John was seventeen years old when he heard a minister proclaim that Jesus was coming soon. The teenager grabbed his Bible and looked up the texts. Sure enough, it was true!
«I’m going to go out and preach,» the determined young man announced. Then he paused. «But I can’t. I’m too sick.»
That also was true. His sickness made him slow at whatever he did, so finding a job was next to impossible.
«I’m going to preach no matter what!» John stated emphatically. His determination made him feel better immediately. Then he paused again. «Wait. I don’t have any money!»
A kindly neighbor heard of John’s desire and offered him a job cutting wood. He could work as slowly as he needed to. No one would care, as long as the job got done. So John cut wood and managed to save a dollar.
«I don’t have any preaching clothes,» the teen moaned, studying the contents of his closet.
«Not to worry,» the same neighbor announced. «With a little creative cutting and sewing, a pair of my trousers will fit you. I’ll throw in a vest too.» John’s brother lent him an overcoat, which he shortened into a suit jacket by cutting around the bottom.
That’s how John Loughborough, a great Adventist pioneer, began his ministry. He went from town to town, preaching in cut-down clothes, telling anyone who would listen that Jesus was coming back soon. Hundreds believed and invited Christ into their lives.
In our day and age of high-tech satellite evangelism and internet communications, it’s still the message of hope we Adventists proclaim that catches ears and transforms hearts.