Finding the Right Words
By Andrew McChesney
Alexei Arushanian, a 33-year-old Ukrainian national living in Poland, noticed a Bible and many other religious books in the apartment of the woman whose windows he was installing.
Alexei belonged to a group of church members who distributed Ellen White’s The Great Controversy. It was a difficult task with few receptive people, and he prayed for an opportunity to share a book in this home.
Then the woman, who was about 40 and lived alone, offered him a cup of tea. Alexei sat and sipped the tea as the woman went about her activities. She sang as she worked. Alexei prayed about what to do. Finally, he spoke.
“I see that you love to read books,” he said.
“Yes, I really love to read,” she said. “You might have noticed that I don’t have a TV. I read all the time.”
The woman resumed working and singing.
Alexei had an idea. “Are you a Christian?” he asked.
“Yes, I sing in a choir at church,” she said.
“I also go to church, at Foksal 8,” Alexei said, giving the address of the only Seventh-day Adventist church in Poland’s capital, Warsaw. “I’m a Protestant. I’m a Seventh-day Adventist.”
Seeing that the woman was listening intently, Alexei grew bolder.
“I’d like to give you a gift, a book about the history of Christianity,” he said. “It’s really interesting.”
The woman agreed to look at the book.
As Alexei took his tools out to the car, he worried that she wouldn’t open the door when he returned with the book. But she welcomed him back in. She was visibly impressed with the handsomely bound volume, and she immediately began to leaf through it. From the expression on her face, Alexei could see that she didn’t agree with everything that she saw.
“It’s up to you to accept or reject what’s in the book,” he said.
The woman accepted the book, saying, “Thank you very much.”
The pair spoke a little longer, and Alexei was filled with joy when he left. He was so happy that he had found a way to give her the book.
“I could have stayed silent,” he says. “But she had the right to decide whether to accept the book or not. My duty only was to offer it to her.”
This quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will go to the Trans-European Division, which includes Poland. Thank you for planning a generous offering.
Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission. Find more mission stories at adventistmission[dot]org