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Helen Johnston was working as a student literature evangelist in Battle Creek, Michigan. (Courtesy of Kamil Metz)

The Voice Said, “He Needs ‘The Great Controversy’”

Moments later, the house door opened. A man stood there.

By Kamil Metz

Helen Johnston abruptly realized as she walked down a street in Battle Creek, in the U.S. state of Michigan, that she had not prayed. So the student literature evangelist paused to seek God’s guidance. It was summer 2015, and she was raising money for school.

As Helen headed to the next door, she heard a voice say, “A man will open the door, and he needs ‘The Great Controversy.’”

Moments later, the house door opened. A man stood there.

Helen, following the practice of seeking to make friends first, offered a health book. Then she pulled out a copy of Ellen G. White’s “The Great Controversy.”

The man was intrigued by the book. He wanted his own copy, but he couldn’t afford it.

Helen felt certain that God wanted him to have the book, so she offered it for free. The man shook his head. Helen asked whether he had any spare change lying around the house. The man came back with a handful of coins, but it was still not enough. He gave Helen the money but still refused to take the book.

Disappointed, Helen turned to leave. She took a few steps and tripped. The coins scattered on the ground.

Helen quickly asked the man to hold the book. After collecting the coins, she began to walk away.

The man called out after her. “Your book,” he said. “You forgot your book.”

Helen looked back and smiled. “It’s yours to keep,” she said.

He returned her smile. “You win,” he said.

An hour later, Helen found herself going door to door in a more affluent neighborhood. As she introduced herself and was about to say her name, the woman at the door interrupted her. “It’s Helen, right?” she said.

Helen was startled. She had never seen the woman before.

“I am a Seventh-day Adventist,” the woman said. “This morning as I was reading my Bible I was impressed by God that Helen would come to my door. I was also impressed that I needed to write a check for $20 because Helen would meet a man who needs ‘The Great Controversy’ but would not have the money to buy it.”

The woman pulled out a signed check made out to the sum of $20. She only needed to add the name of the recipient. “Who do I make this check out to?” she said.

Kamil Metz is international coordinator for the GLOW tracts ministry.