Foday,” my school counselor said, “your mother is dead.” The news stunned me. What will happen to us now? I wondered. My stepfather wasn’t a Christian, and I knew that he wouldn’t help us to continue our studies.
I would soon graduate from high school and was looking forward to going on to study in a university. Suddenly my hopes for the future were dead as well. I returned to work in the school garden as tears burned my eyes. The agriculture teacher saw that I was crying. “What’s wrong?” he asked.
Experiencing God’s Care
I told him that my mother had died and that I had no money to pay the fees to take my final exams so I could graduate. “Go see the school principal,” he suggested. “He can help you.” The teacher’s words gave me hope. But this wasn’t an Adventist school, and I was an Adventist. I went to see the principal and found the school chaplain with him. I explained my problem.
“Come back tomorrow,” the principal said.
The next morning when the school secretary gave me the forms to fill out to take my exams, I realized that someone had paid my exam fees. I took the exams and scored high. Maybe there’s still hope that I can go to university, I thought.
Then war broke out in my country, and once more it seemed that I wouldn’t be able to continue my education. I gave God my dream and trusted Him to work things out.
I was asked to be Sabbath School superintendent and help the teachers prepare their weekly lessons. The assignment drove me to study my Bible more deeply and spend more time with God. I also discovered a love for teaching. When at last I began my university studies, I majored in education. Soon I’d be able to help my brothers and sisters with their education.
I finished university and prayed for a job. I felt God calling me to teach at the parochial school I had attended, to give back to the school that had helped me. But how could I keep the Sabbath in a school that held classes and other activities that day? I asked God to help me know what to do.
I was able to schedule my classes so I’d be free on Sabbaths. Then I learned that the school’s parent-teacher conferences were scheduled for Sabbath. I went to the principal and asked to be excused from the parent-teacher program on Sabbath. To my surprise, he readily agreed to allow me to go to church instead of the teacher’s meetings. What an answer to prayer! From that time on no activity in which I was involved was scheduled on Sabbath.
God Always Provides
I felt God calling me to pastoral ministry. At first I resisted the idea, but the thought kept ringing in my ears. Finally, I knelt down and asked God, “If you really want me to serve you as a pastor, let the church mission invite me to study to become a pastor.” A short while later the mission president called to offer me a scholarship to study theology at Valley View University. After praying with my fiancé about it, we decided to marry and enroll in classes at Valley View.
But even with financial help to pay my tuition it’s difficult to earn enough to pay my wife’s tuition, buy books and food, and pay rent. We’ve learned to place all these needs before God’s throne, and He’s blessed us. We rarely know where the help will come from, but we know that God will send it.
Serving God Back Home
Recently five of us traveled back to Sierra Leone to hold evangelistic meetings in three towns. My wife and I went to my hometown, Bo, where we preached, prayed, and visited with people. In the two months our team was in Sierra Leone, 530 people became Seventh-day Adventists. And we were privileged to establish a new church in Bo.
As we’ve seen how God has led us in the past, we have no fear for the future. We know that God will reveal His plans for our lives each step of the way. And we thank God for providing Valley View University where we have received a solid Christian preparation for a lifetime of service. Your offerings help make this school and its ministry possible. Thank you! ⎭
When Foday and his wife complete their studies at Valley View University, they will return to Sierra Leone to serve God.