Missionaries and Magicians
As they were preparing to leave, something in my heart wanted to follow the Adventist missionaries.
My name is Fernando Filipe, and I live in Timor-Leste. One day my little sister, Tereza, and I had to go to the hospital. While we were waiting in the emergency room, I noticed some men praying with their sick friend. I learned that they were Seventh-day Adventist missionaries. As they were leaving their friend, I asked whether they had any magazines. They didn’t, but they did have a Bible. I said, “If you can, please share with me a story from the Bible.” So they told me about when Jesus performed a miracle and healed a crazy man from many demons; the man was perfectly well. When I heard this story I was so happy.
My sister and I stayed in the hospital, and in the evening the missionary told us many more Bible stories. The next day, the missionary’s friend was well enough to go home. As they were preparing to leave, something in my heart wanted to follow the Adventist missionaries. I was very sad when they left.
Searching for the Missionaries
After we were released from the hospital, I went looking for the missionaries so I could study the Bible with them. After a week, I finally found them in a little village and asked whether we could study the Bible together. They happily agreed. We studied every day, and finally I decided to be baptized.
Not everyone was happy with my decision. My neighbor told me that if someone is always studying the Bible, they’ll become crazy! But I told my neighbor that the Bible is God’s Word, and that I didn’t believe that anyone would go crazy just because they studied His Word.
Another person became so angry that he hit me hard and my hands became very swollen. He said that I should stop studying the Bible—but I still continue to study. Please pray for this man.
My wife, our two children, and I are the only Adventists in our village. Every Sabbath we worship together, read the Sabbath School lesson, and pray.
To reach the people of our village, our family has started a tamarind candy business. Tamarind candy is made from the fruit of the tamarind tree, which normally grows in tropical regions. It’s known for having a sweet and sour taste and is chewy. “ADVENT” is our brand name, and we’ve named this candy product “Malachi 3:10.” People come to buy our candy, and whenever they see the box, they read this verse!
I would like to ask our Adventist church members, wherever you are, to please pray for us and how we can share God with the people in our village. And also pray for my tamarind candy product. I believe that through this business, people will ask me about the verse in the name. Please also pray that we’ll soon be able to have an Adventist school here in Timor-Leste.
God is More Powerful
My name is Maria Suares, and I’m 62. I first learned about Jesus from my son, Nando. One day I was having bad problems with my eyes, so I went to a local magician. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to help my eyes.
Then one day my son and his friend, Acasio, visited me. They shared the Bible with me, and I was especially interested in Matthew 7:7: “Ask and it shall be given unto you, seek and you will find.” This text helped me know that God is always ready to listen, so I stopped going to the magician and started praying to God. I believed that it was possible for God to heal me, and He did! My eyes fully recovered!
I studied the Bible with Nando and Acasio for six weeks and then was baptized. But after my baptism, my relatives and neighbors were no longer good to me. They said that I’ve joined the church of Satan. Sometimes they throw rocks at my house, but I just pray to God about that.
I’m thankful that even though I have many problems, I’m still able to share God’s words with some people—especially with my husband’s family.
Please pray for me to always be strong in Jesus. Even though my relatives and neighbors hate me, I always pray for them. I just want that one day they, too, will seriously study the Bible and come to know God as I have.