A Book and a Ride
By Andrew McChesney
Alexei Arushanian, a 33-year-old Ukrainian living in Poland, was running late. He had just finished his work, installing windows, and had to stop at the gas station as he raced to meet his wife for an evening shopping trip.
At the gas pump, Alexei noticed a young man trying to start his scooter. He kept trying to start the scooter but to no avail. A large, insulated bag on the back of his scooter showed that he was making a food delivery. Alexei didn’t speak good Polish, but he didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to help. He thought about the young man as he filled up the tank and paid for it. Back in the car, he opened the window and called out, “What’s wrong?”
The young man was Polish. He said, “The scooter doesn’t want to start.”
Alexei belonged to a group of church members who distribute Ellen White’s The Great Controversy. It is a difficult task with few receptive people, and he saw an opportunity. He handed the young man a book.
“I have a gift for you,” he said. “It’s a Christian book that contains the history of Christianity from the first Christians who defended the truth after Christ returned to heaven to the events that will occur at the end of the world. I think that you will find it interesting.”
The young man accepted the book and thanked him. Alexei returned to his car. And sat. And thought. “I can’t leave. I haven’t done my duty as a Christian,” he thought. “I gave him a book, but I didn’t fill his need.” Opening the car door, he said, “I can take you to your delivery place.”
“Really?” the young man asked with surprise.
“Really,” Alexei said. “I understand how you feel. I’ll take you.”
The young man grabbed the bag of food, and Alexei drove him about 2 miles (3 km) to the address. “Will you wait for me?” the young man asked.
“Of course. I brought you.”
On the way back to the gas station, the young man marveled at Alexei’s kindness. “In Poland, very few Christians stop and offer help, but you are a Ukrainian Christian and offered help,” he said. He introduced himself as Kamil. Alexei spoke about the love of God, and Kamil listened intently. As they arrived at the gas station, a coworker from Kamil’s workplace pulled up to fix the scooter.
Alexei left. Kamil had help, and he could leave.
Alexei was late to his appointment to meet his wife. But it was worth it. He had been delayed by a divine appointment.
This quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will go to the Trans-European Division, which includes Poland. Thank you for planning a generous offering.