By Judy Klein
“Judy, you’re on the right, working forward until you run out of houses.” Nodding, I scramble out of the car and adjust my mask and bag, mentally asking God to bless me as I begin working.
Today, we’re working in the little town of Williamston, and there are long walks between houses. My bag is heavy, and it feels like a million degrees outside. It’s not long before I’m covered in sweat and my shoulder feels like it’s going to fall off.
You might ask why I’m walking around with a heavy bag in the middle of summer when I could easily be doing something more comfortable.
I’d like to introduce you to Hope 2020, an initiative of the Michigan Conference Publishing Department. Normally, from June to August, the Conference hosts a program called Youth Rush, where young people distribute literature door to door and earn money for school. But this year, COVID-19 hit and seemed to stop our lives right in their tracks, including all outreach and evangelism.
With COVID cases quickly climbing, and suicide and depression rates increasing by almost one thousand percent, something needed to be done. The world needed Jesus even more than ever before.
Sadly, we couldn’t knock on doors as usual. But Kamil Metz and David Pano created the next best thing: Hope 2020, an opportunity where young people from all over the world come together and share their faith through phone missions.
Perhaps you’ve received a call from a young person, asking for funds to help distribute copies of a little book called Story of Hope into the community. If you have, you’ve been reached by Hope 2020, and your donations and prayers have impacted thousands of people: 54,000 to be exact.
Story of Hope, a condensed version of The Story of Redemption by Ellen White, covers everything from the fall of Lucifer to the close of the Great Controversy. It goes over fundamental beliefs and offers hope to those who have none.
For five weeks, 30 young people came together and stayed in the Lansing church gym to raise money for the books, which were to be given for free to the entire communites of Dearborn, Huron County, and Williamston, where there are large populations of Arabic-speaking people along with dying Adventist churches.
The youth called friends and relatives and friends of friends asking for donations and referrals to anyone else who might be interested in helping with the project. In addition, the young people packaged 40,000 books. (A team in Indiana packaged the remaining 14,000.)
Every book had a coronavirus GLOW tract and a flyer advertising Strong Tower Radio and BibleStudyOffer.com, except for books designated for Arabic communities, which were packaged with five collated GLOW tracts written in Arabic.
After that, the young people went out and distributed the books. They did not knock on the doors, but instead just left them on the doorstep.
Throughout the course of five weeks, 54,000 families were given the opportunity for salvation.
And that’s why I came to Youth Rush and stayed in my home church’s gym. That’s why I got out of the car into the baking sun with a mask and a heavy bag of books—because I saw potential that just one soul might be saved through a little book called Story of Hope.