First Week Canvassing
I will never forget my first week as a Literature Evangelist. While winding around the narrow Kentucky roads, my thoughts drifted back over the events of the last few weeks. The “chance” encounter with Dan (our publishing director) a few weeks before had potentially altered the course of my life. Would it? Two and a half years earlier, my wife and I were united in marriage and moved to eastern Kentucky especially to do missionary work. For years I had worked to build a computer business, and now, together, we were building friendships in the community to win others to Christ. Yet, increasingly, I had felt the need to become more active in laboring for Christ. The computer business had begun consuming my life, and the Lord was using circumstances to show us that He had better plans for us. That’s when a casual conversation with Dan turned into an interview, and here I was–only two weeks later–starting my first day as an LE!
My reverie was interrupted as I pulled into the fueling station, which was to be our meeting point. John, my leader, arrived moments later. His cheery “Good Morning!” set my thoughts at ease. After a short time of worship and prayer together, we hit the road. Going office to office, we greeted friendly people and left sample books—books to plant a seed that would change hearts and lives! After lunch, we punched our leads into the GPS and the adventure began!
On the way to our first lead, we saw some “kiddie litter” and felt impressed to stop. At the second door, the family was interested and listened to the whole canvass. The husband was called away for a few minutes, and while making small-talk, John discovered that the wife was best friends with his sister-in-law! What a small world! We were somewhat delayed while waiting for the husband to return, and although we weren’t able to complete the sale, it only set the stage for the events to follow. At our next canvass, I had merely begun talking with the husband when his wife arrived home from work, and both were able to see the books together! At another home, as I gave the last canvass of the day, the husband remarked that he was almost never at home. God’s timing is perfect!
The following day we began again at a cold door. (I really don’t believe in “cold doors,” as the angels of God always seem to warm them up before we get there!) Both the husband and wife remarked about how they hadn’t been to church as much as they should. They had little money, but listened politely as John gave the canvass. John said later “I knew they wouldn’t buy—I was just going through the motions,” but nevertheless they bought a Family Bible and a half set of the Bible Story!
It was my turn to canvass. The address on the lead wasn’t in the GPS, and the instructions the police gave us had taken us to the edge of town. I introduced myself and John to the pleasant lady who answered the door. When I showed the lead card, the lady exclaimed “That person doesn’t live here anymore—she’s in jail!” Noticing children in the home, I explained the nature of our work and asked to step inside. The lady invited us in and listened to the canvass. I closed on the Bible Story, Desire of Ages, and the Family Bible and she bought the set!
“John, I am so mad at you!” I teased, as we drove away. “I met you over two years ago, and you never told me how much fun it is to be an LE!” Of course, John had told me before—and he assured me of that—I simply couldn’t believe it until I became one myself!
Walking up the dimly lighted steps of an old apartment building and knocking on our last door, I couldn’t help but wonder, “How did I ever get here?” A friendly gentleman and his ex-wife invited us in. “I grew up with those books!” he exclaimed as I showed the Bible Story accordion. We left with an order for the Bible Reference Library and the Family Bible.
So many miracles—all in one day!I’d never seen anything like it before! A family wanting to get back to church. A lead from a lady in jail, so a different family could have the books. A broken couple together just when we brought the books to them. I know I didn’t do it—God did it, in answer to prayer and in fulfillment of His promises!
At our last home for the week, we met a dear family. We canvassed the wife and then her father-in-law, before the husband walked in. As John read to the husband from Desire of Ages,you could see the goose-bumps on his arms and tears in his eyes. He only heard half the canvass before putting down cash on the Family Bible, Patriarchs and Prophets,and Desire of Ages.
I’m hooked! I wouldn’t trade this job for anything! It’s more than a job—it’s a life adventure full of faith and miracles! I just can’t wait to see what God has in store for next week!