It was 2001 and now that we were unified as a team we could begin to use the bookstore to hold seminars in an attempt to find spiritually interested people.
Looking for subjects that interested people in general, we had sessions on handling stress, on what it means to be wise, on women’s issues, on parenting and on the seven secrets of happiness, among others.
Since our meeting room at the bookstore was small, we held these “first level” public seminars in a nearby hotel and made the content general in nature. That way no one could accuse us of trapping them into a spiritual presentation.
At the end of the seminar we would then invite those interested to attend an additional, nonpublic discussion of the same subject from a biblical perspective. This worked well to identify those with any spiritual interest.
By the time we discontinued the seminars, there had been hundreds who had attended our events. The largest one took place when the author of the book “Five Languages of Love” came and spoke at two large gatherings. Along with the good exposure to truth and the sale of books, we were pleased to hear that a marriage was saved, although the couple did not come to Christ.
Drawing from the experience of others who were also holding spiritaul events in the city, we notified the appropriate desk at the authorities headquarters each time we had plans to hold a seminar.
They would send plain-clothes men to attend each of our public events. “For protection,” they said. “For observation,” we thought.
We later learned that as a business we did not need to notify them, but now that we had, we were on their radar screen. We would later reap the negative consequences of that, all of which the Lord would allow for His good reasons.
On my birthday, 2001