Thousands of Books Shared During UCC Youth Rush

August 31, 2016 | Robert Koorenny

"I had a young man stop at my house” wrote Mrs. C, a Spokane, Wash., resident who was visited this summer by one of the 30 young people participating in Upper Columbia Conference (UCC) Youth Rush. “He handed me a small booklet titled Happiness for Life (Steps to Christ). … I sat down and started reading the book and couldn't put it down until I went to sleep. For me, at that moment, that booklet was exactly what I needed. I actually asked God to forgive my sins and come into my heart. I had a wonderful night because of that young man. That booklet has changed my life. I've always believed in Jesus Christ and thought of myself as a Christian, but last night was different. I woke up to a new and renewed life. Please thank him for me."

“Youth Rush has given me a personal relationship with Jesus,” shares Kristian, the student from Walla Walla, Wash., who knocked on Mrs. C’s door. “It feels amazing to be used by Him every day.”

Many times we don't understand the impact that a single book — no matter the size — can make on someone. In Pasco, Wash., Amy Luu-Fabela met a lady who had read the Spanish Happiness for Life book she got during a previous visit four times already and loved it so much she was reading through it again.

As people have a chance to read our literature, they understand the value contained inside. Knocking on doors in Sandpoint, Idaho, Esther Bell met a man who began to ask about her beliefs. “He wanted to see what I knew about the Bible` and in the end donated $50 for The Great Controversy — saying that the book was worth more than just $10–$20.”

Enrique Vado, a theology major at Walla Walla University, told about meeting a family in Kennewick, Wash., who donated for three devotional books, including Christ’s Object Lessons and Steps to Christ. “Before I came, they were talking about doing morning devotions but didn’t know where to start. They said I came just in time.” Looking back at his summer, he shares that he “enjoyed being able to leave a seed, knowing that God will work in their lives.”

While in Lewiston, Idaho, Faith Montana approached a man in his garage. She had been praying that God would show her He was still with her. “What are you selling?” the man asked with an edge of frustration.

She responded by showing him the books, and he began to look at The Great Controversy. As he flipped through, he would nod his head and say things like “this is true” or “I agree with that.” He opened up and shared about how his wife is Catholic, but he has Protestant background and doesn’t agree with her beliefs. He explained how many of his friends had been having major trials.

“It caused him to study his Bible to figure out why,” says Montana, “and to examine his own life.” He gave a large donation and got all the books.

“He shared story after story about how God loves and forgives,” Montana adds. “This stranger was saying what I knew God was trying to tell me.”

This summer, Youth Rush students visited more than 135,000 homes in more than 50 cities and towns throughout Upper Columbia Conference territory. They received more than $148,000 in donations for the more than 18,000 books (including about 7,000 Steps to Christ) and 35,000 GLOW (Giving Light to Our World) tracts they left with people, providing more than $100,000 in matching scholarship funds for Adventist education.

What adds an extra measure of power to the literature left in homes? The smiling faces of young people, the prayers prayed in times of need and the divine timing seen daily as each doorbell chimed. “Youth Rush has brought me into a real and everyday experience with God,” shares Elena Harris, a recent graduate of Upper Columbia Academy in Spangle, Wash. 

“It’s one of the best things I ever did," says another student. As these young people experienced this summer, God can use each of us to share His hope with others. Who is waiting for you today?

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