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Adventist Mission


Importance of an Invitation

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, December 30.

By Andrew McChesney


everal hundred Seventh-day Adventist students and their friends packed a church on the campus of a public university in the West African country of Ghana.

From the front, a pastor invited those who had a personal testimony about how they had given their hearts to Jesus to tell a visiting Adventist Mission worker after the Sabbath worship service.

Among those who remained after the worship service was a 22-year-old student named Susana.

Susana, flashing a shy smile, said she had given her heart to Jesus just a few months earlier after befriending Adventist students at the university.

When she was pressed for details, she said the story began two years earlier in her hometown.

While she was home on vacation, her brother’s wife had invited her to go to a Seventh-day Adventist church for a baby dedication. The sister-in-law, whose name was Comfort, was the only Adventist in the family. She wanted her newborn son, Righteous, to be dedicated to the Lord.

Susana had never worshiped in an Adventist church. She had never set foot into an Adventist church.

She agreed to go.

The worship experience moved her. She especially liked the music and the singing. She wanted to go back.

But Comfort didn’t invite her again, so she didn’t go.

Back at the university, Susana became good friends with an Adventist student named Lydia.

Some time passed, and Lydia invited Susana to join a group of 30 Adventist students for a prayer meeting. The students sang and prayed, and one of them preached about Jesus. Susana enjoyed the prayer meeting, and Lydia invited her to attend again. Susana began to worship regularly with the group of students.

One day, Lydia said to her, “We are going to do evangelism. Would you like to join us?”

The Adventist students planned to spend part of an upcoming break between semesters by going door to door in a town about 12 miles (20 kilometers) from the university. The students would invite people to attend evangelistic meetings in the evening. A pastor would preach at the meetings. Susana agreed to help.

She joined 25 other students, all Adventists, in going from house to house in the mornings and then attending the evangelistic meetings in the evenings. More than 50 people came to the meetings every evening.

At the beginning of the meetings, Lydia asked Susana if she would like to get baptized.

“Yes,” Susana replied.

As she listened to the preacher speak every night, the desire for baptism grew in her heart. She was especially interested to hear the preacher speak about the seventh day, Saturday, being the biblical Sabbath. She saw that the preacher was following the Bible. She loved the music and the singing. She knew what she wanted to do next. But would she get an invitation?

At the end of the meetings, Lydia asked her, “Do you really want to be baptized?”

Susana knew for sure now.

“Yes,” she said.

Susana was among the 20 people who were baptized.

Lydia was overjoyed when Susana came out of the water and gave her a big hug.

After the meetings, Susana returned to her hometown and told Comfort about her baptism. Comfort was very happy. She was no longer the only Adventist in the family.

Why did Susana give her heart to Jesus? There is no doubt that the Holy Spirit spoke to her heart. But the process started with a simple invitation to church.

“When I went to the Adventist church for the first time, I loved how they worshiped,” Susana said. “But I wasn’t invited back, so I didn’t go. I was waiting for another invitation. Then I was invited at the university, and I went, and I ended up becoming an Adventist.”

Part of your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering today will help expand Seventh-day Adventist education with two projects in the West-Central Africa Division. The funds will go toward the construction of new classrooms and dormitories at the Nursing and Midwifery Training College in Ghana, where Susana studies, and the opening of a bilingual school in Cameroon where children will be able to learn about Jesus in French and English. Thank you for your generous offering today.