Hide it Under a Bushel?
The Global Report mentioned how much is happening throughout the world in relation to Revelation’s story. This is also true in the United States. As people continue to support this ministry with their prayers and finances, this gives WUAS an opportunity to support certain projects by offering free Warning! books. For example, WUAS recently sent 8,000 Warning! books to both India and Zimbabwe to help proclaim the soon return of Jesus Christ in those countries. WUAS also provides support for various projects in the United States, as well as overseas.
Every day requests for free books arrive at WUAS as a result of radio/TV programs. The worldwide web site on the Internet also generates a great deal of interest and additional requests for the free books. A recent estimate calculated that over 50,000 books have been distributed in this manner.
One specific project WUAS selected to support was the Mackinaw Bridge Walk. The Mackinaw Bridge is a spectacular five mile long suspension bridge that connects the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan. A person’s first view of this bridge, made up of 42,000 miles of wire, millions of tons of cement and endless spans of steel, can be a breath taking experience. Each year Michigan residents celebrate Labor Day with an annual “Bridge Walk.”
For this occasion, the bridge is closed to traffic and approximately 40,000 people walk or jog across the bridge. It was at this event that a small group of eight people from Michigan’s Final Hour Ministries decided to distribute the Warning! book to the participants. Consequently, WUAS donated 10,000 books for this project.
As you read the following account, ask yourself how you would have reacted to the problems encountered.
OBSTACLE: Several people volunteered to assist in the “give-a-way” and had to change their plans at the last minute.
MIRACLE: Three teenagers (not part of the original group) volunteered to fill the vacancies when they heard about the project.
OBSTACLE: After a long trip, the last eight miles to locate a campsite took them on winding country roads, on a pitch dark night. The car lost the use of one headlight and in the morning they realized they had no headlights.
MIRACLE: God helped them reach their campsite safely using only one headlight, directed them to discover they had no headlights in the morning and assisted them in obtaining new ones before returning home.
OBSTACLE: Campsite full.
MIRACLE: Upon arrival, a clerk told the group that the campground was full. Expecting a miracle, the group drove around looking for a spot that did not display a “space-filled” ticket. They returned to the ranger booth to learn that while they were driving around the campground, time for an unconfirmed reservation had expired. The group was given the spot. If they had become discouraged and left, based on the news the clerk had given them, they would never have received a campsite.
OBSTACLE: Arriving unexpectedly after dark, the group realized they had come unprepared – no lanterns.
MIRACLE: Neighboring campers saw their dilemma and without being asked, provided lanterns, hammers, firewood and a “helpful hand” as they set up their camp.
OBSTACLE: A low overpass.
MIRACLE: The next day, while driving to find a suitable work site to distribute books, Karla (driving the lead car) noticed the overpass was 10’8″. The U-Haul truck was 11′ tall. Praise God that He prompted Karla to notice the small sign indicating the height of the overpass before allowing the truck to pass under it.
OBSTACLE: Not allowed to park truck in anticipated lot.
MIRACLE: A restaurant across the street rented a space for $3 and dollies were used to transport the books to designated areas.
OBSTACLE: Booths were not given to people distributing religious material, so they planned to distribute the books by-hand as they walked through the crowds. One member (Sharon) selected a spot at the point-of-exit. However, the police told her to leave.
MIRACLE: Just then, Sharon was approached by the mother of a Michigan Senator. As they conversed, she told Sharon that she was a part of the Governor’s party. The police never approached Sharon again. The young people were allowed to be right in the front of the spectators, working the crowd and passing out books.
OBSTACLE: At the end of the day, the U-Haul truck driver started down the street, not realizing the back tailgate was still open. Turning a corner, several cases of books fell into the intersection, breaking open.
MIRACLE: Several cars behind, the group saw what happened. Stopping to retrieve the books, a Christian couple also stopped to help recoup all the books – not one was damaged or lost. If this had happened earlier, items containing glass objects would have tumbled out, which would have resulted in a much bigger cleanup problem in such a heavy traffic area.
OBSTACLE: Planned to stop at first rest area and have dinner together. This first rest area restricted trucks.
MIRACLE: Traveled to a second rest area and the car radiator started to leak. At the first rest area, the crowds and traffic were much heavier. This second rest area provided much easier access to water allowing them to fill all the water jugs necessary to keep the radiator filled to continue on.
OBSTACLE: Radiator started leaking from a second spot.
MIRACLE: Stopping at another rest area, they decided to call for help. Just as they realized there were no phone books in the phone booths, a wrecker pulled up and was willing to tow the car to a service station.
OBSTACLE: The second leak had happened only 1/2 mile from where they had left a second car parked. Arriving at this parking lot, they realized the top of the car had been damaged while parked there.
MIRACLE: Another car had also been damaged and the owner had called the police. While there, the Officer also noticed the damage done to their car. The patrolman had left a business card on the windshield and because of his report, the insurance company will pay for the damage.
