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Testing Father, Testing God

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, August 26.

By Andrew McChesney


father was driving across Poland with his teenage son, Tomasz, at night.

As they traveled, the father spoke about the amazing experiences that he had had with God on the road.

“When I’m driving my car and something happens so that the car breaks down, God usually helps me,” Father said. “A mechanic comes to the rescue, or someone stops their car to help me, or my car breaks down near a garage with a mechanic.”

Tomasz listened to his father with no visible reaction on his face.

After a while, the father and son stopped at a filling station.

When Father tried to restart the engine, it didn’t work.

Now Tomasz had a visible reaction on his face.

He smiled.

“Look, Father,” he said. “Now we can test what you said. Does God really help you when you have car trouble?”

Father went to the woman in charge of the filling station.

“Do you have a mechanic available?” he asked.

“Are you kidding?” the woman replied. “It is 11 p.m. Book a room in a hotel, and try in the morning.”

Father shook his head.

“No,” he said. “I need to show my son how God leads my life.”

Father got out of the car and called a mechanic who had helped him with the car a week earlier.

The mechanic made an educated guess about what was wrong with the car. But Father couldn’t understand his instructions about how to fix the car and, anyway, he didn’t have any tools with him.

Tomasz got out of the car while Father was talking on the phone.

“Father,” he said, “over there are a group of mechanics who have a problem with their car and are waiting for a spare part. Maybe they could take a look at the car.”

“Call them,” Father said.

The mechanics came over and fixed the car in five minutes.

Father was pleased.

“Tomasz, see how God works?” he said with a smile.

Then he thanked the mechanics, paid them, and gave them a book about God. The mechanics thanked Father and left.

Except one.

He stayed behind.

“I recognize you,” he said.

“Oh?” Father said. “Many people look alike. Maybe you’ve mixed me up with someone else who looks like me.”

“No,” the man insisted. “I recognize you. I saw you at an Easter program at the Seventh-day Adventist church.”

Father remembered the Easter program. He had helped lead the program. He had served as the youth director for the Adventist Church in Poland at the time.

“Yes, that was me,” Father said.

“I was a Seventh-day Adventist,” the man said. “But I’m not anymore.”

Father looked at the man with deep compassion on his face.

“It’s no coincidence that we are here and that I had a problem with my car so we could meet and talk,” he said.

Father prayed with the man and gave him a book about God.

Then they parted ways.

Father, whose full name is Ryszard Jankowski, doesn’t know what happened to the man.

“But I’m sure that God leads us in wonderful ways when we follow Him,” he says.

Thank you for your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering in 2017 that helped build a television studio for Hope Channel Poland. Today, Ryszard Jankowski is the president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Poland and is a regular speaker on Hope Channel Poland, the local affiliate of Hope Channel International.