A 22 years Mozambique lady identified as Aurora Carlos Justino, shares her story of how she got fired for keeping the Sabbath day. According to her, it is better to follow the truth than to follow material things.
I grew up in Nampula, Mozambique’s third-largest city where 80 percent of the population is Muslim.
I didn’t feel comfortable with the faith of my mother, who got divorced when I was small. Something in my mind kept telling me that I should examine Christian denominations to find peace in my heart.
One day, I told my mother about my desire.
“Mommy, I want to be a Christian,” I told her.
My mother said, “If you want to be a Christian, don’t call me ‘Mommy’ anymore. Your whole family, including your grandparents, belong to another religion. If you want to be a Christian, you will no longer be my daughter.”
Her words frightened me. I remembered that she had given birth to me and raised me. The thought of being disowned by my own mother scared me. I stopped going to my parents’ place of worship. I didn’t go to any place of worship. I wanted to see how my mother would react.
When my mother saw that I wasn’t worshipping at all, she said, “Fine, you can go look for a Christian church.”
I was so happy! But I didn’t immediately start looking for a church because I was caught up in the world.
One day, a young man approached me on the street, and I was impressed with the way that he spoke to me.
“I think you aren’t feeling well,” he said.
“You’re right,” I said, surprised. “I feel a little ill.”
“Do you know that God loves you?” he said.
“Yes,” I said.
“You must leave all your sins,” he said.
Those words bothered me. I was drinking and going to parties.
The man introduced himself as Armando and invited me to his church nearby.
But after we parted ways, I couldn’t remember the name of the church. A month later, I decided to try to find the church. I looked around the area where I had met the man and learned that the only church was Seventh-day Adventist. So, I went to the church and met pastor Abrao Mututu.
“How can I help you?” he said.
I asked the pastor whether he knew a young man named Armando. He didn’t and asked why. I explained that Armando had invited me to worship in his church.
A few minute later, another pastor showed up. I told pastor Eleuterio Marage about my upbringing and asked, “What do I need to do to become a real Christian woman?”
The pastor said I needed to study the Bible and learn about God’s character.
“Tell me about the Bible and about God!” I exclaimed.
The pastor gave me Bible studies and, three months later, I was baptized on July 25, 2016.
Life became difficult immediately after the baptism. The restaurant where I worked scheduled me to work on Saturday, and I thought, “If I don’t work on Sabbath, then I won’t have any work. If I don’t have a job, how will my mother and younger sister survive because I am the only one taking care of them?”
I reached the point where I had to decide what to do. I weighed working on Sabbath and being lost with choosing to follow Jesus and being saved. A month after my baptism, I decided the only right way was to follow Jesus.
Then I read Jesus’ promise in Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (NKJV).
I quit my job.
My mother was upset. “You are the only one supporting your family,” she said. “How will we survive?”
“I believe that God will provide a way for us,” I said. “He won’t leave us emptyhanded.”
God has provided. After I left my job, one of my three older brothers stepped in and began to support my mother and sister.
But what has impressed me the most is how drastically my thinking has changed since joining the Adventist Church. I have a peace that I never had before. I thank my Lord for changing my life. I am now 22, and I haven’t been able to find a full-time job. But by God’s grace I have led four people to baptism over the past year.
There are many young women like me in the world. They are dying because of a lack of knowledge of Jesus, the Lord who saves people in and from their sins. This is the Lord who has taken me from the darkness into the light.
Adventist Student in Nigeria Shares Her Faith
adebusoye damilola from Delta Conference, WNUC, Nigeria.
Foundational Christian Experience
I grew up in an Adventist home raised up by principled parents. I enjoyed regular church attendance, yet, for a while, my foundational church experience was basically a routine for me. I needed to experience God for myself. I struggled with deep and intense fear as a child and had difficulty in relating this experience with others for fear of being mocked or reviled. God delivered me from fear through peculiar experiences. The first of which he verbally spoke a psalm of which I read and became assured of God’s protection and power to relieve me from fear.
I read and memorised psalm 91 and when plagued with intense fear, I recited the words of the psalm and as faith in God built, my fears subsided.
This experience gave me a strong realization of Christ’s personal interest in him, that he would speak to me rather than leave me to my personal struggles. For this reason, with a deep sense of gratitude I resolved to know God better. Thus I studied the Bible as well as a lot of other books including the great controversy
As I studied, I became impressed with the significance of true Sabbath keeping. I was learning that it was wrong to buy, sell, attend classes or write examinations on God’s Holy day. Not as a burden but as a test of obedience and a sign of our allegiance to God.
Whenever I brought up these issues to my dad, he made a lot of reference to ministers and minister’s children who did same things on the Sabbath and made it clear that such stands would not be tolerated in his house
Shrinking from fear of being severely reprimanded, I wrote my JAMB examinations on the Sabbath. After some years of not being able to get admission into the university, I finally got admission in UNIBEN to study a dream course. I repeated my study on the great controversy and on keeping God’s Sabbath holy. Then I made a more decided decision to stand for God whatever the cost.
