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.
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