Blessed Disappointment

Estella Nchama Ondo

Ghana | September 17

Estella traveled from her home in Equatorial Guinea to Ghana to get a visa to study in Spain. But a missing document delayed her visa until it was too late to go to Spain. Disappointment flooded her heart; she didn’t know what to do. 

Her sister was studying at Valley View University, so Estella decided to enroll there too. At least her year wouldn’t be wasted. Estella’s parents reluctantly allowed her to study at Valley View, but they warned her to stay away from the Adventist Church. 

Spiritual Turmoil

Estella attended the required Week of Spiritual Emphasis meetings on campus. There she encountered Bible truths that she had never considered before. She had heard people on campus talk about the Sabbath, but she had thought it didn’t matter what day she worshipped. 

However, as she listened to the speaker’s messages, she realized every Bible truth was important to salvation. What does God expect of me? she wondered. 

That night so many questions flooded her mind that she couldn’t sleep. She was convinced that what she was hearing was true, but what could she do about it? She didn’t know her Bible well enough to answer the questions her heart was asking. 

Estella read her Bible, searching for truth. She asked many questions. She asked a friend, who was a priest, many of the same questions, but his answers clearly didn’t come from the Bible. She became convinced that she had found God’s truths, and she asked to be baptized. 

Time to Tell 

Reluctantly Estella wrote to her family to tell them that she had joined the Adventist Church. She knew her parents would be angry and wondered what they would do. For three months she heard nothing from them. Then they called her and asked why she had decided to become an Adventist. 

She tried to explain that she was following Bible truths, but her parents refused to listen as she tried to quote Bible verses. Finally they told her that they would call back and give her their decision about what to do.

Nervously Estella waited for her parents’ call. The new semester started, and Estella wondered whether she dared to register. She waited and waited. Still her parents didn’t call. Finally she went to register for classes. 

Then her parents’ called with their decision: If she refused to return to the family’s faith, they would no longer support her. If she insisted on staying at Valley View University, she would be on her own. 

Trusting God to Provide

Estella didn’t know how she would pay her tuition or whether the school would even allow her to study without a promise that her school fees would be paid. She turned to God, whom she had learned is ever faithful. God would make a way when she saw no way. 

Estella found work on campus, and in time a sponsor agreed to help her pay her tuition. Estella missed her family, especially her mother. But she dared not call home, for her family had made it clear that unless she returned to her childhood faith, she was no longer part of the family. 

Mending Relationships

Then one day her mother called. Estella was overjoyed. “Mother knows now that I won’t change my mind about my faith,” Estella says. “She’s trying to build bridges between us. I was stubborn as a child, but my sister has told my mother how much I have changed since I have given my heart to Christ. She has assured my parents that the faith I have chosen is true and holy. In fact, my sister is asking me a lot of questions about what I believe. I can see God working in her life. I think she knows that the path I have taken is the path God wants her to take as well. I pray that my sister will have the courage to surrender to Christ.” 

Estella’s sponsor isn’t an Adventist, but Estella shares her faith with him and is seeking to lead him to Christ. He’s asking questions and listening. 

“I was so disappointed when I couldn’t get the visa to study in Spain,” Estella adds. “But now I realize that God had a better plan for me—a wonderful plan to save me and make me His child. I’m not sorry I couldn’t go to Spain. Now I want to return to Equatorial Guinea and share the spiritual truths that I’ve learned while studying at Valley View University.”

This quarter part of our Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help build a church on the campus of Valley View University so that people on campus and in the community can meet their Savior.  

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