by Robert Turner
In the small town of Sundridge, Ontario, Ca. 300 miles north of the U.S. — Canadian border, the young folk of a small congregation (45-50) put many of their U. S. counterparts to shame. They are High School and under: with the same love for and participation in sports, parties, etc., that is common with this age. But they also — and preeminently — love the Lord.
They sat together, listening to my sermons and taking notes. That’s fine “stroking” for a preacher. But it became apparent they had more serious things in mind than pleasing a visiting speaker. I began to hear of their teaching “sessions” at school and in their homes. They had “taken aim” on this or that boy or girl and were working to convert them to Christ. On one occasion I went to a home for a meal and was told to bring information on the Jewish Sabbath, etc., for a young man would be there to talk about this. I made some notes, and as I began to present them, I found only a few things in my “outline” that had not already been worked out by the young people who were interested in teaching their Adventist friend. It was gratifying to see the mutual respect shown in such studies. When the prospect showed signs of having “had enough” for the time, they let up. “Let it cool awhile” as one of them put it. Older folk should learn that.
I heard them speak of a young man who was much interested in the gospel of Christ, but whose parents were opposed to his being baptized. They had a “feeling” for the boy, and for the parents too. There were rumors the boy would have to leave home if he obeyed the gospel, but one night he walked boldly down the aisle and confessed his faith in Christ. We went to Lake Bernard for the baptizing. As car lights played on the fog-shrouded waters, and a wild duck swam small circles in the edge of the light, the boy and the preacher walked into the cold waves, and we witnessed a burial and a resurrection. Joy swept the band of witnesses like an electric current, and as they sang “Oh Happy Day" — there was scarcely a dry eye.
It was only after the baptizing, that I learned that the boy’s parents had been present at the service, and showed approval of the deed. The new brother was welcomed into the circle of Christian boys and girls and soon I heard they were “taking aim” on another lost soul — using their fresh reinforcement.
Want the punch line? This church has no “Recreation Hall” or other unauthorized “church socials.” It has, instead, converted young people.