It's You! Part 2
“This is the happiest thing that could have happened to me.”
The story thus far: Jean-Pierre came from a well-established Presbyterian family. He was a leader in his church, but married Lana, a Seventh-day Adventist. For years they lived separate spiritual lives, but Jean-Pierre became increasingly uncomfortable with the Sabbath/Sunday situation in his home. When invited to provide transportation for people from his village to attend Adventist evangelistic meetings in the city, Jean-Pierre accepted and attended the meetings each night. During the third week, Jean-Pierre decided to accept the Sabbath and wanted to be baptized.
During lunch on Friday I told my wife about my decision. I just told her straight—“I’m getting baptized tomorrow!” She cried out with joy, and I believe her prayers had been answered. I was happy and felt at peace.
After telling my wife, I went to talk with my Presbyterian pastor face to face, who also happened to be my uncle. “Uncle,” I told him, “we will always be family; you’ll always be my uncle. But there is something that I need to tell you, and it’s important that I tell you myself.”
So he sat down on the other side of the table and I told him, “I think it’s time that I tell you about the Sabbath and that I have this peace inside of me.” He paused for a while. I think he knew what I was going to tell him. “Today is Friday. Tomorrow I’m going to be baptized and become a Sabbath keeper.”
At first he was speechless. Finally, he looked up at me with this big, dark face, and said, “You’ve made the right choice.” Here he was, a Sunday-keeping pastor, telling me this! I said, “Thank you. That’s all I need to tell you.”
From there I moved on to my colleagues—the other elders with whom I had been so close. I told them the same thing I had told my uncle, but they didn’t believe me. The next afternoon they all came to see the baptism. As they saw me walking up, they said, “It’s him!” Everyone was speechless.
After the baptism, I went over to the Presbyterian elders and told them about my inner struggle over the Sabbath. I explained how the biblical presentations at PV14 had spoken to me and that I needed to stop pushing against the truth. Then I made an appeal for them to join me.
Called by the Board
After my baptism, the Presbyterian church board called me to appear before them three times. Each time they kept asking me questions and told me to leave the Adventist Church. After the third time I said, “This is the last time I’m testifying. Believe me, I’ve been struggling to find the truth, and I’ve found it. I’ve made my decision, and it’s final. I will stand on this decision until Jesus comes.”
I held the Bible in front of them and said, “This is the same book that you are holding. I call on every one of you to read it deeply and consider it as I did. Jesus tells us in John 14:15, ‘If you love me, keep My commandments.’
“Jesus said this,” I told them. “It’s as simple as that. The problem was, I wasn’t with Him, keeping His commandments. Now that I’ve made this decision, I have peace of mind. I am free! I ‘ve found the truth!”
I urged them, “Follow the path that I’ve followed. I tried it. It works. The heartache I faced, I don’t have anymore. Jesus has taken it away. Try it, Jesus will never fail you. He’s so real. It’s not too late. Make your decision now, before it’s too late.”
One of the elders who was there responded to Jean-Pierre’s testimony and was later baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Feeding the Lambs
Today, Jean-Pierre and his wife are delighted to provide a place in their home where children can come to learn about God. Known as a “lamb shelter,” this is a place where children (and their parents) come on Wednesday evenings for prayer meetings, Friday evening vespers, Sabbath morning worship services, and afternoon Pathfinder programs. Jean-Pierre and his family not only nurture them spiritually but provide meals as well. Approximately 30 people come each week, and five have already been baptized.
“This is the happiest thing that could have happened to me,” said Jean-Pierre. “I responded to the call, and received this wonderful blessing. I must say, I don’t regret the decision I’ve made. Now we don’t have a barrier inside our family any longer—we are all together now, and so blessed.”
One of the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering projects this quarter is to help build more lamb shelters on many of the South Pacific islands, including Vanuatu. Thank you so much for giving generously.