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Adventist Mission

Rennie Kufakunesu, 22

Finding a Home

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, June 13.

By Andrew McChesney, Adventist Mission

One of the saddest days in Rennie Kufakunesu’s life came when she was 5.

Mother packed her bags and went to the airport in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare. Little Rennie rode along in the car with Uncle, Auntie, and other relatives.

At the airport, Mother motioned to Uncle, who was her brother, and to Auntie, her sister.

“Choose which family you want to live with,” she told Rennie.

The little girl turned to Uncle and Auntie. She didn’t really want to stay with either of them. She would rather live with Mother. She looked back at her relatives and remembered that Uncle had more children than Auntie. If she lived with him, she would have more playmates. She chose Uncle.

Mother boarded an airplane and flew to Britain to work.

A year later, Uncle died. Mother still lived in Britain, and she couldn't bring Rennie to join her. Rennie moved in with Auntie.

Life at Auntie’s house was different. Auntie didn’t go to church on Sunday like Uncle and Mother. She took Rennie to church on Saturday.

Rennie didn’t want to go to church on Saturdays. She missed sports events at school. She missed school fairs. She missed birthday parties. She thought, “Why do I have to miss so many fun things because Auntie is a Seventh-day Adventist? I’m not a Seventh-day Adventist. My church meets on Sundays.”

When she was 13, she moved to another relative’s house to start high school. The relative also was a Seventh-day Adventist, and Rennie went to church all through high school.

After high school, Rennie wanted to live with Mother in Britain. But she couldn’t get a visa. She applied to study at universities in several countries and was accepted at a university in Cyprus.

She was thrilled!

“I can finally live my own life,” she thought. “Now, I can be a real Christian and go to church on Sunday.”

After arriving in Cyprus, Rennie tried to find a church. She asked classmates and teachers for directions. No one seemed to know the address of the church of her parents’ denomination.

“Fine,” she decided. “I don’t have to go to any church.”

But something wasn’t right. After living with Adventist relatives for 12 years, going to church on Saturday was part of Rennie’s life. She didn’t like going, but it didn’t feel right not to go. Going online, she located the address of an Adventist church in Nicosia, and she attended the next Sabbath. She loved the church immediately.

Rennie went to church every Sabbath, and soon she was baptized.

“I knew all the church’s doctrines from childhood, but what was missing was a desire to be baptized,” she said. “Reviewing the things that I was taught in church, I realized that they were true and from the Bible. It made sense to me.”

Rennie is now 22 and finishing her last year of accounting studies. She prays for Mother in Britain. She goes to church every Sabbath. “I’m at home,” she said.

Rennie’s church meets in a rented hall. Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help construct a church building and community center where Rennie and others can worship in Cyprus’ capital, Nicosia.