Outreach is often thought of as a way to reach others, but what about the change it creates within? This is exactly what 67 individuals experienced this spring as Southern California Conference Literature Ministries hosted GLOW Impact Academy Edition in the city of Tujunga.
GLOW Impact was inspired by GLOW mission trips, with goals of distributing a million tracts. “When we planned our first GLOW Impact Academy Edition, we adopted the same model,” Heidi Carpenter, former Literature Ministries coordinator, said, recalling the impetus of these events. “Yet our goal was not a number of tracts, but instead covering an entire city—knocking on every knockable door we could in that community.”
Their four days together were filled with worship, fellowship, testimonies, and outreach. In fact, 49 students plus their leaders reached the entire city of Tujunga in less than 10 hours. “Our goal is to impact entire cities with literature and compassionate personal contact,” Carpenter said.
The time was undeniably well spent. During these short hours, approximately 18,800 GLOW tracts were distributed and 134 interests were gathered. The work was accomplished so fervently that one leader took a quick trip to the conference for more literature.
One GLOW Impact student had an amazing experience that affected the whole team. Michelle Blech, Newbury Park Adventist Academy (NPAA) senior, was talking with a woman who didn’t appear interested in the literature. The woman asked, “Are you with that girl?” referencing Rochelle Cordero, El Monte High School senior, who was walking alone across the street. The woman went on to say, “There was a person with her, wearing a white shirt.” Rochelle’s answer? “No, I was completely by myself.”
“I don’t know what their take of the story is,” Blech said, “but, personally, I think it was an angel.”
“I’ve always been told He’s powerful, and once you find God, He will bring so much joy into your life, and I didn’t know if I actually truly believed that until this weekend,” Raquel Alvarenga, NPAA freshman, shared. She has been told all her life that she’s a natural at evangelism. After this experience, she’s convicted of her calling: “I think this is what I’m meant to do.”
“I’m thankful that I got to come to GLOW Impact again, because I went last year and it was probably the best weekend of my life,” said Chris De la Luz, San Gabriel Academy (SGA) senior. With a smile, he added, “I hope there’s a college edition, so I can go!”
Students received community service hours for their participation. Yet, by the end of the weekend, this was no longer the sole motivation. “The whole point about me coming here is not about the community service or anything,” Chris Galingan, NPAA senior, said, sharing his desire to feel God’s presence and understand His purpose. “I really felt the presence of God throughout this GLOW Impact.”