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Takoma Academy Students Share ‘Hope’ With Subway Patrons
Story by David Turner
Takoma Academy students Gabby Watson and Nia Dennis chat with a utility worker in downtown Silver Spring, Md., about The Great Hope.
Fifteen Takoma Academy students recently descended on downtown Silver Spring, Md., and the Prince George’s Plaza subway station in Hyattsville, Md., with copies of The Great Hope in hand and one question on their lips, “Got hope?” What was intended to be a class outing to share books, turned into a winter morning of fellowship with the numerous people they encountered on the streets.
By participating in this outreach, these students of the Takoma Park, Md., school became part of an historic initiative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church to get members around the world involved in sharing the Good News. The initiative, called the Great Controversy Project, involves the distribution of the book The Great Hope, a special version of The Great Controversy, which was written by Adventist Church co-founder Ellen G. White. Millions around the world have read and re-read her book, which brings to light the struggle between good and evil and the victory we can experience by being on God’s winning team.
“We gathered for prayer, had one final discussion about protocols for interacting with the community, and then we were off,” reported Chaplain Mario Brousssard. “Some students were eager while others were hesitant, not because they did not want to share this great news found between the covers of this book; they simply had not had these conversations before or engaged the public in this manner. Some of their concerns were, ‘What should I say?’ ‘What if they don’t take the book?’ ‘How many should I give out?’”
Freshman Jessica Guerrier admitted, “I was very afraid to talk to people because they might be too busy to even want to talk to me.”
Students scoured the area in pairs, pensive at first, then, as if overcome by a spirit of boldness, started engaging everyone they met, observed Broussard. He added, “Our goal was to distribute 200 books in one hour. We fell short; however the expectation shifted as students became engrossed in conversations about hope, answering questions and sometimes being ‘stumped’ by various views.”
A local utility employee named Henry asked members of the school outreach team if they knew when the Great Controversy started, then proceeded to share his understanding of the topic.
Sophomore Mecca Parker said he was humbled by the experience. “You could never tell who you were going to meet and what their situation would be,” he said. “We may be the only Jesus that people meet, and that presses me to be a true representation of God.”
Broussard says he expects to take another group next month.
|Sophomore Mecca Parker tells a passerby in Silver Spring, Md., about the book The Great Hope.|
Freshman Jessica Guerrier chats with a transportation worker at a station in Prince George’s County, Maryland.
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