Swimsuit in Church
To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, September 3.
he office workers liked to make fun of Álvaro.
“Why don’t you go with us for a drink after work on Fridays?” said one.
“Where were you last Saturday?” said another. “You never come to our Saturday parties.”
Álvaro always smiled patiently. He spoke kindly and affectionately to his coworkers.
Regina’s attention was draw to his behavior. She learned that he was a Seventh-day Adventist.
The jokes and ridicule continued for several years at the Brazilian government office where Regina and Álvaro worked in the city of Salvador. But Álvaro never got upset.
One day, a coworker, Gilberto, invited Regina to go with him to visit the place where Álvaro worshiped each Sabbath.
“I heard that it is an unusual place, not a church,” Gilberto said. “We can learn more about the Bible there.”
Regina wanted to know more about the Bible, so she went with Gilberto on Saturday. She wore her swimming suit under some light clothing because she planned to go to the beach afterward.
Gilberto took her to an ordinary-looking house in a residential neighborhood. Immediately, Regina felt comfortable. The house did not look like a church, and there was no outdoor sign with the name of a religious organization. The place was known as “Sharing Jesus.”
People greeted Regina with smiles and hugs. She saw Álvaro in the group of mostly students and teachers.
The pastor and his wife taught a Bible study and afterward answered questions. There were many questions, and Regina found herself smiling as she listened. She liked the sincere interest that the people in the group showed toward the Bible.
After the Bible study, the pastor got up to preach. Gilberto left for his home, and Regina went to the beach.
This routine went on for a number of Saturdays. Gilberto and Regina attended the Bible study and, afterward, he went home and she went to the beach.
One Saturday, one of their new friends invited them to stay for the sermon.
“I’m going to preach, and it would make me very happy if you stayed,” he said.
Regina and Gilberto were too embarrassed to refuse, so they stayed. They tried to keep out of sight because they had not dressed for church. But they liked the sermon very much and, from that day, stayed for the sermon every Saturday.
A year passed, and Gilberto gave his heart to Jesus in baptism. Regina kept resisting. What would her family and friends say? She remembered how people had treated Álvaro at work. She had been raised in another denomination, and the Seventh-day Adventist Church seemed so nontraditional in comparison.
Four years passed, and Regina heard that the pastor was being transferred to another place. Immediately, she called him. She saw no reason to delay any longer. She wanted to take a public stand for Jesus in baptism.
Many family members and friends didn’t accept Regina’s decision, but she has no regrets. She became an active member, including in outreach to the needy. In time, she was invited to join the church board.
Regina thanks God every day for the loving way that Jesus was presented to her. She says that as a result, today she is part of God’s Adventist family.
“Whenever I have the opportunity, I share my love Jesus at work and everywhere else,” she says. “We are the instruments that God uses to attract people to His great love.
Thank you for your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering three years ago that helped the “Sharing Jesus” church purchase a house for its meetings. Thank you for your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering on September 24 that will help open four new churches in Brazil.