Story by Dan Galusha/ Pacific Press
Like many these days, Alex and Janeth Partyka, Baltimore residents and members of Chesapeake Conference's Triadelpia church in Clarksville, Md., have been driving for Lyft and Uber part-time to earn some extra income. Alex and Janeth also wanted to witness to others about Jesus and the Adventist message. If they felt a passenger might be receptive, and especially when the conversation turned to religious topics, they would offer the person a small piece of literature. However, sometimes riders would refuse a tract when it was offered to them.
They found that one of the more difficult—and intimidating—aspects of witnessing was knowing when and how to witness in a non-invasive way. Recently, Janeth started driving full time. As she did so, she also came up with an idea that has opened up many more opportunities to witness to their riders in a natural, personal way.
We recently asked them about their unique way of witnessing to learn more about this exciting new way to reach out to people with the gospel.
Galusha: What was your idea and how did you come up with it?
Partykas: We decided that instead of offering a person a tract when we felt they might be receptive, we would put a literature rack in our car. Witnessing becomes a lot easier when your riders have religious tracts right in front of them! They will often start the conversation themselves.
Galusha: Where is the rack located, and what kinds of literature do you put in it?
Partykas: The rack is on the back of the front passenger seat since that puts it right in front of where most riders sit. We fill it with GLOW tracts on the Sabbath, the Ten Commandments, and health. We also include some books—The Faith of Desmond Doss, The Great Hope, etc. We make sure that every piece of literature contains a Bible study offer with our local church’s code.
Galusha: Do you mention the rack and tell passengers that they are free to take something from it? Or do you just let it be there without saying anything about it?
Partykas: We always tell passengers that the literature is free or we may suggest certain pieces. Recently, we’ve added a sign to the rack saying, “A Free Gift for You.”
Galusha: How many pieces of literature do you give away in a typical week?
About 50 to 70 pieces.
Galusha: What are the most popular subjects?
Partykas: Without any prompting from us, most people will take a piece on health. Lately, the topic about the end of the world has become popular.
Galusha: Have you had any passengers complain about the rack?
Partykas: Not so far. Actually, the response has been better with the rack than when we were handing literature to people, because it gives them the choice to take it or not. Depending on the conversation we’ve had with a particular rider, we will often suggest a certain tract before they get out of the car.
Galusha: And having a literature rack in the car leads to more discussions about religious subjects?
Partykas: No question about it. It happens all the time. People ask, “What religion are you?” Or they begin asking about the Sabbath or some other subject they see in the rack. A week or so ago, we got into a conversation with a lady about the Sabbath. She said she felt very strongly that it was important to keep the Sabbath holy. But she was talking about Sunday. As we talked further, she couldn’t believe that she had never realized that Saturday was actually the seventh day of the week! Another young woman has requested Bible studies. We plan to begin meeting with her next week to start studying with her.
Sometimes we will be able to pray with a passenger before they leave the car—if they are going through some particularly difficult time in their lives.