(Written by Kristina & Daniel. At this time, Kristina was working part-time at the Nutrition Center in Somerset, in addition to teaching a monthly class there.)
My day of work at the health food store had just ended, and I was gathering my things to head home, when a gentleman walked into the store looking anxious. “Do you have anything I can buy as a surprise treat for my wife?” he asked the store manager. “Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and it would be so nice to have something special for her.” The manager scratched her head. This couple had been on a strict diet for a couple months and to find a pre-packaged treat that would fit within those guidelines was virtually impossible. I overheard the conversation, and ventured out to join them. The manager introduced me to Dale, and I proceeded to give him an interesting idea. “Why don’t you just bring your wife to our Valentine’s cooking class tomorrow evening? We’ll be serving a nice meal and you can bring her out on a Valentine’s date. I’ll even make a special treat just for the occasion and it won’t cost you anything!” He wasn’t too sure about the idea, but we continued our conversation. As he left, I invited him one more time, and he promised to at least ask his wife, but there were no guarantees that they’d be able to come.
True to my promise, I made carob-dipped strawberries as a special treat for the class the next day. As the time approached, I watched anxiously to see if they would show up. Five minutes until 6pm, and still they hadn’t come. I was beginning to loose hope that they would make it! Right at 6pm, they arrived and I was SOOOO excited! We had a very fun class and as soon as it was over, they were right in line to come talk to me.
“We really enjoyed the class!” They said with a smile. “It was the best Valentine’s date he could have ever given me!” Carrie added, “I especially enjoyed those carob-dipped strawberries!” she continued, “Those were the best chocolate strawberries I’d ever eaten!” Then Dale said, “I sure wish we could meet your husband!” When I told him that Daniel was working late, and couldn’t make it to the class, he asked what Daniel did for a living. “Have you seen the Bible Story books in the doctor’s offices?” I asked, “My husband is a sales representative for them.”
I knew that Daniel had a display of books in the store, so I quickly brought the Bible Story display and the Encyclopedia of Foods display books over to show him. “Oh yes, I’ve seen those before.” He said with a smile. He looked at me quizzically, “Are you a Seventh-day Adventist?” “Yes, I am!” I answered. He smiled. “I thought those were Seventh-day Adventist books.”
As they left, they both thanked me again for inviting them and said they were so sad that they hadn’t come to check out the cooking class sooner! They promised to come again next month, too!
It was a pleasant afternoon, and my leads had taken me to an older part of town. As I arrived at the home, I realized it was a place I had visited before, in January. The people were home, but it hadn’t been a good time so they asked me to come back. As the wife, Carrie, opened the door and saw me, she hesitated. “Our daughter is coming over any minute now” she told me. I assured her that I would be as brief as possible, and she invited me in. She brought me into the living room and her husband, Dale, came in. I could tell it was going to be a fun canvass.
“Are you a Seventh-day Adventist” Dale asked, before I had even started my canvass. I assured him that I am a Seventh-day Adventist, but that I wasn’t there to push him into a church. He began telling me about the lifestyle changes he and his wife had made, and how he had recently lost forty pounds. We chatted about where we lived, and I mentioned that my wife and I live in the country near Cumberland Falls. Suddenly Carrie asked, “Is your wife the one who does the cooking classes at the Nutrition Center?”
“Well, yes, she does!” I replied in surprise. “Do you know her?”
“We were at her last class two weeks ago, and we really enjoyed it!” Dale responded. “She sure drives a long ways to work, though!”
As I showed the Encyclopedia of Foods, they shared with me about their vegetarian lifestyle and the country home they were working on a few miles away. Then I brought out the Desire of Ages, and the conversation turned to spiritual things. “Have you ever attended the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Somerset?” I asked.
“No, but we have been to meetings here in town.” Dale sounded very positive. Even though they were living on meager finances, they placed an order for the Encyclopedia of Foods as well as the Desire of Ages. I also left a paperback copy of the Great Controversy.
As I wrote up the order, Carrie commented, “You know, if we hadn’t been so busy that day you came by in January, we would not have known about Kristina’s cooking classes before hand and might never have gotten these books!”
As always, God’s timing is perfect!