KidsView  | The Adventist Review for kids and those who always will be kids at heart | September 2014

The Embarrassing Outfit

By Chantal J. Klingbeil

Perhaps you have opened your closet and realized that you didn’t have anything to wear. Sure, your closet was full of clothes, but you felt that you didn’t have the right thing to wear for a particular occasion or event. 

loughboroughSixteen-year-old John Loughborough also had clothes trouble. He knew he had been called to travel and preach about the soon coming of Jesus, but he faced a big problem. He only had his old work clothes and nothing to wear that he could preach in. A kind neighbor heard about this “nothing to wear problem” and gave John his old, used suit pants. The neighbor was quite tall, and John was not a tall person, so the pants were at least seven inches too long. The seven inches were cut off, but still the pants didn’t fit very well. John’s brother gave him a double-breasted overcoat, which had also been cut short. 

With this strange outfit John went off to preach. At the first house he came to, the family invited him in and offered to hang up his overcoat for him. Poor John, blushing and stammering, had to explain that he couldn’t take the overcoat off, as he had no shirt. But even this embarrassing incident couldn’t hold John back. He was so excited about Jesus coming that he didn’t mind being embarrassed if it meant he could help others. His first preaching tour with the too-big outfit, cemented a life-long passion for spreading the good news about Jesus. Three years later, after accepting the Sabbath truth, John became one of the most traveled Seventh-day Adventist preachers, breaking new mission territory and introducing thousands to Jesus. Even as an older man he continued preaching. At the age of 76 he made a 16-month trip around the world and preached 352 times. 

What a good thing it was that John didn’t let his “outfit embarrassment” stop him from helping so many people.  


—Story adapted from James Nix’s book Passion, Purpose, and Power, p. 166, and Arthur Spalding’s book, Pioneer Stories, p.148.