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Adventist Mission


Sabbath Ultimatum

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, August 13.

By Andrew McChesney


iogo was desperately poor, and his employer had given him an ultimatum: Work on Sabbath or get fired. What could he do?

Months earlier, when Diogo had gotten married, he was so poor that he couldn’t rent a house in his homeland of Brazil. So, he and his bride moved in with an aunt who didn’t charge any rent. At the time, Diogo was working as an intern.

Then he learned that his wife, Nayara, was pregnant, and he began to look for a better-paying job. His real dream, however, was to own his own business.

Diogo spoke to God about his dream. “Dear God,” he prayed, “please help me find a job where I can earn enough money to fulfill my dream of having my own company.”

It was not easy to find work because of his Sabbath convictions. Nobody seemed to want to hire a Seventh-day Adventist who asked for time off to worship God from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday. But Diogo didn’t give up, and he kept praying.

One day, he got a call from a gas station that was looking to hire a security guard. He told the owner that he was a Seventh-day Adventist and could not work on Saturdays. By the grace of God, the owner gave Sabbaths off, and Diogo had a job.

The gas station was located far from Diogo’s house. He traveled to work by motorcycle, and he worked every night, except on Sabbaths. It was a dangerous commute and a dangerous job. But he really needed the job.

One day, the gas station owner told Diogo that he would no longer give Sabbaths off. He gave the ultimatum: Work on Sabbath, or get fired. What could Diogo do? Diogo told him that he could no longer work at the gas station.

At that time, Diogo’s church was organizing a Caleb Mission Project. Caleb Mission Project is a South American Division initiative that encourages church members to participate in community outreach through home visits, Bible studies, and other activities. Diogo had always enjoyed community service, and he thought, “If I don’t have a job, I can have time to volunteer!” But then he remembered that working as a volunteer would add extra expenses to his limited budget. Furthermore, he had a newborn daughter and was still dreaming about opening his own business.

After much prayer, Diogo decided to volunteer for the Caleb Mission Project. He wanted to be faithful to God and to answer His call to mission.

When the Caleb Mission Project ended, Diogo found that he had an extra 700 Brazilian real (U.S.$135) left in his pocket despite the extra expenses. With this money, he started his own business.

God has been faithful to him. For the past four years, Diogo has owned a successful bakery. As a lay member, he also helps lead an Adventist church in Brazil. The church organizes a Caleb Mission Project every year, and many young people have been baptized as a result. Diogo says, “I have learned that when we are faithful to God, He takes care of us.”

Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help establish four new churches in Brazil. Thank you for planning a generous offering on September 24.