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Who Knows the Future?

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, June 15.

By Andrew McChesney


randmother Roza worried about the future in Armenia. What would happen tomorrow? Would she be healthy? Would her family be safe? Would she have many grandchildren?

She decided to find out. She had heard about a fortune-teller who promised to tell the future in exchange for money.

The fortune-teller lived some way from Grandmother Roza’s house. It was too far to walk. There was no bus. So, Grandmother Roza hailed a taxi on the street.

“Where are you going?” the taxi driver asked.

Grandmother Roza said she wanted to visit a fortune-teller, and she gave the address.

“Why do you want to go to a fortune-teller?” the taxi driver said. “Only God knows the future. It would be better to talk to Him.”

Grandmother Roza was curious to know more about God. Christians had lived in Armenia for hundreds of years. In fact, Armenia was the first country in the world to officially accept Christianity in 301 A.D. But now it was 1964, and Christianity was illegal. Armenia was part of the Soviet Union, which taught that there is no God. People who spoke about God and read Bibles could go to jail.

“My name is Garnik,” the taxi driver said. “Instead of going to the fortune-teller, come to my house. I will tell you about God.”

Grandmother Roza went home with Garnik. He opened his Bible and taught her about the God who created the heavens and the earth. Then he invited her to come back on Sabbath. There was no Seventh-day Adventist church in town, but a group of Adventists met in his home on Sabbath.

Grandmother Roza began to worship with Garnik and other Adventists every Sabbath. As she worshipped, she learned that God forbids people from going to fortune-tellers. The Bible says that no one “may practice black magic, or call on the evil spirits for aid, or be a fortune-teller, or be a serpent charmer, medium, or wizard, or call forth the spirits of the dead. Anyone doing these things is an object of horror and disgust to the Lord” (Deuteronomy 18:10–12, TLB).

Grandmother Roza also learned that the taxi driver was correct when he said that only God knows the future. The Bible says, “So why are you trying to find out the future by consulting witches and mediums? Don’t listen to their whisperings and mutterings. Can the living find out the future from the dead? Why not ask your God?” (Isaiah 8:19).

Grandmother Roza gave her heart to God and was baptized. After that, she no longer worried about the future. Instead, she talked to God about the future. She asked God to keep her healthy. She asked God to keep her family safe. She asked God to save her grandchildren and the rest of the family.

After a long time, one of her grandsons, Yakov, started to worship with her on Sabbaths at the taxi driver’s house church. Then one of her four daughters was baptized. Grandmother Roza kept praying for her family. She prayed for a future where they would all believe in God and be saved.

Then the Soviet Union collapsed, and Armenia became an independent country where people could believe in God freely.

Sadly, Grandmother Roza died a year later, when she was 68. But God continued to answer her prayers. Her family gathered for her funeral and listened as two Adventists, who also had loved her, spoke about the love of God. Their hearts were touched, and they began to read the Bible.

A year later, nine members of Grandmother Roza’s family were baptized, including her only son, several more daughters, and a number of grandchildren, including Yakov, who had gone to church with her at the taxi driver’s house.

Yakov began holding Sabbath worship meetings in his house. As more family members attended on Sabbaths and got baptized, the house got too small. Yakov had to rent a building for Sabbath meetings.

When Grandmother Roza prayed for a good future for her family, she never could have guessed that God would answer by planting an Adventist church filled with her family in her town. Today, about 30 people worship God at the church every Sabbath.

Yakov, who has helped build Adventists churches across Armenia, can’t wait to see Grandmother Roza at Jesus’ Second Coming.

“She will be surprised to see the fruit of her prayers,” he said. “A whole church was planted!”

Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help open a center of influence that will help families know about God in Armenia. Thank you for planning a generous offering on June 29