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Milagre Braga Caminhao, 22

A Miracle Story

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, June 25.

By Andrew McChesney


y name means “miracle.” My story is a miracle — but perhaps not the kind that you might expect.

Growing up in a Christian home in Angola, I was faithful to my church’s teachings and worked as a missionary in my home province.

But when I moved at the age of 14 to work in Angola’s capital, Luanda, I couldn’t find a congregation that belonged to my denomination.

I refused to worship in another church because I strongly believed that only my denomination correctly understood the Bible.

So, I worshiped at home every Sunday for a year.

Going back to my hometown for a visit, I learned that the Bible teacher from my church and several of my friends had joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

The news upset me, and I harshly criticized my friends to their faces.

“How could you accept the teachings of another denomination?” I scolded them.

My friends didn’t argue with me.

One day, I went to the home of my former Bible teacher to ask why she had become an Adventist.

She welcomed me with a smile. Upon hearing my question, she explained that she had learned from the Bible that God had blessed the seventh day, not the first day.

She showed me from the Bible that God sanctified the seventh day at the end of Creation week in Genesis 2:1–3, reading,

“Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made” (NKJV).

Then she showed me that God memorialized the seventh day as the Sabbath in the fourth commandment in Exodus 20:8–10, reading,

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.”

Looking at me with a kind smile, she said, “I decided to follow Jesus with my whole heart.”

Her story sounded strange to me, and I could not agree with her reasoning.

She offered me a Bible study on the Sabbath, but I refused to listen to her any further.

Back in Luanda, I tried to return to my normal work routine, but I could not forget the Bible teacher.

I had trouble working.

I had trouble sleeping.

My former Bible teacher’s decision to keep the seventh-day Sabbath bothered me day and night.

Finally, I resolved to go to a Seventh-day Adventist church and find out why its members keep the seventh-day Sabbath. I needed to find peace.

The next Sabbath, I entered an Adventist church. I had never set foot inside the church of another denomination, but I was determined to find peace.

I needed a miracle.

Someone told a church leader about my question about the Sabbath, and the leader showed me the same verses that the Bible teacher had read to me.

I stayed for the Sabbath worship service. The sermon did not impress me. It was so different from the sermons that I had heard in my church, and I did not like it.

But the next Sabbath, I returned to the church. The following Sabbath, I returned again.

For the next five years, I went to the Adventist church every Sabbath, not because I liked it but because I had not been able to find my church in the city.

During that time, I began to attend a Bible study group in a church member’s home and baptismal class at the church on weekends. I grew to understand that God really did set aside the seventh day as holy, and a new love for Him grew in my heart.

I decided to keep only the seventh-day Sabbath.

At the age of 19, I was baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Today, I am filled with peace and joy. Jesus said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

I have found the truth, and I have been set free by the grace of God. It truly is a miracle.

Today’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help establish four projects in Milagre’s home country of Angola, including a Seventh-day Adventist school in Luanda, where he lives, and an Adventist church and elementary school in the city of Belize, a domestic violence and counseling center in the city of Lombe, and a men’s dormitory at the Adventist University of Angola in the city of Huambo. The offering will also help projects in Malawi and on the Indian Ocean island-nation of Mayotte. Thank you for planning a generous offering.