From Drug Dealer …
To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, September 2.
atthew and Martin were Marek’s best friends in school. If a fight broke out at school, the same three teens were always to blame: Matthew, Martin, and Marek.
Today, Matthew is dead; Martin spent for seven years in prison; and Marek is a former drug dealer who serves as youth leader of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Poland.
Marek grew up in a Christian family in southern Poland. His life fell apart at the age of 18 when his girlfriend left him. He wanted to die. He stayed at home for two weeks, lying in bed and crying. Finally, he decided to pray, and he prayed, “God, I want her back.” Nothing happened. Then he prayed, “God, I don’t want to wake up anymore because it’s so painful.” Still, nothing happened.
Marek stopped praying and became an atheist. He started using drugs. Then his friend Martin decided to sell drugs and invited Marek to join him. Marek quickly became successful at selling and using drugs. He thought, “This is great. You have lots of money, and you get to party all the time!”
Two years passed. But then Marek couldn’t find anyone to join him at a big party on New Year’s Eve. It was a big holiday because the world was ringing in the year 2000. So, Marek, who was 21, decided to visit his grandmother.
That night, he found himself staring at a picture of Jesus in his grandmother’s home. He thought, “Even if I don’t believe in God, Jesus was real. He was here. This year, we are celebrating the 2,000th anniversary of His birth.”
His thought drifted back to how he read the Bible as a boy. He remembered that the Bible depicted Jesus as a good person who treated people well. He thought, “Jesus was good. Am I good?”
At that moment, he heard a voice. It said, “Yes, you are good. You are as good as me.”
To this day, Marek doesn’t know who spoke. But the voice caused him to start to think seriously about the existence of God.
Several days later, Marek visited a woman who promised to reveal his future. She shuffled cards in her hands and warned about the end of the world. “This world is coming to an end,” she said. “People have to pray. People have to convert.”
Marek was astonished and asked when the world would end. She said in exactly one year. Marek believed her.
Around that time, Marek started to read the Bible because he wanted to know how the world would end. He thought Revelation would provide answers, but he read the book three times and understood nothing. Turning to the gospels, he was amazed to learn that Jesus had a kingdom where people would be happy and live forever. He wanted to be in that perfect kingdom when the world ended. Between parties, he sought information about how to get into that kingdom.
One night, after a party, he was sitting in a car, eating takeout food with friends. Out the window he saw a bookstore called Signs of the Times. The name caught his attention. He remembered that Jesus had spoken about the signs of the times in the gospels, and he wondered if the bookstore could help him prepare for the end of the world.
The next day, he went to the bookstore and asked, “Do you have some books about Nostradamus?”
The woman behind the counter said, “No, but if you are interested in prophecy we have The Great Controversy.” It was an Adventist bookstore. Marek bought the thick book by Ellen White.
Marek was stunned as he read the story of the Christian church from the destruction of Jerusalem to Jesus’ second coming. He double-checked what he read in the Bible and online. Everything seemed to match up.
One night, as he read The Great Controversy in bed, he asked himself, “Am I gaining light from reading this book?” He had read in the book that Martin Luther gained light from God. Now, he wondered if he also was gaining light.
At that moment, the light bulb in the lamp above his head began to blink and make a buzzing sound. The bulb blinked and buzzed for 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds. That was unusual, and Marek grew nervous.
Suddenly, he noticed a reflection of himself in a window on the other side of the room. All he could see was his head and the light bulb right above it. Exactly at that moment, the bulb stopped sputtering and shone brightly again. The answer was clear to him. He thought, “Yes, I have light like this bulb above my head.”
It was the first time in his life that he sensed God’s presence and love. He knelt and said, “God, if You are like this, I want to serve You.”
Thank you for your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering in 2017 that helped build a television studio for Hope Channel Poland. Marek Micyk is the long-time youth leader of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Poland and a speaker on Hope Channel Poland, the local affiliate of Hope Channel International.