Valley View Members Scatter ‘Leaves of Autumn’
Story by Valerie Morikone
“This is a work that should be done. The end is near. Already much time has been lost. ... Scatter [books] like the leaves of autumn” (Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 72).
One night in late 1999, Delphia Davis, a member of Mountain View Conference's Valley View church in Bluefield, W.Va., had a dream. “I saw a prophetic clock in the sky. The clock’s hands pointed almost to midnight. I heard a voice telling me, ‘I have a work for you to do,’” she remembers.
“At first,” Davis shares, “I didn’t know what that work was, but soon the Lord led me into literature ministry.” Davis later transferred to the Valley View church and met member Judy Johnson. Johnson joined Davis’ ministry in 2015, and the two went door-to-door around Princeton and Bluefield, W.Va., and into Virginia, mostly distributing The Great Controversy.
The two women began visiting several homes on Wednesdays and Sabbath afternoons. Soon Priska Volpe, a fellow church member, joined them.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year. The ladies realized door-to-door ministry was no longer possible, so they started convening in large parking lot areas. As a result, they were able to reach more people in a shorter amount of time. In fact, during the last seven months of 2020, they distributed more than 6,000 pieces of literature.
One day, Davis gave a book to a woman in one of the parking lots. The woman related she was familiar with Seventh-day Adventists. The next morning, the woman randomly ran into Philip Wright, Valley View’s first elder, and they began to talk. He then invited her to church, where she now faithfully attends each Sabbath.
Last summer, Davis gave a book to a woman who was a new Christian. Davis then began giving Bible studies through the mail with her and her family. “I received a lovely note from this woman that they are all so appreciative of having me as a Christian mentor and they are enjoying the Bible lessons so much,” Davis reports.
Recently, while distributing books, Johnson met a woman named Leslie, who was so impressed by the experience that she posted a picture of The Great Controversy on social media. Johnson later discovered that Leslie is a woman of influence in the Bluefield, Va., area, and prays that many are blessed because of this encounter.
On another occasion, Volpe met a pastor from the Churches of Christ who accepted a copy of The Great Controversy. He was so excited to hear of the work the women were doing, that he stopped and prayed for their ministry.
“One thing we do prior to handing out any literature is to pray,” shares Volpe. “We pray again as we finish for the day, praising the Lord for giving us success, for the Holy Spirit to bless each person that we met and thanking Him for giving us the courage to share the literature.”
Through the church’s prayers and financial support, Valley View has received many divine appointments and confirmations that people are reading the material.
“With everything happening in society, people are very receptive to spiritual literature and gladly receive the materials and prayers, as many are separated from family and not able to go to church,” says James Volpe, pastor of the Valley View/Beckley church district. “Davis, Johnson and Volpe encourage anyone who has a burden for souls to share literature with others.”