“I have to buy another one of those Ellen White books,” the woman told Paul Glenn as she burst into the LivingWell store in Silver Spring, Md. Paul is the Book Department Manager at the Potomac.
She said that she knew more than anyone else in her Bible study group, because she had read a book by Ellen White recently. “But I need to stay ahead of the rest of the class,” she added.
As the story unfolded, Paul realized the woman was not an Adventist, and her Bible study group was part of a non-Adventist church’s ministry. She’s like the more than 60% of LivingWell shoppers – not an Adventist, but now she knows who Ellen White is, and she knows that Ellen White has divinely-inspired insights into what the Bible teaches. Thanks to the interaction with LivingWell, one of five Adventist Book Centers in the Columbia Union..
Another story springs from the newly opened Smoothie Bar called “Fruits of the Spirit.” A man ordered a smoothie, then asked why the store had been closed the previous Friday afternoon. Dorrel, McLaren, Retail Sales Manager, explained that LivingWell isn’t open on the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week. “We worship God on the Sabbath, which starts at sundown on Friday night.”
“Isn’t Sunday the Sabbath?” he asked. Dorrel explained the biblical meaning of Sabbath, that it started on the seventh day of Creation week and that Seventh-day Adventists worship on Sabbath to honor God’s creation. “Oh,” he responded. Dorrel then shared with him some literature about Adventist beliefs, and gave him tools to locate a church near him – so he could attend on Saturdays.
Laura Worf, the store’s new General Manager, shared another story. She was on the sales floor, noticed a man looking perplexed, and asked if she could help him. He said yes; he wanted to know where the greeting cards were located. Laura led him to the large card section, and noticed he still look a bit overwhelmed by the hundreds of different Christian greeting cards. She asked what kind of card he wanted. “A get well card,” he said. She showed him several, he liked the third one she pulled out, and made the selection. “It’s very nice,” he said. Then Laura noticed tears brimming in his eyes. She asked if he was okay. He said, “My wife died two years ago. This is my first time buying a card for someone, because she always did that. I miss her.” Laura asked if she could pray with the man, he nodded his head “yes” and he left the story with a lighter burden.
LivingWell sees more than 10,000 people every month, and every interaction is a chance to share Jesus’ love with someone new.
Story by Kermit Netteburg