Holding up a white Bible, the woman approached Denise Vince at the Adventist Book Center in Sydney, Australia.
“I bought this here a few days ago, but it’s not what I’m looking for,” she said. “And I need a white Bible.”
Denise checked the shop’s stock.
“That’s the only white Bible I have,” she said apologetically.
The woman got very edgy.
“You don’t understand. I need a white Bible and I need it soon.”
“Why do you need a white Bible?” Denise asked curiously. Wouldn’t some other Bible do?
“I listen to the spirits,” the woman said. “They want me to buy a white Bible.”
For many people, a job is just a paycheck, a way to make ends meet. But Denise believes her job at the Adventist Book Center is a mission field.
If you’ve visited the shop in Sydney Adventist Hospital at some point during the past five years, chances are you’ve met Denise. You’ll often see her rearranging the stock or ringing up purchases.
But her favorite part of the job is talking — and witnessing — to the people she meets. Often her customers are friends and family of hospital patients, or even patients themselves. Many of them are not Adventist or even Christian. Yet there’s something about the serenity and peace of this little shop that entices them to come inside.
Further conversation with the woman with the white Bible divulged that she was no ordinary customer. She was a clairvoyant, and she was adamant she had had a vision that instructed her to buy and read a white Bible.
“Do you think that vision might have been the voice of God?” Denise asked tentatively.
An expression of horror crossed the woman’s face. “I don’t know, but I need to obey.”
The woman agreed to come back in a few days.
Meanwhile, Denise and her husband, Roger, prayed earnestly, hoping that God would direct them to what this woman needed.
“I’ve been thinking,” Roger said finally. “Perhaps it isn’t a white-colored Bible she’s after. Perhaps she would appreciate a study Bible that includes quotes from Ellen White.”
When the woman returned a few days later, Denise showed her such a Bible.
“My husband and I thought you would appreciate this,” she said, explaining that Ellen White had helped found the hospital and that she had written many books.
The woman began to shake and appeared visibly frightened.
“What’s the matter?” Denise asked with concern.
“I’m just thinking about this woman who has written so many books,” the woman replied. She held the Bible protectively against her chest. “Yes, this is the Bible for me.”
In addition to the Bible, she purchased several books by White, including The Great Controversy, Desire of Ages, Ministry of Healing, and Steps to Christ.
“Now I have to get back to my husband,” she said. “He’s dying, and we’ve been told that he won’t leave this hospital alive.”
“Would it be alright if I prayed for your husband?” Denise said.
“If you think it’ll make a difference.”
Denise learned that this woman was heavily involved in New Age spirituality and always did what the spirits told her. However, a Christian relative had prayed for her as a child.
“The next time I saw that woman, she and her husband were leaving the hospital together and going back to the South Coast,” Denise told me. “His condition had improved greatly. I believe the long-ago prayers of that Christian relative are being answered.”
This is just one of countless testimonies that have arisen from this bookshop’s witness.
“Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, God can use you,” Denise said. “May your job be more than a paycheck. May it be a mission field.”