A shirt to talk about

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Mission story for Sabbath, May 30.

May 30, 2020
/ [Photo Courtesy of Adventist Mission]
/ Andrew McChesney, Adventist Mission


A shirt to talk about[Photo Courtesy of Adventist Mission]

Glenn Lie slipped on his favorite green polo shirt and boarded a subway train in Oslo, Norway.

The 55-year-old teacher hoped that people would stare at him. He didn’t have to wait long.

Glenn sat across from an elegantly dressed woman who appeared to be in her early sixties. The woman glanced at him and then his shirt. Her eyes remained on his shirt. Embroidered on the left breast were the words, “Advent Airlines, Steward Glenn Lie,” and the image of a jet plane.

Glenn said nothing. He knew the woman was wondering why she had never heard about Advent Airlines.

After staring for about five minutes, the woman spoke.

“Excuse me,” she said. “I haven’t heard about this airline before. Do you work there?”

“Yes,” Glenn said.

“Oh,” she said. “Where do you fly?”

“We only have one destination.”

“Oh really?” she said with surprise.

She didn’t ask for the destination, and Glenn didn’t volunteer it.

After a long moment, the woman asked, “Is it very expensive?”

“No, the tickets are free.”

Now the woman was flabbergasted.

“What?” she exclaimed. “Why are the tickets free?”

It was Glenn’s turn to pause. The woman’s curiosity grew. Finally, Glenn spoke.

“The tickets are free because they were paid for 2,000 years ago,” he said.

The woman looked puzzled for a moment. Suddenly understanding flashed in her eyes.

“I understand,” she said.

She paused.

“But, for me, I have a hard time believing in heaven,” she said.

“Why?” Glenn asked.

“I have had bad experiences with religion in my upbringing,” she said.

It was a story that Glenn had heard many times: people who rejected Christianity because of what they saw as the poor example of Christians. Norway is a highly secularized society, and church membership has declined in many denominations for decades. The Seventh-day Adventist Church is no exception, and its 4,500 members have struggled to make inroads in the Scandinavian country of 5.3 million people.

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