Blueberries, a Magazine and a Ministry

Marvin Zweegman, 53, had reached the end of his rope. With the collapse of his 18-year marriage and mounting financial problems, nothing seemed to matter, not even the other things he had always valued and enjoyed like his family, religion and his job at the dairy farm. His lonely, loveless future looked bleak, he contemplated suicide.

Then one remarkable day, Zweegman’s perspective on life and plans radically changed. The blanket of gloom and hopelessness that pervaded his whole being during the previous several weeks suddenly disappeared. His faith in a loving and compassionate Savior returned, and all he wanted was to do God’s will and to serve Him earnestly in the best possible way.

What turned his life around in a flash? He received in the mail America: Superpower of Prophecy, a “magabook” sent by a stranger who cared about his salvation. The uplifting and enlightening words sparked in him a desire to know the truth and to follow it. This led him to the Ferndale (Wash.) Church, where he kept his first Sabbath and shared his story.

“God has used the magazine to make dynamic changes in my life and thinking. He has mercifully seen fit to reveal to me some truths which I had not previously comprehended,” says Zweegman.

He soon met that special person whose bulk-mailing ministry gave him a new lease on life. At 74 years old, Ruth Milchenko’s main passion is working for Christ by witnessing and sharing God’s love whether it’s giving out blueberries, whole wheat bread or dried persimmons, handing out literature door-to-door, supporting field missionaries, imparting health remedies, or providing a warm home to a needy person.

Last year, she dedicated her 50 or so blueberry bushes in her backyard to the Lord to raise additional money for her personal mission budget. And what a delightful miracle He brought on those special plants—an abundant summer harvest such as Ruth had never seen! Branches were loaded, buyers and orders came from all over the place, and juicy blueberries kept coming. She earned $1,200, four times her normal sales. Her combined resources enabled her to blanket the Ferndale and Lynden areas with thousands of pieces of literature. One piece became Zweegman’s lifeline when he urgently needed it, and 17 other people have requested Bible studies or a visit.

Ruth had the awesome privilege to witness the most beautiful fruit of her blueberry ministry in December of last year. After a series of Bible studies and deep soul-searching, Zweegman gave His life to the Lord in a joyful baptism attended by his new church family at the Everson (Wash.) Church.

Today, Zweegman is actively involved in God’s work in Sabbath School, the church choir and prayer meeting leader. And he has started his own literature ministry as his funds allow, enthusiastically distributing magazines, books, tracts and pamphlets with his personal testimony.

Featured in: June 2003