Rajesh paced his bedroom floor trying to decide what to do. There must be a way around this, he thought to himself. But how?
The day before, the director at the school at which he was studying had refused to allow him to miss classes on Saturdays. And when Rajesh had appealed to his parents for help with the situation, they demanded that he attend classes. “As long as we’re paying your tuition, you go to your classes—all of them—or else.”
Rajesh had attended church with his mother since he was a child, but he felt that something was missing.
Then one day he saw an announcement advertising some Bible meetings. He attended and marked every passage in the Bible that the pastor-speaker read. He discovered that God’s love was reflected in the Ten Commandments. When Rajesh told his mother what he was learning, she refused to accept it, but Rajesh felt sure that he had found what he had been searching for.
Rajesh accepted the Sabbath and gave his heart completely to Christ. But his faith came at a price. Now that he knew the truth, he had to obey.
After Rajesh had finished tenth grade he enrolled in a technical school to study electronics. But when classes started, Rajesh realized that the school held classes on Sabbath. He spoke to the school’s director, but the man refused to make an exception for him. Rajesh asked his parents for help, but they refused to let him skip classes for any reason. “As long as we’re paying your tuition, you go to your classes—or else.”
Not knowing what else to do, Rajesh attended class the next Saturday. But Rajesh wanted to be in church worshipping God, not in class ignoring the teacher. And what would he do if an exam was scheduled for a Sabbath? Rajesh knew what he must do. The next Sabbath he went to church instead of to class.
Rajesh’s mother learned what he’d done and took him to see her pastor, who told him that the Ten Commandments were a burden that Christ had freed His followers from. Rajesh thought for a moment and then asked, “Does that mean I can kill someone and it will be OK?” The pastor refused to answer Rajesh.
Rajesh went back to school, no closer to a solution. His parents insisted he attend Saturday classes, but he refused. The school director offered to give him a letter of transfer, but he refused to refund the tuition Rajesh’s father had paid. The boy’s father tried to convince him to stay in the school, but Rajesh refused. “Jesus is coming,” he told his father. “I must be ready. I must be faithful now.” Angrily Rajesh’s father stomped out of the school.
Rajesh wondered whether he would lose a whole year of studies because of his faith. He asked his pastor what to do, and the pastor suggested that he apply at the Adventist higher secondary school. They have a science curriculum,” the pastor said. “But I don’t know whether they have an opening.” Rajesh wondered whether the Adventist school would accept a new student in mid-semester. Rajesh had to try.
Rajesh’s father finally agreed to take the boy to the Adventist school and try to enroll him. When they arrived, the principal of the school spoke to the father and son. Rajesh asked about the science track, and father and son learned that the only opening in the school was in the very classes Rajesh wished to study. Rajesh is sure that God was blessing him because he wanted to be faithful to his convictions.
Rajesh continues to have conflicts with his parents over the Sabbath sometimes. When his father told him to attend a religious festival with him that fell on Sabbath, Rajesh politely refused. His father found him and tried to force him to leave the worship service to go to the religious festival.
Rajesh stands firm. He understands that God has led him to the truth he was craving. And when he ran into problems with keeping the Sabbath, God led him to the Adventist school, where Sabbath keeping is a priority.
Rajesh hopes that someday his parents will understand why his faith is so important to him. For now he’s grateful to study in a school that encourages his religious faith and doesn’t try to destroy it.
Our mission offerings help thousands of children in India study in Adventist schools. Thank you for making it possible for so many to learn of God’s great gift of salvation while they are still young.