Entering the university and studying a dream course was a source of great joy to me. I had a defined academic plan putting God in mind. These plans were threatened when 6 of my first semester exams fell on Saturday including a major course. Worse still I barely got encouraged by anyone as they would rather be silent that encourage me to keep the Sabbath holy at so great a cost. The words of the hymn “Jesus is all the world to me” was a source of encouragement to me as I bent under the weight of a major tough decision
The consequences of my action, the foreseen reaction of my parents, the risk of failure, mockery or pitiful counsels from concerned course mates were for a while a weight on my mind. But this statement amidst others encouraged me:
“True Christian principle will not stop to weigh consequences. It does not ask, what will people think of me if I do this? Or how will it affect my worldly prospects if I do that? With the most intense longing the children of God desire to know what He would have them do, that their works may glorify Him. The Lord has made ample provision that the hearts and lives of all His followers may be controlled by divine grace, that they may be as burning and shining lights in the world”
counsels for the church page 51
I memorised this quote and it constantly encouraged me.
On the day of the first exam i dressed for church and the kind family I stayed with, though having good intentions made a decided efforts to stop me from what I was doing to “destroy my future”, for that was how they classified my actions. On another occasion, few classmates sat me down to change my mind-set but I was determined to stand for God at whatever cost. In this trying period Jesus was a very present friend, a faithful companion and God.
While on probation the exams fell again on the Sabbath and I knew I had to leave school. Telling my parents about my decisions was a tough call, they were utterly disappointed. My dad insisted I stay in Uniben dictating the consequences of my rebellion. I chose to obey God rather than man with the assurance that if father and mother forsakes me God would pick me up.
Leaving UNIBEN, I had no assurance of financial support from my dad as it was also a tough time for them. In the most miraculous way ever at a time I had resolved to fate of not going to school that year, 2 days before the chance of a part scholarship I was to be offered expired, the Lord made financial provision for me to be in a private institution where there is no Sabbath exam. How God provides for my school fees each year still remains a mystery
Looking back now in retrospect, I don’t consider my decisions as so great a sacrifice. It pales in comparison with the faithful actions of a day sacrifices of Abraham, Apostle Paul, Huss, and Martin Luther. It pales in comparison to what Jesus sacrificed for me. Many even now excuse rebellion to God for the little privileges of life. But I often ask myself how it would feel to resurrect to the resurrection of condemnation just because of a certificate, job or family member. God forbid! Then how worthless the things for which will sell Jesus will appear in our eyes but then it will be too late to let go of them. Far too late.
Sometimes people make reference to the time I have lost in leaving UNIBEN then I must refer them to the much time I have gained reserved by God’s grace for me… eternity with Jesus for me is worth a thousand years of self-sacrifice.
Fire! Fire!” the neighbors shouted, alerting Ado’s mother that her tiny thatched home was on fire. Flames shot from the roof and walls, and smoke filled the hut. Mother managed to escape, but then she realized that her baby boy was still inside the house. Ignoring the flames and thick smoke that billowed out of the doorway, she ran into the house to rescue her baby.
Neighbors held their breath as seconds passed and the flames grew brighter. At last, Mother emerged from the burning hut with her baby held close to her body. The little one was safe, but Mother had been burned on her arms and face. Over time, most of her wounds healed, but her once-beautiful face was forever scarred by the fire.
Ado grew to be a strong boy. He noticed that his mother’s face did not look like other mothers’ faces, but he did not ask why. Someone had told him the story of how his mother had saved him from the fire when he was a baby, but he didn’t realize that the scars on his mother’s face had come because of her love for him.
One day when he was playing with his friends, someone made fun of Ado’s mother’s face. The boys laughed, but Ado ran home so his friends would not see the tears forming in his eyes.
Ado hurried into his hut and sat down. When his mother came in, she could see that her usually happy boy was quiet. “Is something wrong, my son?” she asked.
Ado thought for a moment and then asked, “Mama, what happened to your face?”
“Why do you ask, my son?” his mother questioned, stiffening a bit but trying to be calm.
“The boys—one of them told another boy that he was ugly, like Ado’s mother,” Ado blurted out “What happened to your face?”
Mother was quiet for a moment, then she stood up and walked to her drawer and pulled something out. She gave it to Ado. It was a photograph of a beautiful young woman. Ado studied the picture and then looked at his mother. “Is this you?” he asked.
“Yes. It was taken before the fire.” Ado knew about the fire. He knew that his mother had pulled him from his bed and saved his life. But he had not thought about what her unselfish act had cost her.
Ado stood and hugged his mother. Now he understood. His mother had risked everything for him. Without her unselfish act, he surely would have died in that fire. He looked up into his mother’s face. It was no longer scarred and wrinkled to him. It was beautiful; it was the face of love.
Ado squeezed his mother tightly. “To me, you are beautiful—even more beautiful than your picture.”
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