Great Controversy Distribution in Michigan Leads to More Than 430 Bible Studies

Initiative in the Detroit metro area mobilizes church entities and volunteers.

Faith LaCelle, Lake Union Herald
Great Controversy Distribution in Michigan Leads to More Than 430 Bible Studies
Jesús Bravo, van driver and Streams of Light International team member, looks at a map with one of his teams of volunteers as they prepare to go door to door. [Photo: Arisha Arvat]

More than 100 volunteers went door to door to distribute 29,000 copies of The Great Controversy, Thrive magazine, and invitational flyers to the Detroit, Michigan, USA, neighborhoods surrounding five Adventist churches from April 11 to 15. The door-to-door effort resulted in more than 430 Bible study contacts.

“I was greatly impacted by how many people are out there desperately in need for God’s people to go out and reach them,” Erik Shankles, a volunteer from Tennessee, United States, said, during the program live streamed from the Streams of Light International (SOLI) Facebook and YouTube channels on Saturday morning. “We should not put our lamp under a basket. We need to get out there among the people.”

SOLI, organizer of the mission trip and a supporting ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, has the goal of placing a copy of The Great Controversy in every home in North America by 2026.

The mission trip came about after SOLI presented a proposal to the Michigan Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church to work together on a large-scale literature evangelism project. The proposal included plans for both a localized mission trip in the Detroit area and conference-wide participation from churches around Michigan state to go door to door in their communities on Sabbath, April 15. Giancarlo de Miranda, lead pastor of the Warren Adventist church, learned of the proposed project and brought it to the church board, who then voted to host the mission trip at their church.

“It is a privilege to host Streams of Light and to partner with them in this mission project,” de Miranda told participants during their first morning devotional time together. “We’re thrilled that you’re here to help us place the three angels’ messages in people’s homes.”

Through the door-to-door distribution of The Great Controversy, participating church members received training and experience, and Warren community members received books, opportunity for prayer, and Bible studies as well as an invitation to the church’s upcoming relationship seminar — all of which help advance their mission to grow disciples, share hope, and serve their community.

Men, women, and children of all ages traveled from across the United States and Canada to join the mission trip. A daily children’s program helped accommodate the younger volunteers, who also spent time going door to door.

Mornings included two and one-half hours of prayer, a plant-based breakfast, worship, and training. Following the formation of teams, participants grabbed a sack lunch, loaded into vans, and used maps provided by SOLI to navigate each designated area of outreach for six hours. Every evening, volunteers spent an hour sharing their divine appointments and faith-building experiences.

SOLI’s director of evangelism Johnny Henderson shared how, in the first two days, SOLI set goals for Bible study contacts. Wednesday’s goal was 35, and volunteers returned with 37. Thursday’s goal was 50, and volunteers returned with 119. On Friday, no limit was set, and volunteers returned with 91. On Sabbath, again no limit was set, and 191 Bible study contacts were collected. In total, volunteers collected more than 430 Bible study contacts in just four days.

“What a joy to see so many of our members and friends from other states working side by side ministering to our Detroit communities,” Michigan Conference president Jim Micheff said. Micheff joined the panel discussion on Sabbath morning at the Warren church as well as the afternoon outreach. “What an inspiration and blessing Streams of Light was to our conference as they partnered with us to organize and direct this wonderful Detroit mission trip!”

Panelists included Micheff and de Miranda, together with SOLI president Oleg Lotca; David Pano, director of Literature Ministries for the Michigan conference; and Michael Eckert, assistant director of the General Conference Publishing Ministries, along with panel moderators Stephen Gutierrez and Pat Humphrey.

“We will never accomplish the work through mission trips alone,” Lotca said during the closing ceremony. “There are few of us here, and there are over 148 million homes in North America. What we want these mission trips to be is the spark that goes viral in your own churches.”

The original version of this story was posted on Lake Union Herald.

Faith LaCelle, Lake Union Herald