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Meeting Christ in Prison Part 2

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, March 11.

By Milton Bakubye

Last week: Rafael, a teenager in Uganda, found himself in prison after making bad choices. He missed his parents so much! His thoughts turned to God when he was asked to help clean the house of the prison warden. Every time he arrived for work, the warden prayed for him. The warden was a Seventh-day Adventist and became like a father to him. The warden sent an Adventist pastor to study the Bible with Rafael.


afael didn’t like being in prison. But he enjoyed reading the Bible with the Adventist pastor. He also began listening to Bible stories on a small radio that he kept in his prison cell.

One day, when he went to clean the prison warden’s house, the warden said he had noticed that Rafael was listening to Bible stories on the radio. The Bible stories were being broadcast on an Adventist radio station.

“Why don’t you turn up the volume of your radio so the other prisoners also can listen and learn?” the warden said.

Rafael thought it was a good idea. That evening, when he turned on the radio, he cranked up the volume as loud as he could. Other prisoners stopped talking when they heard the radio. Some came over to Rafael. They were interested in the Bible stories.

Rafael noticed that some prisoners even took notes. They wanted to write down the Bible stories so they could remember them later.

One day, a Bible worker from the radio station came to the prison to answer questions from the prisoners. Rafael wanted to know more about the Ten Commandments. He was amazed to read the fourth commandment, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work” (Exodus 20:8-10). He had always thought the Sabbath was on the first day of the week, Sunday. But the Bible said the Sabbath was on the seventh day, Saturday.

After two years, Rafael was released from prison. He was so happy to go home!

When he arrived home, Father and Mother met him at the door.

“Before you come in,” Mother said, “you need to sprinkle this special water on your head and to step on an egg.”

Even though Father and Mother believed in God, they also were superstitious. They thought that Rafael needed to sprinkle water on his head and to step on the egg to make sure that he never went back to prison.

Rafael, however, was not superstitious. He believed that God had a plan for his life that did not include prison.

“I’m sorry, Mother. I’m sorry, Father,” he said. “I do not want to perform this ritual. Don’t worry. I’m not going to go back to prison.”

Mother and Father were amazed.

“You’ve changed so much!” Father exclaimed. “It’s like you’ve come home from prison with new brains!”

When Sabbath came, Rafael rested and worshiped God. This surprised Father and Mother even more. “Why are you worshiping God today?” Father asked.

Rafael explained that the Bible teaches that the seventh day of the week, Saturday, is the Sabbath, not Sunday, the first day of the week. He read the fourth commandment in the Bible.

Two months after arriving home, Rafael gave his heart to Jesus in baptism.

Today, he regrets making the bad choices that sent him to prison, but he is glad that he met God in prison.

Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help teenagers like Rafael make better choices in Uganda. The offering will help open a training center where young people can learn about Jesus while learning how to grow crops for a living. Thank you for planning a generous offering.