Joe Paola

Literature Evangelist Team Leader
Victoria & Tasmanian Conference

Joe Paola

The town of Stawell is situated 237 kms north west of Melbourne and has a population of just over 6000 people. It was founded in 1853 during the Victorian gold rush and is famed for the Stawell Gift, a professional foot race. It is also known as the gateway to the Grampians National Park.
Here in this beautiful historic town we have a faithful group of church members that are sharing the Advent message to their community.

To further assist in the spreading of the Adventist message to their area, Justin Bone, Pastor of the Stawell SDA church invited a small number of Literature Evangelists to help find further contacts for church member follow up. In the 3 days of door knocking LEs Peter Smith, Gillian Taylor, Joe Paola and Sandy Wallis worked a combined total of 85 hrs on the doors, prayed in 19 homes, sold over $1000 worth of Adventist literature, gave out over 400 pieces of free literature and had 29 people accept to watch our initial Beyond DVD. These 29 homes will now be visited by Justin and Stawell church members.

John (All names changed) invited Gillian into his home. As Gillian was sharing, John’s friend arrived and took over the conversation and so she politely left. After unsuccessfully knocking on a few more doors she went back to the car and prayed about which street to go to next. Gillian was led to an area which she had been canvassing the day before. Knocked on a door and it was John who answered! He was visiting his parents! God had orchestrated this meeting and Gillian was able to share the three angels’ messages. It turned out he was a Christian, doesn’t go to church, and has been doing Bible studies with a friend. They had worked out what the first beast of Revelation 13 represented and he was enthralled with what Gillian shared. He gladly took a Bible Prophecy correspondence card.

Christie answered the door and invited Peter in and was introduced to her husband Bruce and their three children. “I must admit at first glance I was sceptical. Both were covered from head to foot in tattoos…” – Peter.
As Peter began his presentation to Christie, Bruce moved from the other side of the room in his comfy chair and sat on the floor near his wife’s feet. They shared of their failed attempt and disappointment to go vegan and their longing to still be vegetarians. They also expressed their frustration with their own minister and presently worship at home. When Peter offered the Beyond DVDs they willingly accepted and also took a copy of the book, The Great Controversy as Christie loves reading and history. After prayer Peter left thanking and praising God for a loving and thoughtful family. He also asked God for forgiveness for wrongly judging them at the beginning of their visit.

Sandy stepped onto a small rickety veranda; shortly Dave stepped out and welcomed her. Caring for his aged mother, he listened to the focus on health for a few minutes, then Sandy offered Dave a Signs magazine before leaving. He looked closely at the fine print on the back cover – “This is a Seventh-day Adventist magazine? I grew up as an SDA.” Dave shared the disappointing circumstances many years ago when a sibling had died. However his heart remained open to accept material and DVDs, and the offer of a return visit by the local pastor.

When visiting with Casey it wasn’t long before she shared about her chronic fatigue and how difficult it is to manage with her daily activities. Casey also shared a little about the tragedies she saw while living in a war torn country overseas. She is not connected to any church, but did say that it was her faith in God that helped her through those terrible times. Kate was very generous and gave a good donation for our U-Turn book and accepted to watch our Beyond DVDs.

A big thank you to Pr Justin Bone and the Stawell church members for their tremendous support and prayers as we visited the homes in their community. A special thank you to members Gary and Julie who invited us to stay in their home for Friday night. We will never forget the great evening we had together.

Please pray as the Stawell church now faithfully follow up those precious 29 contacts.