To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, June 18.
as told to Paulo Marcial Pinto, pastor of New Jerusalem Seventh-day Adventist Church
y family raised me in an evangelical church in Angola, and I was baptized by being sprinkled with water at the age of 14.
But I was not satisfied with my knowledge of God. Something didn’t seem right. I was particularly confused by the teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I wondered about the true Sabbath and repeatedly asked myself, “Why do Seventh-day Adventists keep the seventh day as the Sabbath and other Protestant churches keep the first day as the Sabbath?”
The question would not go away, and finally I asked several leaders of my church for answers.
“Why do Adventists go to church on Saturday, but we go on Sunday?” I asked.
The church leaders spoke about celebrating Jesus’ resurrection from the dead on Sunday. But none of them could show me a verse in the Bible that showed Jesus had changed the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday. The explanations of the church leaders did not satisfy me.
I began to watch Hope Channel television. Presenters on the channel spoke about the seventh-day Sabbath being enshrined in the Ten Commandments. I saw that God set aside the seventh-day Sabbath as holy at the Creation of the world, and that Jesus observed the seventh-day Sabbath when He lived on earth. My question about the Sabbath was satisfied. I understood why Seventh-day Adventists worshiped on the seventh day, and I resolved to keep the correct day.
Two years after my baptism by sprinkling, I decided that I wanted to be baptized by immersion, the same way as Jesus. I wanted to join the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
My father was furious when I told him. He kicked me out of the house, and I had to move in with his sister, my aunt. Even though I no longer lived with my parents, tensions continued to grow. Relatives threatened to beat me up, and I wasn’t sure where to live. Yet I kept going to church on Sabbath and refused to give up my desire to be baptized.
The pastor of my former church contacted my father, and they convinced me to move into the pastor’s house. The pastor was determined to persuade me to return to his church. He spoke and pleaded with me for three weeks. But he could not show me any verse in the Bible that showed God had changed the Sabbath to the first day of the week. Finally, he asked me to leave his house.
It seemed like things couldn’t get worse. In fact, things began to improve. As I read the Bible every day, I came to know more about God and His love. I learned about Ellen White and began to read her books. Praise God, I was baptized by immersion at New Jerusalem Seventh-day Adventist Church in Luanda, Angola, in 2021.
I thank God for the afflictions that I suffered. Those struggles have made me a fiercer warrior for the Savior and strengthened my confidence in the wonderful power of Jesus Christ. My wounds have healed, and only scars remain. I am happy in the Lord.
Please join me in praying for God to be able to reach the hearts of my loved ones so we can once again worship together as a united family.
Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help open a Seventh-day Adventist school in Manuel’s hometown of Luanda, Angola, so many children can hear answers to their burning questions about Jesus. Thank you for planning a generous offering.