The mission of Southern California Conference Literature Ministries is to bring health, healing, and hope to the people of Southern California through life-changing resources and compassionate personal interactions. The vision for this ministry is to see a community of people in Southern California who know God personally, as the Bible so beautifully portrays Him, and who are ready for His soon return. “The reason I’m passionate about literature ministry is simple,” said Heidi Carpenter, SCC Literature Ministries coordinator. “Our literature leads people to search the Scriptures. As they search the Scriptures, they are led into a relationship with Jesus Christ. The following stories illustrate the power of literature and personal interaction.”
Aaron Zerna knocked on David’s door this summer. David had purchased all the books we offered several years before from a previous Youth Rush student. His favorite book was The Great Controversy. As David showed Aaron his well-read copy of The Great Controversy, Aaron could see that every page was highlighted, annotated, and referenced to the Bible like he had never seen before. “We never know if the people will read the books or not,” Aaron said. “But God showed me through David that these books can save lives. God also put me on His divine calendar to talk to David when I did, to show him about baptism, and I praise God for that.” David shared with Aaron that he had studied the Bible with many different denominations but didn’t believe any of them were true because he believed the Sabbath was actually on Saturday! When Aaron said that he was a Seventh-day Adventist, David immediately asked, “What do I need to do to be baptized?” After asking Aaron many more questions about the Seventh-day Adventist Church, David signed up for Bible studies. Aaron gave him more resources to read and study. He is currently receiving Bible studies to be baptized.
Megan Walker approached a door but was immediately turned away. As she was walking away, the man, Elmer, called her back and said that he would listen to what she had to say. In their conversation, he said that he had just moved from the Philippines. As he had studied the Bible on his own, he decided to become a Christian. He received a Steps to Christ that afternoon, and Megan took the time to pray with him. He said that he felt like God sent her to give him hope and encouragement. He decided to sign up for personal Bible studies. Roy Garcia, the local interest coordinator, followed up on Elmer’s interest within 24 hours. That weekend, as Youth Rush was worshiping at Roy’s church, the group was pleasantly surprised to see Elmer there, too. He had already finished reading Steps to Christ and, through his studies, had come to the conclusion that Saturday was God’s Sabbath. “Meeting Elmer led me to personally experience people’s earnest need and value of the Word of God and His prophets,” Walker said of the experience. Elmer is continuing to receive Bible studies and wants to be baptized.
Marco Topete was born and raised in San Jose, Calif., in a non-religious home. He learned about Jesus and the Seventh-day Adventist Church while visiting his aunt and decided to be baptized. After serving the local church for a couple of years, his light started to grow dim. He couldn’t figure out what was missing, and then someone recommended Youth Rush to him. After serving in Youth Rush as a literature evangelist, Topete remembered that it was as if someone threw gasoline on a fire that was going out. Since then, Topete has been involved in literature ministries in different capacities and is on fire for Jesus and evangelism. Currently, Topete serves the Southern California Conference as the assistant Literature Ministries coordinator. “God has done great things in the lives of student literature evangelists, bringing purpose and meaning into their lives as Seventh-day Adventist Christians,” said Carpenter. “We praise God for the work He is doing through literature in the Southern California Conference.”