This past December, the Southern California Conference (SCC) and the Southeastern California Conference (SECC) teamed up to bring a message of hope and healing just in time for the holidays. “The mission was to pass out half a million Christ-centered tracts in the communities of Orange County and Los Angeles County,” said Marco Topete, SCC literature ministries coordinator.
Every day began with daily worship and a short training with the team, led by Topete and Jared Napod, the GLOW director from SECC. In just five days, the team shared 480,000 tracts. “Overall, we were just shy by 20 thousand tracts of the goal, but God really blessed each participant,” Topete said.
Made up of different missionaries each day, as many as 28 participated on one day, with the team consisting of an average of 15 people. “It was really neat to see our busy professionals from our churches join us for the day of GLOWing,” Topete shared. “One nurse had just started her vacation and joined us on our mission trip. Another man named Rome had the day off and decided he wanted to go out with us. Pastor Mark Tatum from the host church, Anaheim church, also participated in the trip.”
Missionaries visited places with crowds and high foot traffic, such as shopping plazas, sports events, and colleges. The territory included Anaheim, Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Lakewood, Long Beach, East Los Angeles, El Monte, and Montebello.
Every day brought divine appointments and encouraging testimonies. God revealed His hand at work through the experiences of the GLOWers. Evan, one of the missionaries, gave a GLOW tract to a man in a parking lot, who asked, “Is this Adventist?” When Evan replied that it was, the man shared that he was a backslidden Adventist and was taking that tract as a sign that God is calling him back to church.
Another divine appointment came about when one missionary gave a GLOW tract to the manager of a café. The manager quickly asked the missionary to sit, and they started engaging in a spiritual conversation. The manager then called a customer over to sit in on the conversation, which led to her also receiving tracts. At this point, the customer realized that the topic of the GLOW tract was one that had been on her mind—it focused on media and the brain. After the GLOWer prayed for his new friends, they both asked for tracts to share with others. Praise God for how He orchestrates circumstances like these!
“As is noted in most mission trips,” Topete continued, “the ones blessed were not only those in the community but also those participating. Jerry, a young man in his 20s, shared that this was the most rewarding thing he has done in a long time. Many others had a similar experience. We hope to cover more and more of our communities with a message of hope through Christ-centered literature!”