by Robert Koorenny
SPOKANE, Wash., September 9, 2014 - About seven weeks through her experience at Youth Rush, Ina received a phone call from a young lady who lives in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The lady, only 22 years old, had donated for The Great Controversy several weeks before. “I’ve been reading that book, and I’m more than halfway through” she began to explain. “I went to all the neighbors on my street and told them how powerful this book is. Then I said that next year when you guys come around, they need to get this book.”
Ina is a new Adventist herself, baptized a short time before the summer. “It’s a way to help me better my relationship with Christ,” she shared while talking about why she wanted to join. “Even through rejection, it’s an example of what Christ went through for us.” Ina was one of more than 15 young people who set aside time to participate in Youth Rush. Youth Rush is a student literature ministry program where communities are reached through books left on a donation basis.
This year there was an increase in average donations the students received, with more than $55,000 in total earnings. Most Adventist schools add an additional match to further help students afford Adventist education. Those donations helped students distribute more than 9,600 books, in addition to thousands of GLOW (Giving Light to Our World) tracts and evangelistic flyers leading up to this fall’s Re-think Prophecy meetings in Spokane, Wash.
Chamberlen, a student from north Idaho, was distributing some of those flyers and books as he was finishing up the day on Spokane’s South Hill. At his last door, he knocked and knocked, but nobody responded. As he started to leave, he felt impressed to knock one more time. After doing so, a guy in his late 20s opened the door, and Chamberlen began sharing the Theodicy DVD. A theodicy is an explanation of how a God who is good can allow all the evil we see in the world. After explaining this to him, the man said, “This is unbelievable! We were just talking about this before you knocked on the door.”
Not only does God set up divine appointments for us in the present and use a phone call to encourage us for what He’s doing in the future, He also uses familiar streets to bring a new connection for His cause. That’s what Natalie found while canvassing in Bridgeport, Wash., this year during her second summer of Youth Rush. Natalie was placed on the same street that she worked on last year and was meeting many of the same people at home that she did in 2013, when someone new came to the door. After connecting with her, she was invited inside the lady’s home and began to listen as the lady started sharing. She talked about how she was about to give up on God and, as she felt her need, cried out to Him that He would reveal Himself to her. She wanted to understand her Bible and feel God’s presence in her life, and that’s just when Natalie knocked on her door. Turning to Jer. 29:11, Natalie shared that God has a plan for her. The lady responded with a request for Bible studies, and they prayed together seeking God’s further guidance.
The theme for Youth Rush this summer was “Greater,” based on 1 John 4:4. In this summer’s Youth Rush program, God was able to triumph over many obstacles and prove that He is still working in and through us. God truly is greater than he who is in the world.
For more stories showing how God was greater than the enemy this summer and to apply for the 2015 Youth Rush program (beginning June 7), visit uccsda.org/youthrush.