When I learned of the General Conference initiative to reach millions of people worldwide with the gospel message by mass distributions of Ellen G. White’s book The Great Controversy,* I determined to participate. I prayed that the Lord would bless my efforts—which He did in a surprising and remarkable way!
A Traffic Jam and The Great Controversy
God’s methods can surprise us.
By Waldburga Müller
W hen I learned of the General Conference initiative to reach millions of people worldwide with the gospel message by mass distributions of Ellen G. White’s book The Great Controversy,* I determined to participate. I prayed that the Lord would bless my efforts—which He did in a surprising and remarkable way!
In late March 2012 I was visiting Germany en route to Switzerland. While there, I asked a fellow church member from Stuttgart if he would be able to get me a dozen copies of the paperback edition of The Great Controversy. I wanted to give the book to chance acquaintances during my trip to Switzerland. Instead he gave me a box of about 50 copies.
Fifty copies! I thought. How will I ever be able to hand out 50 copies in such a short time?
The books were written in German, and I lived in Portugal, so it would not be useful to take them home with me. I knew, however, that all things are possible with God, so I prayed, “Dear Lord, show me the people who will be receptive to this book and will read it.” I had no idea how quickly God would answer my prayer!
A Traffic Jam
Not long after crossing the border into Switzerland while driving from southern Germany toward Bern, I ran into a traffic jam. It was one of those totally stopped “megajams,” in which people get out of their cars and begin talking with one another. I had no option but to accept the situation, so I wondered, “How can I wisely spend the time waiting?” I then remembered my Sabbath school lesson. I took it out, together with my Bible, and began studying.
Before long I heard a knock on my window. I rolled it down, and a young man asked me what I was reading. I told him that I was reading about the return of Jesus Christ, and added: “Do you know that Jesus is coming soon?”
“No,” he replied. “I’ve never heard about it. Where does it say that? In the Bible?” And after a pause, he added: “Is that a Bible on your dashboard?”
I said yes, and then he asked, “Can you show me in the Bible where it says that about Jesus?”
I read to him Matthew 24:30: “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” I next quoted Revelation 1:7: “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him.” Acts 1:11 then came to mind, so I read: “This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
The young man listened with interest. He then asked: “Why is He coming back, this Jesus? And what does He want from us?”
I answered all his questions as best I could from the Bible. After some time he thanked me and began to leave. I then remembered the 50 copies of The Great Controversy that I had with me. I called him back and gave him a copy.
More to Come
But the Lord wasn’t finished yet. Before long, I heard another knock on my window. It was the wife of the young man I had spoken to. He had told her about our conversation, and she was curious to know more. She also had questions about the soon return of Jesus. I spoke again about Jesus’ coming, the signs of the times, and the final events of world history.
Other drivers began joining us and listening to our conversation. Some of them asked questions as well. Eventually the group grew to a few dozen people. They couldn’t all hear me, so I got out of my car and asked God for wisdom to know what to say. I remembered the promise that the Holy Spirit would assist us at the right time, to repeat the appropriate scriptures. And indeed, I was helped immediately. The people had many questions, and I always found the matching text to support my answers. Finally I told them about the book The Great Controversy, and that I had some copies to give away. I explained that in this book they could find the exact description of Jesus’ coming and how we can know that He’s coming soon. Almost everyone wanted a book. In the end only three copies were left.
I wonder what the Lord has planned for these remaining three copies? I thought to myself.
An Unexpected Arrival
Suddenly a police helicopter flew by and then landed on the grass next to the highway. One of the officers got out and told us that the highway patrol had observed on satellite a large group of people standing outside the cars. They thought that perhaps an accident or injury had occurred, so they had sent the helicopter. My “audience” explained to him what was going on, and then he wanted a copy of the book too. I handed him one—and then gave him two more for his colleagues in the helicopter.
The landing of the police helicopter had attracted so much attention that more people drifted over. They all wanted to know the reason the police had come and why so many people were standing around my car. Unfortunately I had no books left, but about a dozen of the “newcomers” were so interested in the book that they gave me their addresses. I promised to send them all a copy.
A Lesson in God’s Power
Soon the line of cars slowly began to move again. The traffic jam broke up. It had lasted for more than two hours. The people returned to their vehicles, the helicopter took off, and I continued my trip—minus 50 copies of The Great Controversy!
I felt “richer” because of this wonderful experience from our great God. For me the lesson was obvious: God wants as many people as possible to read this precious book. And if need be, He will use even a traffic jam to accomplish His purpose.
Waldburga (Burgi) Müller, a longtime member of the Mühlacker Adventist Church in Germany, lives with her husband in Portugal.