In 2020, members involved in literature ministry in the Southern Union Conference are coming up with new and creative ways to use literature to share Jesus’ message of hope and wholeness. Literature ministry is so much more than simply books and tracts, and their actions broaden its scope.
Harold Brooks, pastor in Southeastern Conference, was inspired to start a literature ministry project called, “Mission Possible.” He found out he could mail a package of 10 tract packs containing five GLOW Tracts each for just $7. He decided to first pray over and then send these packages to church and family members he knew around the country, and invested his personal funds to push forward this outreach project. He included a letter designed to motivate them to reach people they knew with the hope-filled tracts. One woman received the package and distributed a pack to a community pastor she knew. The pastor gave it to a young man who was contemplating taking his life. After reading the GLOW Tract “Where is God When I’m Hurting,” he was encouraged, and decided to live. The pastor who gave the young man the tracts was so excited, she ordered more tract packs to distribute. Brooks comments that, “Literature evangelism is the secret weapon of the Adventist Church.”
It’s a Meal
Beverly Perry, Southern Union Publishing Ministries administrative assistant, has been serving literature evangelists for more than 20 years. Recently, her excitement has grown, as she has become involved in distributing hundreds of hope-filled books and tracts herself. Her church, First Lithonia in Lithonia, Georgia, has a team of more than 60 members offering boxes and bags of food to community members. On a recent Sabbath, more than 220 cars drove through the eight stations set up in the church’s parking lot. At each station, the church members placed pre-packed boxes of food and household goods into the cars’ trunks. At the last station, people were blessed with food and free literature — a spiritual meal — to compliment the physical meals given. “By linking with the Community Services and Personal Ministries departments, we offered both physical and spiritual food,” says Perry. We thank God for all those churches throughout the Southern Union that are doing an outstanding job feeding the hungry in their communities during this time of crisis.
It’s Going Above and Beyond
Grace Crawford, from Augusta, Georgia, was not satisfied sitting home, without witnessing, while the pandemic lingered on. She prayed and looked for ways she could reach her community family with the Gospel of Jesus Christ during these stressful times. Willing to invest her personal funds in a literature outreach project, she sent more than 40,000 Christ-centered, COVID-19 pamphlets filled with hope and encouragement to homes in her city. She is already working on another mass mailing to the Augusta, Georgia, area, as she goes above and beyond the call of duty. If you would like to participate in a mass mailing project for your community, call the Publishing Ministries Department at the Southern Union Conference at 770-408-1800.
“There are many places in which the voice of the minister cannot be heard, places which can be reached only by our publications — the books, papers, and tracts filled with the Bible truths that the people need. Our literature is to be distributed everywhere. The truth is to be sown beside all waters; for we know not which will prosper, this, or that,” Manuscript 127, 1903.
Clint Williams, a member from Cleveland, Mississippi, owns a successful printing business. Amid the health crisis caused by the pandemic, he prayed for ways to reach the community. The thought came to him to give appreciation to the medical providers and first responders in his city by giving them care packages that included hand sanitizer, toothpaste, and hope-filled literature. The gift packages were warmly received and front-line workers were encouraged on their mission of mercy.
The NFL Super Bowl game was held in Miami, Florida, on February 2, 2020. More than 35 churches in the Southeastern and Florida conferences, in collaboration with the Southern Union Publishing Ministries Department, received and distributed one million GLOW Tracts. These tracts were printed in Spanish, French, and English. Hundreds of members enthusiastically took thousands of tracts and distributed them throughout the area the week before the big game. Tens of thousands of visitors came for the Super Bowl week activities, and many were blessed with great literature to help them win at the game of life.
It’s a Phone Call
Many student canvassers, used to going from door to door to share the Gospel and earn scholarships, were restricted by social distancing requirements this year. Yet, they found another way to reach tens of thousands of souls who need to know Jesus. Like Moses, they used what they had — telephone and computer technology. For a number of weeks, they called thousands of church and family members, asking them to sponsor copies of Steps to Christ to be given away in communities. They also prayed for and with the persons they called. Church and family members logged on to their computers and gave generously on the Mission 2020-Youth Summit website. The students received enough donations to distribute more than 40,000 books, while earning scholarship funds to obtain a Christian education.
It’s a Balloon
State fairs are places attended by millions of people throughout the South. Tad Stauffer, a full-time literature evangelist from the Carolina Conference, found a unique way to engage people attending these fairs. He rented a booth, set up his book display, and blew up animal and sword shaped balloons for the children, while inviting the parents to check out the new Children’s Century Classics Bible Story set. He received hundreds of leads from parents and has made ties with families that they will never forget. When the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, you can be sure Tad will be back at the fairs bringing smiles to children and parents alike. To find out more about the new Bible Story set go to https://childrenscenturyclassics.com/.
“We should improve every such opportunity as that presented by the St. Louis Fair. At all such gatherings there should be present men whom God can use. Leaflets containing the light of present truth should be scattered among the people like the leaves of autumn,” Letter 296, 1904.
It’s a Visit Behind Bars
These days, more and more Seventh-day Adventist ministers are serving in key positions as prison chaplains. In Memphis, Tennessee, Joe Mitchell, chaplain, ministers to hundreds of men, women, boys, and girls weekly. He has found that there are many there who have a great hunger and thirst for the Word of God. While sharing the spoken Word, he also offers hope-filled literature, which many eagerly receive. These silent messengers can go where we cannot go and minister to the hearts of people in ways that we cannot imagine. Mitchell says, “The big question inmates ask is, ‘Does the Lord still love me in spite of what I’ve done?’” He assures them that the answer is always, “Yes!” Mitchell has always loved the literature ministry, and has used it as a means to bring more than 60 souls to the Lord. The phrase he shares wherever he goes is, “Stay with the Word!”
It’s a Soul
Oliverio Hernández is a successful businessman in Norcross, Georgia. Recently, one of our Light America Mission canvassers, Edwin Ruiz, visited Hernández and his wife, Hilda, in their home. He presented and sold a Remnant Bible. During their conversation, Ruiz discovered that the couple, fans of soccer, were having Bible studies online with a famous soccer player in Mexico, Flipi. For years, Flipi was a player and now is one of the coaches of Club America, a professional soccer club based in Mexico City. It so happens that Flipi is also a Seventh-day Adventist. He has been studying the faith of Jesus with Oliverio and Hilda for more than a month. They are very impressed by this new light, and are looking for an Adventist church to assist them. Edwin and Mynor, his leader, are now visiting the couple regularly, and answering hundreds of questions. Oliverio and Hilda are making plans to visit the Metropolitan Spanish Church, keep the Sabbath, and prepare for baptism! They also bought another Bible and more literature when the men visited.
“Take the books to businessmen, to teachers of the Gospel, whose minds have not been called to the special truths for this time. The message is to be given “in the highways,” — to men who take an active part in the world’s work, to the teachers and leaders of the people. Thousands can be reached in the most simple, humble way,” The Review and Herald, January 20, 1903.
It’s an Opportunity
What a joy it is to see how a handful of members have found exciting ways to share hope and wholeness with so many.
If you have questions on how you can get involved using your own unique gifts, contact the Southern Union Publishing Department or your local conference’s publishing director.
is the Southern Union publishing director.
Southern Union | August 2020
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