Recently the youth from the Keilor Park Church took part in a 3 Day canvassing project, which began on Monday the 14th of January and extended to Wednesday the 16th. Before going out to begin our work, we were given training in the form of a brief outline on how to introduce ourselves as well as a description about the books we were offering. This was an important step as it offered insight into how to carry out this task especially for those who had never canvassed before. Moreover, it allowed those who had not been canvassing for a while to refresh their memories. So, with our 15-minute crash course on how to canvass over we separated into pairs and set out to work.
Throughout our canvassing experience we held onto one key Bible verse of Matthew 7:7 which admonished us to “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you:”
As we knocked on the first door, we were confronted by a very indifferent person who was quite ill-mannered and blunt which shocked Victoria as this was her first time canvassing. Unphased, we continued from house to house trying our best to sell some of our books with our welcoming smiles and carefully-worded introductions and explanations. To our surprise, many of the people we visited were quite interested. We were even complimented on our ability to present our products in such a well mannered and considerate way that we were able to draw encouragement from this. At one particular house a young man walked out shirtless with his chest covered in tattoos; still, we continued our task and began to explain our purpose. The man then purchased the cookbook which cost $20 but instead astonished us with a $50 note. We told him how generous this donation was and tried to give him one of the other books we had to make up the value of his money, but he would not take it. At this moment the Bible verse John 7:24 came to mind. “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”
As the day went on our level of confidence and excitement grew as well as our ambition to sell more of God’s books to those souls open to Christ’s calling. At one point we ran out of health books and had to restock books. When I tried to ring Br. Jared Chapman so that we could get more books, I realised that my phone service provider had cut off my service. Unable to contact anyone, we decided to go to the car anyway in the hope that someone would be there and believing that God would provide. Because there was no one at the car, we wondered what we should do. Just as we were about to leave, to our utmost astonishment we saw Br. John Boje. With a shout of joy we ran to Br. John who directed us to Br. Jared and Br. Miguel.
Although, many of the canvassers were initially nervous, as the day progressed our level of confidence and dedication grew as well as our ambition to spread God’s word. I was particularly impressed at how although some individuals struggled with certain barriers, they were not deterred but rather were more determined to continue with the sole purpose of spreading the Word of God. Furthermore, while many of us faced certain challenges along the way, we were able to overcome these by the helping hand of Christ. It was especially inspiring to be able to witness the increase in people taking part in this work from Monday to Wednesday; on Monday only having 6 youth, then growing to 8 on Tuesday and finally reaching 10 on Wednesday. Through this experience we were able to attain the blessings of God as well as demonstrate that through a guided path, anyone can take up the key role of canvassing. I’m certain that everyone who participated in the canvassing project would gladly bare God’s word again with the aim to continue to impress the hearts and minds of those that they meet. I also invite others new to this form of missionary work to take part in the canvassing experience. A vital part of canvassing that we must all remember is that although we may not be there to witness the change the Holy Spirit has made in the lives of people, books are silent messengers that will give many salvation.
“The canvassing work, properly conducted, is missionary work of the highest order, and it is as good and successful a method as can be employed for placing before the people the important truths for this time.” The Colporteur Evangelist, p. 5.
A major obligation Christians have as the time of the end is nearing is to ensure that the spreading of God’s message is always taking place through the distribution of books.
“Let not the canvassing work be left to languish. Let the books containing the light on the present truth be placed before as many as possible. The presidents of our conferences and others in responsible positions have a duty to do in this matter.” Christian Service, p. 145.
Even though not everybody purchased a book, many people were able to contribute by making donations. At the end of our allotted time, by the grace of God, Victoria and I managed to sell 5 books and receive many donations which brought us to a total of $84.25. The total combined amount of money raised by all of the youth was $397.20 and 53 books sold. 25 of those books were Steps to Christ, 1 Desire of Ages and 1 Christ’s Object Lessons, besides the health books, cook books and children’s story books.
We were also glad that we were able to touch the lives of certain individuals, and we hope that these books may help them in their lives and bring them closer to a knowledge of Christ in the near future. Surely God and his Angels were with us all the way as we tried to inspire and influence the minds of the people we talked to. At the end of our canvassing experience we realised that we had asked and it had been given to us, we had sought and we had found, and we had knocked and it was opened unto us. We encourage everyone to bare the armour of God and take part in the rewarding work of canvassing. Please pray for us as we labour together to bring souls to the knowledge of Jesus. Remember each day we are one day closer to seeing Him take us home! In the new year may we continue to seek and find those souls that are right within our reach!
“The canvassing work should no longer be neglected. Many times I have been shown that there should be a more general interest in our canvassing work. The circulation of our literature is one very important means of placing before men and women the light that the Lord has committed to his church to be given to the world. The books sold by our canvassers open to many minds the unsearchable riches of Christ.” Colporteur Evangelist, p. 30.