Our Victorian conference was blessed in the month of October with the visit of Brother Jacob de Souza and his dear family – Sister Sandra, Lucas and Isabella. They came and stayed with us on the weekend of the Sabbath 15th of October when Bro. Jacob shared a message based on Matthew 13:47-51 entitled, “The Net.”
This was a powerful message on our need of being fishermen of souls for our Lord Jesus Christ. He also reported quite a significant amount of literature being distributed in South Australia on a weekly basis, a work done by him together with lay volunteers.
The Lord has blessed some areas of the city of Adelaide with literature being scattered like the leaves of autumn. Right after the sermon, some brothers and sisters approached Bro. Jacob and asked him if he could run a program like the one he is doing in SA, here in Victoria. He accepted the challenge.
On the weekend of the 29th and 30th of October, he and his family returned, and this time, he also brought Brother Andrew Willcox along in order to run a canvassing weekend with the theme, “Dare to be a Canvasser.” Several presentations challenged everyone to become involved with canvassing work, noting that, “As long as probation continues, there will be opportunity for the canvasser to work.” The Colporteur Evangelist, p. 99.
Brother Jacob shared some short video testimonies, and then a video demonstrating two canvassers knocking on doors with different interactions. A sample rejection was demonstrated, reminding us that not everyone will be willing to accept any literature we take to their doors. Another scenario was the acceptance, where a person was ready and willing to receive the messages of health and Bible truth for this time.
On Sunday morning we gathered once again for a practical presentation and some training. A couple of people demonstrated how you would interact with people at the door. Then there was a short Q&A session for a chance to ask questions about the activity we were about to embark on.
On that day, we had 19 adults, 2 teenagers, and 8 children who actively participated in the canvassing work. We spent a couple of hours, in teams of two or three, knocking on doors and talking to people using a community survey with five questions.
After we asked each question, depending on the answer, we gave people an invitation for one or more of several programs, including how to stop smoking, cooking classes, Optimise Your Brain seminar, Depression Recovery Program, or free Bible studies by correspondence. We also took their contact details if they wished for us to follow up for a reminder regarding any of the programs. And finally, we would offer them a gift pack (Shelter in the Storm, What Really Happens at Death, “The I Am” pamphlet, “The Great Controversy” free book offer, Present Truth Correspondence Course).
After those couple of hours canvassing, we gathered back at the church to share experiences and, believe it or not, everyone had really positive experiences! We were just amazed of the results each team had. Blessing after blessing was shared by the participants, and we praised the Lord for giving us this experience. We shared how many gift packages we gave away and how many people acquired health books on a donation basis.
This was our results for the short amount of time we went out on the day:
- Gift Packs: 66
- Plants that Heal book: 3
- Foods that Heal book: 5
- More Choices cookbook: 8
- Bible Course invites: 1
- Stop Smoking Program: 25
- Program invitations (to various events): 43
I personally think this is one of the best and simplest ways to do canvassing in Australia—who doesn’t want to answer some questions and give their opinion? According to Brother Jacob and Brother Andrew, 95% of people are willing to answer those questions, and I can tell you that it’s true. We have tested it here in Victoria and had a blessed experience!
We are really thankful to the Lord and also would like to thank Brother Jacob and his family, and Brother Andrew, for coming to our field to encourage our people to do this wonderful activity to reach out to people in our community.
We would like to encourage each local church to taste and see that the Lord is good. Here is an inspirational message if you are still wondering if you should do this work in your local church:
“Place in the homes of the people papers, tracts, and books that will preach the gospel in its several lines. There is no time to be lost. Let many give themselves willingly and unselfishly to the canvassing work, and thus help to sound a warning that is greatly needed.” Counsels on Health, p. 464.
“Publications must be multiplied, and scattered like the leaves of autumn. These silent messengers are enlightening and molding the minds of thousands in every country and in every clime.” Colporteur Ministry, p. 5.
God bless you all! ~Miguel Mendoza