A Guy on a Bicycle
By Anthony Kent
On dusty outback roads, through dry monotonous terrain, and under a merciless hot Australian sun, Philip rode his bicycle hundreds of miles selling hope-filled Christian books as a literature evangelist. One day, he came to a farm in the middle of nowhere, a place called Eugowra. Here, he saw a farmer plowing a field. The man was strong in physique but broken in spirit. It was Tom Kent.
Philip didn’t know it, but Tom’s family was heartbroken. His wife, Mary, had succumbed to pneumonia. He was in despair, struggling to care for their 11 children. Just before her death, Mary had asked Tom to promise that he would meet her in heaven – and bring the children with him. Tom had promised. Tearfully, he had looked for a Bible to see how he could keep his promise. That’s when Philip met Tom.
Philip Ainslie Reekie was born in Scotland in 1846. In 1888, widowed and divorced, he migrated to Australia, looking for a new life. Just a year later, in 1889, he stumbled upon some Christian literature, discovered amazing Bible truths, and encountered the real Jesus. He’d not only found a new country, but also a new reason to live. He wanted to spread hope. He quit working as an engraver so he that could engrave God’s Word upon hearts by becoming a literature evangelist.
Now listening to Tom’s heartbreaking story, Philip saw pain, and heard of Mary’s dying hope. He decided to share The Great Controversy with Tom. Tom wrestled with the biblical truths he read, but after careful study, accepted the teachings. These new discoveries gave Tom the deep comfort and assurance that he so badly needed. He shared his discoveries with his children and neighbors. His children, and five neighboring families became believers and disciples of Jesus. It was then that Tom knew he could keep his promise to his wife.
Today, this remarkable story continues. Tom Kent’s descendants, together with the other five families and other people brought into the Seventh-day Adventist Church, add up to more than 20,000 individuals. Twenty thousand lives transformed by a faithful literature evangelist on a bicycle and a farmer who shared The Great Controversy with his family and neighbors.
Would you like to experience ultimate joy, meaning, and purpose in your life? Join the global church in 2023 and 2024 in the mass promotion and distribution of The Great Controversy. Visit greatcontroversyproject.com for more information or ask your pastor.
Anthony Kent is great-grandson of Tom Kent and General Conference associate ministerial secretary.
Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission. Find more mission stories at adventistmission[dot]org