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Saved by a Dog

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, July 8.

By Andrew McChesney


he elderly father glared at the 21-year-old Seventh-day Adventist who had stopped at his apartment for a Bible lesson.

His 16-year-old son wasn’t home to receive the sheet of paper with the Bible lesson in Montenegro’s capital, Podgorica.

“This is my only begotten son,” the father told Sekule. “I don’t have anyone in my life except for him. I waited for him all my life. I want to know something about you. Are you from a sect?”

Sekule wanted to tell the man that he was not part of a sect but a Seventh-day Adventist. However, he was scared.

“We aren’t a sect,” he said. “We are Christians who believe in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, and we just want to help your son understand the fundamental beliefs of the Bible. Your son won’t learn anything wrong.”

“I don’t want him to join a sect,” the
father said.

Then the father uttered a threat that made Sekule’s blood run cold.

“If anyone takes my son in the wrong direction, I’m ready to kill him and defend my family,” he said.

It was the 1990s, and freedom was in the air after the former Soviet Yugoslavia had broken up into a number of smaller countries, including Montenegro. Sekule and other Adventists were using their freedom to distribute Bible studies in the capital.

After the angry encounter, Sekule wrestled with God for a week. He was worried about what would happen when he returned to the apartment. His fears grew daily. On the sixth day, he knelt before God and said, “I am deadly afraid. I don’t know what will happen. The only solution is not to return to the apartment, but that isn’t a solution because I have promised the son to go there. I need something special from You. Please help.”

The next day, he repeated the prayer, took Bible lessons, and left his home to distribute them. As he walked to the first apartment, he passed through a park that was home to a pack of stray dogs. The biggest dog left the pack and followed Sekule.

“Go!” Sekule told the dog. “Go away!”

The dog took a few steps back but then followed again.

The dog awaited in front of the first apartment building that Sekule visited. Then the dog followed him to the next. When Sekule came to the apartment building of the suspicious father, the dog followed him up the stairs. This was the first time that the dog had followed him into an apartment building. Sekule realized that God must be trying to encourage him.

“With that dog, why are you scared?” God seemed to be saying. “I’ll send an angel to protect you of you need it. This dog is visible evidence of My presence. What you cannot see is My protection of you.”

Sekule felt encouraged.

When Sekule and the dog arrived at the door of the apartment, Sekule said again, “Go away! Go away!”

The dog took three steps back down the stairs and looked up at him.

Sekule rang the doorbell.

The father opened the door. When he saw Sekule, he grew furious. He roared, “But you are —” Then he saw the dog and took a step back. Taking a breath, he said in a calmer voice, “My son has decided not to take the Bible lessons anymore.”

When Sekule left the building, the dog walked off in the opposite direction. Sekule never saw the dog again.

About 10 years passed, and the son became a famous singer in Montenegro. Once, in a media interview, he spoke about his faith. He said, “I’m a real believer, but there are some things that I believe differently than our traditional religion.”

When Sekule heard those words, his heart filled with joy. He knew God had used the Bible lessons for His glory.

Sekule does not know what happened to the son. He no longer sings or lives in Montenegro. But Sekule knows one thing: God protects those who share the gospel.

Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help build a new Pathfinder camp in Sekule’s homeland of Montenegro where children and young people will be able to learn about God. Thank you for planning a generous Thirteenth Sabbath Offering.