There is ministry—and then there is door-to-door ministry. If ministries were on a dodge ball team, Literature Evangelism (LE) would probably be chosen last every time. This is the ministry most people look at and say, “No thank you—not for me.”

On the surface, LE may not seem to be the ideal ministry because it consists of physical, emotional and spiritual effort and exhaustion. It entails power walking through extreme summer heat, ignoring those well-earned blisters on your feet, and quoting your memorized canvass for the 25th time that day—all to get rejected by another stranger slamming the door.

Yet it also includes lost souls finding hope—finding Christ in a book simply brought to their door. To me, this is what makes it worth the effort.

Many people are surprised that I choose to give up my summer plans to go knock on doors. But I do not look at it as being a saleswoman for eight weeks; I look at it as making friends with strangers for eight weeks. With my extroverted personality, I couldn’t think of anything more fulfilling. It’s not my job to come away from the door with a load of money. Instead, it’s my job to leave smiles on faces, a good impression of who Christ is, and a book that tells what He is all about.

My view of people behind those doors drastically changed the very first day out. At each house, doors were slamming in my face faster and faster. Discouraged and fearing more rejection, I tried to think of excuses to pass the next house. But then I became determined to have someone get a book about Jesus. I rang the doorbell, and a frowning lady came stomping up, giving rejection signals before the door was even completely open. “I can’t afford what you have,” she snapped. “All my money goes to my husband’s hospice care and my mother’s back surgery.”

While the door was quickly shutting I said, “Could I pray for your husband instead?” The door came to an abrupt halt and the woman looked at me in astonishment. “Really?” she asked. The next thing I knew, I was kneeling on the floor beside her frail husband.

After I prayed, the woman and I both had tears in our eyes. She went to the kitchen and handed me a larger donation than I had received all day. Within 10 minutes her attitude had completely changed. Now I was giving her books and we were hugging. I came to the door with her yelling, and I left with her saying, “I’m excited to see you in heaven, Mollie.”  I’ve never since looked at people as cranky or mean—I see them as hurting.

I may never see the results of my work this side of heaven, but what keeps me going is imagining every person I talk to as someone I will meet again in heaven. I’m able to continue doing LE because I have realized the importance of this work. Having a book brought to their doorstep might be the only way some people will find Christ.

In this work, it seems you always are seeking rejuvenation of energy, which is why there is no possible way to have a successful summer without spending daily (and even hourly) time talking to God. This is why LE is so much more than people at their doors getting a book.

I didn’t just come away from LE my first summer with cold college cash. I came away with an eternal ministry mindset. I no longer look at people in the supermarket as just people. I see them as candidates for heaven. I no longer go through my day waiting for the Lord to show up. I am actively seeking for divine appointments with people where the Lord can use me. I am no longer offended by rude people behind a door, or anywhere for that matter. I now am concerned for what must be going on in their lives. I’m no longer waiting for people to come to the church to find the gospel. I’m yearning to bring the gospel to people where they are.

I can confidently say becoming an LE is the best thing that ever happened to me because the effects on the people I meet—and on myself—are eternal.