For a canvasser, doors have special significance. Why? Because they are direct opportunities to share truth, meet people, and gain experiences. The work is about sharing the love of Jesus to many who don’t know that they are loved.
Canvassing has a special place in my heart. God drew me to have a relationship with Him during the first project I went to, located in Los Angeles, (U.S.A.).
The most recent project where I went was this year. A group of about twenty-three youth gathered in Denver, (U.S.A.). They came from various cities in the U.S.A. such as Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and even the nation of South Africa.
A unique part of the experience was becoming family with a group of new and old friends. We lived together in Rampart Ranch for a month—a property embraced by forest and hidden by mountain. The atmosphere that was created from being surrounded by nature is something I miss. It was breathtaking to have the vast mountains always within view, and exciting to have them remind us of our Creator’s wisdom. We became as brothers and sisters there. However, the greatest blessings we received were the experiences we got to bring home to our church families.
One of my favorites to share is about a special woman I met. Just as I was introducing myself, she said, “Come inside, it’s hot out here.” Feeling that the Lord was with me, I stepped into her home. She did not have a luxurious house as the ones I had seen before in other neighborhoods; but she offered me her time. Time is precious.
While in her home, I noticed that she owned many books. This meant that there could be an interest in what I had to offer her. I continued to explain why I was knocking on people’s doors, and she listened intently. While flipping through the cookbook, I mentioned why we focus so much on health. After catching sight of The Desire of Ages and The Great Controversy, she told me that she had been an Adventist for the past 50 years and already had those books. However, there was interest in the cookbook and Peace Above the Storm, (which is Steps to Christ in a style that is meant to help people with depression, stress, and so forth). I was told to wait a moment until she found the checkbook.
During those minutes, I contemplated the idea of praying with her; hesitating, because the thought in my mind argued, “she’s already an Adventist. How would she react if I asked her to pray with me?” But the Holy Spirit impressed upon me the fact that everyone needs prayer. I realized that this was another door; an opportunity that I could choose to take and gain experience!
I let her know that the Peace Above the Storm she wanted was a Steps to Christ. It was a matter of honesty to ask if she was interested in paying for something she might already own. I was afraid she would decide not to get the spiritual book anymore. But the response was, “Yes, I have that one. . . . I’ll still get it. If I don’t read it, I’ll pass it along.”
Some words were exchanged before I said my “thank you.” Then I asked, “Do you mind if I pray with you, to leave a blessing with you before I go?”
She nodded in acceptance of the offer.
The Holy Spirit gave me words to speak that hopefully helped her believe in God’s love. I am grateful for that door.
Remember that all doors have someone different on the other side. There are enthusiastic people, reserved people, rude people, and kind people. Sadly, the majority of people behind doors are hurt.
I realized this when I knocked on one where a man opened it. The expression on his face revealed someone with a painful and distressed state of mind. Before I handed him my second health book, he began to object. With tears in his eyes he attempted to speak, “I’m sorry, my wife just recently died and I don’t want to be reminded of her. I don’t want anything. Sorry.” I tried to offer him Peace Above the Storm, but he didn’t want to listen anymore.
I apologized and backed away from the door as he shut it. But my mind was stayed on the man, even while knocking at the next door. I decided that I and my partner must go back and leave him a Happiness Digest, which is a small copy of Steps to Christ. On the inside cover I wrote a few words telling him that God loves him. Leaving it on a chair on his porch, I walked away towards the gate. He must have seen me through the window because he came outside, apologizing and reminding me that he didn’t want anything.
I pray that he will read that little book we left him. And that though I was unprepared to help that person who was hurting in ways I have not experienced personally, Jesus will use that little book to reveal His love.
So many people like this man are earnestly seeking to find peace. When we ourselves experience that peace, it becomes our duty to share the Source with others. As Paul says, “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (). Whether your calling is to be a canvasser, or some other kind of missionary, He asks, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” ( ).
During this Denver Canvassing Project Jesus gave us the promise in, saying, “Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you.” He fulfilled it by helping us reach approximately 11,000 homes. That means at least 10,000 hearts. God can open doors for you to do wonderful things in His strength. Today He wants you to believe in His promise, “Knock, and it shall be opened unto you” ( ).