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Signs gets the conversation started
John Brereton was a recovering drug addict who had only been attending church for a couple of weeks. But he already had a passion for sharing Jesus with others. He and his wife Michal first learned about Adventism when a hospital chaplain gave them a copy of a book called Your Bible and You.
At the time, John was working for a joinery factory on the Central Coast. Even as a new Christian, he already believed in the value of sharing literature because that was how he and Michal had found Jesus. He kept three boxes handy at work — on of Signs magazines, one of copies of Steps to Christ, and the other, copies of The Great Controversy. His aim was to share these with everyone he met.
There was just one person he couldn’t seem to reach — the postman who delivered the factory’s mail. Every day, the postman would ride in, throw the mail onto the factory floor, and then ride out again before John could talk to him.
“I got frustrated,” confesses John. “I couldn’t sleep at night. I thought to myself, ‘I have to give a Signs magazine to that bloke.’ ”
John had a copy of Signs in his pocket when the postman made his next trip, but as usual he took off before John could give him the magazine.
“I dropped everything and ran and started chasing him down the highway,” John admits. “The postie saw me in his rear-view mirror and came back. I handed Signs to him and said, ‘I just want to give you this. I hope you enjoy reading it.’ ”
After the next mail run, the postie didn’t take off as usual. Instead, he parked his bike and looked around at the factory.
“Where’s that bloke who gave me the magazine yesterday?” he asked. “I read it from cover to cover and I’ve got questions.”
John approached the postie apprehensively, wondering if there had been something in the magazine that the postman hadn’t liked. To his surprise, the postman told him that he was genuinely searching for answers to his questions. At this stage, John was still a new Christian and didn't know much about the Bible. In a panic, he went to his trusty boxes and gave the postman, whose name was Michael, a copy of Steps to Christ.
The next day, Michael returned, saying that he had finished the book in one night and had more questions. Again, in panic mode, John handed him a copy of The Great Controversy, figuring that this book would take Michael a while to get through. But an enthusiastic Michael stayed up all night to read the book and then requested Bible studies.
“I had no real theological knowledge,” comments John. “But Michael and I would sit on piles of timber on the factory floor and I would share the Bible with him.”
Eventually Michael and his wife were baptised, as were two members of Michael’s family. John’s love for sharing literature eventually led to his call to be a literature evengelist and then Publishing Director for the South Pacific Division in January 2009. And yes, he still loves to share Signs magazines when he can.
“Anybody can share a Signs magazine,” says John. “I just gave it to Michael and said ‘this is for you’. All you need is a loving heart for people and a willingness to share.”
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