Mysterious Man on Bicycle
To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, June 17.
era gave Bible studies to an elderly couple, Ana and Pedro, who couldn’t read or write. The couple’s son, Benvendo, helped with the Bible studies. He read the Bible verses aloud to them and wrote out their answers.
No Seventh-day Adventists lived in the remote town of 100 people in central Portugal. The townspeople were simple and honest and had never traveled beyond the nearest town, which was quite some distance away. Vera was sent to the town to work as a missionary for a year.
Ana and Pedro were well over 70 years of age. Something about them caught Vera’s attention. When the Bible study examined the Sabbath, Ana readily accepted the biblical teaching that the Sabbath is on the seventh day of the week.
“Yes, yes, I know that’s true,” she said.
Vera was surprised. People in the village tended to cling to their traditional beliefs. But Vera didn’t say anything.
A week later, the Bible study turned to the topic of clean and unclean meat in Leviticus 11.
“Yes, yes, I know that’s true,” Ana said.
Vera’s surprise grew. She couldn’t remain silent.
“How do you know that’s true?” she asked.
Ana explained that more than 60 years earlier, when she was a young girl, a man had arrived in her town on his bicycle on a Sabbath afternoon.
The visitor had made his way to the town’s central square and preached to whoever would listen. Among those who listened was Ana’s father.
He listened and went home afterward to look in his own Bible to see if the man had spoken the truth. Unlike his daughter, he knew how to read.
The man on the bicycle came Sabbath after Sabbath. Ana’s father listened every Sabbath and compared what he heard with what his Bible said. He saw that the man preached only Bible truths. He told young Ana many times, “Now, the seventh day is the Sabbath. You know, we shouldn’t eat unclean meat.”
Vera was amazed to hear about the Adventist preacher. Because of his preaching many decades earlier, she didn’t need to convince Ana about anything from the Bible. Ana knew that what she was hearing was the truth because she had heard the same truth from her father. The Bible studies with Vera simply confirmed her father’s words.
Vera was humbled by the experience. She felt like Jesus was telling her, “The saying is true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors” (John 4:37-38, NKJV).
Vera got to see Ana and Pedro baptized because of the sermons preached by an unknown man many years earlier. The couple’s son, Benvendo, also was baptized.
Vera has never forgotten Ana and Pedro. Those Bible studies took place at the beginning of her work as a missionary, and the experience strengthened her faith. Wherever she works as a missionary, she is not worried about whether she sees immediate results. Her job is to sow the seed and to trust the results to God.
“I look forward to meeting the man on the bicycle in heaven,” Vera says. “I will tell him, ‘Look, the work that you did was not in vain. See these people who were baptized because of you.’”
Education, including Bible studies in unreached towns, is a major way that the Seventh-day Adventist Church shares the good news about Jesus’ soon coming in Portugal. Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering, which will be collected next Sabbath, will help expand Adventist education by opening an elementary school in Setubal, Portugal. Thank you for planning a generous offering.