A Great Plan From God
I decided to really look for God, and so I visited some Adventist missionaries and asked them to teach me the Bible.
My name is Romena and my husband is Alfonso. We have four children. I was baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 2012, and before then I was Roman Catholic—but just by tradition. I didn’t know anything about the Bible.
I came to know Jesus through some difficult circumstances with our young son, who was born with very bad problems with his eyes. I brought him to the magician to be healed. Every day we went there and the magician performed traditional rituals for my son. We spent a lot of money for this, but he was never healed.
After a while I told Alfonso, “I will never believe in tradition or magic anymore. We lost our first son because of this and I don’t want our second son to die as well.”
So we decided to take our son to the hospital in Dili. There the doctor examined him and said that he needed to have surgery. When I heard this I became very nervous and afraid. We signed some documents and the doctor said that he could do the surgery the next morning.
“OK,” I said, but inside I was afraid that our son would die.
Finding Peace at the Hospital
Before the surgery I met a wonderful lady from Indonesia. She was sick and in the hospital. She explained that she was a teacher and she tried to comfort me because I was already like a woman in mourning. She asked whether I believed in God and whether she could pray with me. After we prayed I wanted to learn more from this lady, and something made me believe that my son was going to be OK.
Following the operation, we had to stay in the hospital for several days. Every day this woman told me more about Jesus. She invited me to just put everything into God’s hands, who created us, but I didn’t understand what that meant.
I noticed that when her friends came to visit her they brought their Bibles and had worship together. One day after her friends left, I asked her, “What is your religion?” She replied that she was a Seventh-day Adventist and asked about my religion. I explained that I was Catholic, but that I had some friends who were Adventist.
“Great!” she said. “I think you should study the Bible and learn more about it.”
Praise God, before long my son was healed and we were able to return home. I decided at that time to really look for God, and so I visited some Adventist missionaries—Thomas and Makario—and asked them to teach me the Bible. We studied together every day.
But one day my son became very sick again, and we had to return to the hospital. While we were in the emergency room, I began to pray: “Jesus, if you are really my God and my Creator, please heal my son.” After four days my son was better! This made me want to know and study the Bible even more!
Unfortunately, at that time Alfonso wasn’t happy that I was studying the Bible, and he told me to stop. However, it was so precious to me I just kept going to the Bible studies anyway. Finally, I made the decision to be baptized. But there was a problem—Alfonso and I weren’t actually married—we were just living together. So the pastor said that before I could be baptized, we had to get married. Then Alfonso surprised me and said that he wanted to marry me in the Adventist church! So we were married, and afterwards I was baptized.
Then Alfonso surprised me again. When we were back at home he told me, “I want to study the Bible too. I see that this is the right church.” When I heard these words, I was so happy! In my heart I said Thank You to the Lord. After three months of Bible studies my husband was also baptized.
Looking back, I realize that behind the sad situation of having to take our son to the hospital, God had a great plan. We were able to meet the wonderful Adventist woman who shared her faith and encouraged me to take Bible studies and eventually become a Seventh-day Adventist. I’m thankful to God because now we are a family in God.