Student Literature Evangelists Help Change Lives
Thirty-one students this summer took to the streets of Tacoma and Olympia, Wash. As members of Western Washington Youth Challenge, a summer magabook-sales ministry, participants lived out the Great Commission by taking the gospel door-to-door, teaching prophecy seminars, and offering church services.
At the beginning of the summer, the team developed a mission statement to guide it in spreading the gospel: “Continually surrender ourselves to God. Connect those in spiritual need to Jesus. Inspire believers to a life of service.”
From June 10 to Aug. 16, team members spent 28 hours a week going door to door, selling nutritional cookbooks, children’s storybooks, and magazine-style versions of devotional books.
Those who accepted the books gave the students donations to help them pay for their Christian education.
More than $62,000 was raised during the summer, from visits to more than 80,000 homes and distribution of 4,440 books.
During each visit, the student literature evangelists offered free copies of Steps to Christ, and many signed up for Bible studies with the Youth Challenge Bible worker. Team members also offered to pray with those they met at the doors. By the end of the summer, Youth Challenge team members had prayed with almost 7,000 people.
The literature evangelism team was divided into two groups, one based at the Tacoma Central Church and the other at the Transformation Life Center in Olympia. Participants at each site conducted a prophecy seminar for three weeks.
Three team members at each site preached DVD-illustrated sermons on alternating evenings, and every team member was able to be involved in some way, greeting guests, doing special music, or offering childcare.
Each student also studied several hours each week to gain a better understanding of the seminar topics.
On Sabbaths, the teams presented church services throughout the conference, set up so each student participated and had a chance to get the church members excited about living for Jesus in a practical way.
Team member Lyca Manembu, reflects, “It is hard to go door-to-door, the rejections, the hills, the long driveways, the heat.” But, she says, “if we put on Christ and let His love shine through us, people will be able to see Him and be blessed by Him.”
Nicholas Mann, who served as Bible worker, puts it this way: “One of the best things in the world is being part of an experience when God changes someone’s life.”
Valerie Riley, another student canvasser, had an experience at a door where a woman said that she hadn’t been attending church recently and that she had been having nightmares about good and evil. Riley prayed with her and gave her the devotional “He Taught Love.” The woman signed up for weekly Bible studies. Valerie says, “I have confidence that I will see her in heaven. Praise God for this mission He has given us!”
“Youth Challenge is about living out the mission statement, continually surrendering ourselves to God by spending time with him, connecting those in spiritual need to Jesus by taking the gospel door-to-door, and by putting on prophecy seminars and inspiring believers to a life of service by sharing experiences in church services,” says Brent Wilson, Western Washington Youth Challenge student director.
“Many people have been touched by Western Washington Youth Challenge, but seeing the young people in the program become excited about sharing God’s love and committing themselves to a life of service in God’s work is one of the most exciting things! A person cannot be a part of the Youth Challenge team and not be changed.” •