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Adventist Mission

Maxo Dorlis, 40

Do You Understand?

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, April 3.

By Andrew McChesney, Adventist Mission


ourteen-year-old Maxo enjoyed reading the Bible for about an hour every afternoon in the grassy yard outside his home in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. He liked Bible stories, especially about Moses, and the Ten Commandments.

Twelve-year-old Natasha saw Maxo reading one day.

“Do you understand the Bible?” she said.

“Yes,” he said. “I understand.”

He invited her to study with him. He knew that Natasha was a Seventh-day Adventist and went to church on a different day than him. He thought that studying the Bible together would be a good way to convince her that she should go to church with him on Sunday.

“Oh, I would be happy to study with you!” Natasha exclaimed. “I would like to share what I know about the Bible with you.”

Maxo and Natasha agreed to meet three times a week to study the Bible.

After a month of Bible study, Maxo was convinced that Saturday, not Sunday, was God’s Sabbath. Natasha showed him 86 verses about the seventh-day Sabbath in the Bible.

Maxo asked his pastor about why their church worshiped on Sunday.

“Can you show me in the Bible where Sunday is set aside as the Sabbath day?” he asked, holding up his black Bible.

The pastor couldn’t show any verses that showed that Sunday is the Sabbath.

“Yes, Sunday is the first day of the week,” the pastor said. “But Jesus was resurrected on Sunday, and that is why we keep it as the Sabbath.”

Maxo opened his Bible and began showing the 86 verses about the seventh-day Sabbath. The pastor was surprised.

“I’m a pastor, and this is the first time that I have seen these verses,” he said. “Where did you find them?”

“Can I share these verses in church next Sunday?” Maxo said.

“No!” the pastor exclaimed. “Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected on Sunday. That’s the end of the conversation!”

The next Sunday, Maxo didn’t go to church with his family. He continued studying the Bible with Natasha. He stopped eating pork, shrimp, and other unclean foods. He stopped drinking beer with his friends.

Natasha invited him to go to the Seventh-day Adventist church. “Maybe next week,” Maxo said. He wasn’t used to going to church on Saturday.

But one Sabbath he decided to go to church with her. To go, he would have to skip school, which met on Saturdays in Haiti. He didn’t want to tell his mother because he was afraid that she would stop him. He packed his suit in his backpack. Halfway to church, he stopped in a restaurant restroom and changed his clothes. Then he met Natasha, and they went to church.

The worship service was new for Maxo. “I don’t understand,” he told Natasha afterward. “They don’t play loud music, and the singing and preaching is different. I like the way you worship.”

Maxo returned the next Sabbath and the next. On September 22, 1995, fifteen-year-old Maxo was baptized during an evangelistic series. Natasha was thrilled!

Maxo was the first person in his family to become an Adventist. Through his witness, fifteen family members, including his mother, are Seventh-day Adventists today.

Maxo is grateful to Natasha for being a real missionary and teaching him about the Bible. Today, he is studying to be a pastor at University of the Southern Caribbean in Trinidad and Tobago. Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help open a missionary training center on the university campus.