Portland Women's Expo Gets Unexpected Vendor

By Cheri Corder

I am shocked that you are here!” she exclaimed after seeing ‘Seventh-day Adventist’ on the banner. “SHOCKED!”

The woman had just been offered a free copy of Living a Long and Beautiful Life, a little book on health adapted for women. The setting was a booth at the Portland Women’s Expo, which draws over 10,000 women each year on the first Saturday of April.

At first, the woman had refused the book, but then, glancing at the banner, she saw “Oregon Seventh-day Adventist Women’s Ministries”.

“I was raised a Seventh-day Adventist!” she said. “I went through all the schools… I already know what is in that book! But… okay, I’ll take one!”

Passionate about getting our literature into places where large crowds gather, a generous donor had contacted the NPUC about developing a small book on health that could be easily customized for trade shows. With a dozen professionals contributing to the content, the first edition was titled Live to be 101, designed for motorcyclists and distributed last summer at a motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota.

The second version of the book is the one distributed at the Women’s Expo. To appeal to young women, the editor changed the title and cover, many of the pictures inside, and wrote a new opening story, introduction and PS for most of the chapters. The book covers topics like nutrition and exercise, as well as emotional intelligence, and following the chapter on rest, a chapter about the Sabbath. At the back of the book are invitations for Discover Bible School, the Hope Channel, and www.Bibleinfo.com.

“May I have another copy?” asked one woman sheepishly. “I’m making up a basket for my daughter and her husband to take on their honeymoon, and I’d like to include one of these books.”

 “Of course!” she was told. “We also have some New Testaments here… would you like one of those?”

“Oh, yes!” her eyes sparkled. “Ummm…could I have two? It would be nice if they each had their own….”

Can you guess the response? 

Money for the Bibles was donated by the North American Division Women’s Ministries, and money for the large banner was provided by the North Pacific Union Conference Women’s Ministries.

While a few women declined the book or even returned it, the overwhelming majority were delighted to get one. The whole thing was a bit of an experiment, to get a feel for what this event is like and what kind of ministry might be done here in the future. By the end of the day, fifteen hundred copies of the book and dozens of Bibles had been distributed.

The books are now being used by a variety of Oregon Conference churches in their outreach efforts – as Mother’s Day gifts door to door, in Adventist Community Service centers, at health fairs, and more.