town! =)

Is the Lord calling you to the Canvassing work? He surely needs more laborers in His vineyard! He calls us all to service. I know time is very short. You see it in a much fuller way when you are out in the field. This Great Controversy is almost ended. Which side will we be on?

                       "The Lord calls for many more to engage in the canvassing work…" CEv 41