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Adventist Mission

Renzo Flores, 11

Renzo’s Favorite Sabbath Activity

Father and Renzo visited 15 people in the past month, and five of them have returned to church.

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, June 22.

By Andrew McChesney,

Eleven-year-old Renzo doesn’t take a nap or play with friends after worship services on Sabbath. Immediately after lunch, he goes with Father to visit people who have stopped coming to church.

The pastor gives Father, who is a church elder, a list with names and addresses. Then Renzo and Father go to the first house in their Peruvian hometown, Pucallpa.

Renzo knocks on the door.

Often the door is opened by the person who has not come to church.

“Hello,” Father says. “We are here to visit with you and to pray with you.”

No one slams the door shut in their faces. Father and Renzo are always invited to come inside the house. Sometimes the man whom they came to visit is alone, but usually other family members family are home with him.

Once inside, Father prays, “Dear God, we ask You to change the heart of this man, and we pray for him to come back to church one day.”

Then Father says, “Let me share some Bible verses with you.”

He opens the Bible and reads verses about how God forgives people and invites them to return to the arms of Jesus. He especially likes to read Psalms 23, which begins with the words, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” He also reads the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32.

After reading, Father and Renzo invite the man and his family to join them in singing two hymns. One of the hymns is always, “A Shelter in the Time of Storm.”

When the songs are finished, Father asks the man who has missed church, “How is your spiritual life?”

Father also asks about the family’s wellbeing and, at the end of the visit, invites the man to come to church the next Sabbath.

Sometimes Father has the closing prayer, and other times Renzo prays. When Renzo prays, he says, “Dear God, help this man understand Your love and that Jesus can forgive his sins. Amen.”

Each visit lasts about 30 minutes, and the father-and-son team stop by two homes every Sabbath before the Sabbath afternoon program starts at church. Renzo, who loves to read the Bible and books by Ellen White, once gave the Sabbath afternoon program about Jesus’ soon coming based on Ellen White’s book “Last Day Events.”

Father and Renzo visited 15 people in the past month, and five of them have returned to church.

Renzo especially remembers a visit to Immanuel’s home. Immanuel’s teenage daughter opened the door and welcomed Renzo and his father inside.

Immanual’s wife and two children went to church every Sabbath, but Immanuel had stopped attending two months earlier. He explained to the visitors that he had been sick and then started working on Sabbath. His elderly mother, who is also an Adventist, wept with joy as the visitors sang and prayed with her son. Immanuel returned to church the next Sabbath.

“I was very happy to see him in church on Sabbath,” Renzo said. “I like seeing people respond to our invitation to come to Jesus and return to church.”

Now Renzo wants his father to join him on a new project: visiting his classmates from public school.

“Jesus has changed my heart,” he said. “I’m thinking about giving Bible lessons to my friends with my father’s help and inviting them to church.”

Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help open a new church and medical center in Renzo’s hometown, Pucallpa, so more people can learn about Jesus and have a place to worship on Sabbath. Thank you for your mission offering.

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