Adventist Logo Adventist Logo Adventist Logo

Adventist Mission

Finding Peace, Part 1

Michael’s heart was touched. He was sure that the evangelist was speaking directly to him.

Michael lived in a cave at his grandparents house. It wasn’t really a cave, but his room felt like one with the lights always turned off and the curtains closed. Darkness penetrated everywhere, including Michael’s mind. Suffering from deep depression, he rarely left his darkened room, except when he had to go to school.

Life had never been easy for Michael. Born to a 17-year-old mother, he was given to his grandparents for them to raise. His grandparents did the best that they could for Michael, and took him to their church each Sunday. But Michael was turned off by what he experienced at the church. “There was just too much noise,” he recalled. “All the time there was preaching, screaming, and asking for money.”

Spiraling Down

By the time he was 11 years old, Michael decided that he wasn’t going to go to church anymore. “But this took me away from my family, and I felt alone,” he said. And that’s when he started spiraling down into depression.

“If there is a God, why is my family like this?” he asked himself. “Why do I have so many complicated situations? Why can’t I just have a normal life?”

Unlike other boys his age, Michael had no friends and never went anywhere except to school. When he was about 12, Michael discovered the internet and became totally absorbed, creating a “perfect” virtual life for himself. Every possible moment was spent living in his virtual world.

“Stop at This Channel!”

One day, however, things changed when a thunderstorm hit and knocked out the internet. After the storm had passed the internet connection was still down, but the electricity was working.

Michael turned on his television and started surfing the channels. Suddenly he heard a voice say, “Stop at this channel!” A group called The King’s Heralds was singing: “Happiness was close, but I did not notice . . . God woke me up and showed me love . . . a gift from God . . .”

Listening intently, Michael thought I want this for my life. Following the music, a Bible study began. Michael switched off the TV. I don’t want to watch this! I don’t want religion—I want peace! But that song, “Gift From God” stayed in his mind.

Hoping to somehow recapture it, every day Michael went back to the television channel where he had first heard the song. Although he didn’t hear that particular song, Michael enjoyed listening to the other Christian music on the “Music Box” program. Tuning in each day, Michael discovered that he was watching Novo Tempo, the Seventh-day Adventist Hope TV channel in Brazil.

Who Are These People?

During a national holiday, Michael turned on his television and watched Novo Tempo continuously for 16 hours, hoping that he might again hear the “Gift From God” song. While he didn’t get to hear his special song that day, Michael listened to many programs featuring Bible study, preaching, health, and music.

Hearing for the first time about the seventh-day Sabbath and about the heavenly sanctuary, he thought to himself, This can’t be in the Bible. My pastor never preached about this. And besides, when are they going to start asking for money. But they never did, and this caught Michael’s attention. Who are these people? he wondered.

Now Michael had a new addiction—the Adventist Novo Tempo TV channel! Instead of spending all his time on the internet, he constantly watched Novo Tempo. Over the course of a year, Michael had seen all the programs of Novo Tempo and became a Seventh-day Adventist inside his room!

His grandparents worried about him, thinking that he was becoming even more depressed because he stopped eating pork. But they were in for bigger surprises.

Talking to the Television

One day as Michael was watching Novo Tempo, the on-screen evangelist said, “I want to appeal to you—you who are an Adventist inside of your home. Your family knows that you are an Adventist because you used to live a bad life, but now you are living for God. . . . Why aren’t you baptized? Why are you waiting? Why not get baptized now?”

Michael began talking back to the television, but then the evangelist said, “Stand up, and come close to the TV. Why aren’t you baptized?”

“Because I don’t want to be a member of a church,” Michael responded.

But the evangelist continued, “You are a part of this church. You just need to confirm this by being baptized. Give your life to Jesus in baptism.”

Michael’s heart was touched. He was sure that the evangelist was speaking directly to him.

To be continued next week.