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Adventist Mission

Ashley Alvarez, 20

Door to Door

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, June 26.

By Ashley Alvarez as told to Andrew McChesney, Adventist Mission


t all started when I entered high school in a small Mexican town located about a two-hour drive south of the border from the U.S. state of Texas.

A classmate, Ketzy, and I became good friends, and I learned that she was a Seventh-day Adventist. She repeatedly invited me to go with her on campouts and other church activities. But I refused all through high school.

“I can’t go,” I said. “My parents haven’t given permission.”

But I never asked my parents for permission. I wasn’t interested in going, and her invitations went in one ear and out the other.

Sometimes Ketzy and I had friendly debates about the Sabbath. She told me what she believed, and I told her what I believed. But I actually didn’t know what I believed. I was just trying to be contrary. Anyway, my father told me that the day of worship didn’t matter.

After we graduated from high school, Ketzy decided to study medicine, but my university application was rejected. I began to think that God had forgotten me. I felt sad for a year and, when Ketzy invited me to a campout, I agreed to go.

I immediately liked the campout. The campers were nice and welcoming.

The three-day campout focused on mission work. We cleaned a river and renovated an Adventist church. Going door to door impressed me the most. People’s faces shone after we sang a song or read a Bible verse. I could see that their hearts were transformed by our prayers.

I had never engaged in mission work before, and I was surprised by how good I felt. I thought, “I really want to do more of this. I must do this all the time!”

The weekend campout changed my life. All my sadness vanished. I felt like my life had a purpose.

But I didn’t know what the purpose was.

I told my parents about the campout, but they didn’t show any interest.

The next Sabbath, I went to church. People welcomed me and involved me in church activities. I learned a lot as I read the Bible and went to church every Sabbath after that.

Exactly one month after the campout, a Montemorelos University theology student visited the church for a week of evangelistic meetings. I invited him home for dinner, and he spoke with my family about the Bible. As he prepared to leave, he asked me, “Have you thought about baptism?”

When I heard the question, I thought, “Oh, wow, I wanted to hear that!”

Immediately I decided to be baptized. My parents and Ketzy watched as I was baptized three days later.

A month passed, and I attended a Pathfinder camporee at Montemorelos University. During testimony time, organizers called me to the stage to tell my story. People were visibly moved as I spoke. When I finished, an organizer announced, “And she wants to be a student at Montemorelos.”

Actually, I didn’t want to study at the university. I didn’t have the money and, besides, I wanted to stay with my parents. But I couldn’t refuse the suggestion of a university teacher to spend the summer working as a literature evangelist to earn tuition money. As I went door to door near the university, I learned much more about my faith. I realized that my wish from the youth campout to go door to door had come true. I fell in love with literature evangelism.

When the summer ended, my parents ordered me to return home. At home, I longed to go back to the university to continue earning tuition money as a literature evangelist. I realize now that God was impressing me to work as a literature evangelist.

Finally, I told me parents that if they didn’t take me back to the university, I would go on my own. My parents angrily drove me back. They didn’t say even goodbye when they dropped me off. It was hard for me, and I prayed, “Lord, it is just You and me.”

A month passed with no communication with my parents, and I wondered whether I had made a mistake. I called my father. Just as I was about to tell him that I wanted to return home, he said, “You can’t come back. Stay there. Your Mother and I are joining the Adventist Church.”

I couldn’t believe it. I started crying. I couldn’t talk because I was crying so hard.

Later I learned that my parents had been astounded by my determination to serve God as a literature evangelist. After dropping me off at the university, they had decided to go to the Adventist church to learn more. Then they took Bible studies and decided to be baptized. All that time, I thought that they were angry with me.

Six weeks after the phone call, Father and Mother were baptized together with my 17-year-old brother and 13-year-old sister. Because I was faithful to God’s call to work as a literature evangelist, my family was baptized.

My hometown, San Fernando, is small, and everyone knows that my family has joined the Adventist Church. As my parents and I share our story, many families are showing an interest in the church. I don’t know what will happen next. This is just the beginning of our story.

This quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help open “Better Living” missionary training centers at Montemorelos University and at twelve Seventh-day Adventist institutions of higher education in the Inter-American Division. Thank you for your generous Thirteenth Sabbath Offering that helps spread the gospel around the world.