Giving Light to Our World (GLOW) started in 2007 with a simple idea: every believer sharing hope and a future in Jesus every day wherever they go.
During the past 10 years 85 million pocket-size GLOW tracts have been printed in more than 60 languages, with 40 titles, for 45 countries. A rapidly growing “army”—young, old, and all ages in between—carry the easy-to-share tracts and trust God’s leading. It’s a lifestyle.
GLOW is modeled after the pioneers of the Advent movement. In a vision in 1848, God gave Ellen White a message for her husband, James: “You must begin to print a little paper and send it out to the people. . . . From this small beginning it was shown to me to be like streams of light that went clear round the world.”1 This was referring to the paper Present Truth, later the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald (now Adventist Review, www.adventistreview.org); the principle, however, is the same for GLOW tracts.
Somewhere in the world right now, someone is handing out GLOW tracts. What follows are a few brief stories of people’s experiences with GLOW.
When Pope Francis visited Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in September 2015, crowds at the Saturday concert were estimated to reach 500,000. For Mass on Sunday, more than 1 million people were expected. So GLOW leaders organized a 10-day mission trip to Philadelphia with the goal of distributing 1 million tracts.
One afternoon a young adult volunteer was handing out GLOW tracts in a parking lot and gave three tracts to a man. “Where is the other man?” he asked.
“What man?” the volunteer replied. Then the man explained. Two weeks before he had dreamed that a tall blond man had given him three GLOW tracts, the same tracts he had just received. Also, he had seen two other tracts, and he named the titles. The volunteer didn’t believe he had those tracts in his bag, but he looked anyway. And there they were—one of each! The man thanked the volunteer for the tracts and went on his way. The volunteer is still uncertain who the blond man in the dream was.
From Kenya, Moses e-mailed his experience: “I am not a Seventh-day Adventist practitioner, but I read your magazine, Adventist World, and I cut out the GLOW tracts.2 I gave a ‘Secrets of Mental Health’ tract to a patient on his deathbed. After reading it, the patient gave his life to Christ before he died. I want to get more of your magazines and GLOW tracts.”
Danny, in the Netherlands, was getting a haircut. A few weeks earlier he and his hairdresser had talked about the Sabbath after she said she was a Christian. She then asked Danny a question: “I don’t understand why you go to church on Saturday and everyone else goes on Sunday.” Danny left her with a few Bible texts and a copy of The Great Controversy, by Ellen White.
The next time Danny headed out for his haircut appointment, he had a plan. While sitting in the shop chair, he read the notes he had written in the margins of his Bible. Curious, his hairdresser asked what he was reading. He said he was reading Sabbath texts in the book of Acts. He showed her a few, and she read them out loud.
A customer came over to see what was going on. The hairdresser enthusiastically summarized everything she had heard and read. By now the hairdresser was convinced that Saturday was the Sabbath and wanted to tell her husband about it. Danny showed her a few GLOW tracts, which she wanted to share with her customers. He left her a stack of tracts and hoped his hair would grow quickly so he would need another haircut soon.
In the United States, Liz was working at home when she heard a knock on the door. When she opened it, David, who was handing out GLOW tracts, was already walking toward the next house. Liz called out to let him know she was home. Back on her porch, David handed Liz a GLOW tract.
“I have chills right now!” Liz said. “Not too long ago I had a dream. In the dream I saw two ministers of the
gospel coming to my house sharing literature.” David
was thrilled to hear about her dream, but he was the
only person there. Just then Taylor, his ministry partner, arrived. He had run out of GLOW tracts and had come looking for David to get more. Now there were two
ministers of the gospel at her door.
Liz looked at David and Taylor. “I believe this is from God. In my dream I saw two ministers at my door bringing me hope. I heard a voice from heaven saying, ‘This is your last chance. I’m coming back soon!’ Please pray for me. I need Jesus in my life.”
In the Philippines a church member personally experienced a visual example of Giving Light to Our World. One afternoon he was walking through several neighborhoods handing out GLOW tracts. In his city it was customary
for trash to be swept into small piles near the street and burned. Someone lit a pile of trash near where the church member was handing out tracts. Then a man walked by and noticed that one paper that had blown into the pile was not burning. Intrigued, he picked it up and tried to light it—but it wouldn’t catch fire. He called a few people over to see this strange happening. Speechless, the small crowd watched his failed attempts to burn the pamphlet.
Across the street, the church member noticed the crowd and went to see what was happening. Stunned, he told them he was the person who was handing out the leaflets. He then invited all of them to an evangelistic meeting at his church that evening. Some came just for the one meeting; others continued to come until the evangelistic series ended. Several of the eyewitnesses of the tract that wouldn’t burn were baptized!
“I love the stories,” says Nelson Ernst, GLOW director for the Pacific Union Conference in the United States.
“Like when a kid dropped a tract from the second floor of a mall, and it fell into a woman’s open purse. Or when someone was stopped from committing suicide because a GLOW tract was shared at just the right time. But probably my favorite stories are about church members who are
excited because they have actually done the outreach and experienced the satisfaction and fulfilment that come with selfless ministry.”
To learn more about GLOW, go to sdaglow.org. To watch GLOW testimonies on video, go to vimeo.com/user13970741. n
1 Ellen G. White, Life Sketches of Ellen G. White (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1915), p. 125.
2 GLOW tracts have been printed in a few previous issues of Adventist World.
Caron Oswald, now retired, served as vice president of Communication for the Central California Conference.