OBSTACLE: Completely worn out, the group arrived home. The rental truck needed to be returned, the young people needed to get home to prepare for school the next day, and baby sitter’s needed to be relieved. Who would help unload the truck?
MIRACLE: Two men, who had not accompanied the group, volunteered to unload the remaining books and return the truck.
What an incredible experience! Portions of a personal testimony by Sharon Laninga follow. Imagine yourself as part of this group, four adults and four teenagers, as she tells her story.
Have you ever experienced a time when you sensed being surrounded by evil and yet felt a blanket of protection so warm that you never doubted the outcome. Well, that’s how I felt about our Mackinaw Bridge mission. I have never experienced anything like it: bam – disaster – wow – miracle – that fast! In hindsight, I realize better preparation would have helped – physically, by walking more – spiritually, by praying more.
My lack of preparation, however, made me acutely aware of how this trip was in God’s hands. Standing all day in the glaring sun, amidst thousands of people, we constantly prayed that God would allow us to touch someone’s life with the message of Jesus’ soon return. There we were, cases stacked by our side, books in our outstretched hands and 40,000 people passing by – some in a hurry, others taking a leisurely stroll. “Free books! Want a free book!” we would say, over and over again.
Sometimes people would take the book, see its religious theme and simply toss it to the ground. We would retrieve the book and give it away again. From 7:30 am to 3:00 pm we distributed about 7,000 books. I learned that witnessing for Christ is serious business. You need a sense of humor, while keeping your mind on the task at hand. Now I can relate better to Paul and what he went through traveling from town-to-town. I have learned how human I am, how “real” Satan and his demons are, and how powerful God is!
Miracles and God’s presence surrounded us and I will never forget this spiritual experience.
This group’s experiences were incredible. The spiritual battle intense. Their faith and courage heroic. Their stamina and determination Spirit-given. The results, only Heaven knows. But each individual came away from the experience sensing the power of God! The time has come when God wants to demonstrate His power to each of us. Sadly, many of us will never experience this kind of event because we lack vision, faith, and boldness. Hopefully, those who read this story, will be encouraged to press on and in the end, stand firm! (Ephesians 6:10-18)
The Bridge Walk is just one example of many projects people are involved with in the United States. Incredible things can be accomplished by Spirit-filled people willing to be used and directed by Him. Below are two more examples of how small groups of people continue to further the gospel.
A study group in Denison, Texas wanted to effectively distribute Warning! books to people in their area. After prayerful consideration, they decided to put a three line ad in the Thrifty Nickel, a community paper that offers classified ads for local residents.
The ad was so simple that most people would conclude it would get no response at all. When you consider to what extremes corporate ad agencies go to get advertisements noticed and how many classified ads are in a paper like that, the miracle seems even more astonishing. The ad read: FREE BOOK! (line one), Explains Daniel and Revelation (line two), Call … (line three).
That’s it. Simple and to the point. But the response has been amazing! Last week, Willis and Dorothy Brock reported that 875 books have been mailed to interested individuals over the last few months. The most thrilling aspect of this story is how the Holy Spirit has blessed their efforts and is directing reader’s eyes to this one little three line ad.
The Brocks have volunteered to respond to interested callers. An answering machine, with a very nice message, takes needed information when they are away.
Dorothy often calls the WUAS office bubbling with enthusiasm regarding the people she has visited with when they respond to the offer. She said recently: “People are so interested in end-time events and so nice when they call. It is so good to talk with people who appreciate what we are doing!”
It seems like the people in the Southern United States have been really percolating with witnessing projects recently. Another small group located in Athens, Alabama have been building a little “nest egg” for special future projects.
In the past, the group has sponsored radio programs and ads offering a free Warning! book. They also distribute books and various gospel witnessing materials at a local flea market every weekend. The booth has eye-catching charts and a VCR playing an end-time message video tape.
Local people visit the booth every week and discuss Revelation’s story with those who volunteer at the booth. WUAS has sponsored several seminars in this area as a direct result of this groups faithfulness and the growing interest in the community.
Now, this group is sponsoring a community book saturation in Northern Alabama. Ten thousand Warning! books will be mailed to residents in small, neighboring communities. We need to emphasize that this is not a large study group, but a small group of willing, focused, Spirit-filled people who have an earnest desire to share the news of Jesus Christ’s soon return.
Large numbers of people are not necessary. Each one of us can make a difference. Sometimes results from such projects cannot be determined immediately. However, the book of Acts records how Jesus, and those first believers called Christians, sowed seeds that later produced a large harvest of souls, which you and I are numbered among.
Praise God for the willing believers who have sowed the seeds of truth down through the ages, so that we might have an opportunity to know what we do today.
May each of us be faith-full to the Spirit’s calling as those who came before us.