Taking the New Path
To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, January 15.
loved my church in Kodo village in Timor-Leste. I attended worship services every Sunday. I went to every prayer meeting. I participated in every church activity.
Then Mario came to my village.
Visiting my home, Mario told me that he lived in a faraway village but had been sent to my village as a volunteer Bible worker with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I had never heard of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Mario told me about how he had found the biblical truth regarding the seventh-day Sabbath and decided to join the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He opened his Bible and spoke about the true Lord’s Day. He said the Lord’s Day actually is on Saturday, not Sunday. I saw evidence in the Bible that Saturday is the seventh day and that Sunday is the first day.
I began to pray earnestly to God. I asked Him whether I should continue in my old way and keep the first day as holy, or should I go the new way and keep the seventh day as holy.
“Lord,” I prayed, “is the old way good or the new way good?”
I prayed for three days in a row. Then I had a dream as I slept at night. Ahead of me were two paths: an old path and a new path. Someone stood in front of me and said, “It is better if you follow the new path and leave the old path.”
In the morning, I woke up and thought about the dream. It seemed so real.
That day, Mario came to my house again and invited me to work with him in the garden of my friend Angelo. As we worked, Mario shared the Word of God with Angelo. Mario always spoke about the Bible while he helped villagers in their gardens, and we enjoyed listening to him. But his words touched my heart in a special way on this particular day. I asked him for Bible studies.
After I got baptized a few months later, I taught my wife about the Bible. She was baptized, together with members of two other families in my village.
Life hasn’t been easy since we joined the Adventist Church. Several years after my wife’s baptism, her brother, a leader in our former church, demanded that we renounce our faith. He even beat my wife in my presence.
“Only your husband can convert to that religion,” he said. “You cannot follow him.”
My wife declared that she intended to follow the new path.
“I already am married and have a family,” she said. “My husband is the head of the family. If he is on the path that I have to go, I will go with him even to the end of the world.”
As we have faced heavy pressure from our relatives, God has been very good to us. My wife and I have prayed for our relatives, and my mother and two of my siblings have joined the Adventist Church.
I don’t have much money to support the gospel through my job as a security guard, but I have the energy to share the truth with others. Bringing souls to Jesus is my duty and responsibility because I know that every soul is very precious in God’s eyes. I tell every person whom I meet that Jesus really loves them and wants to save them.
Please pray for the Adventists in Kodo village. Pray that they will be able to share the gospel with neighboring villages. Pray for the only church school in Timor-Leste’s faraway capital, Dili, where village children will be able to study while staying in a dormitory constructed with the help of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering.