Madagascar | July 14

The Reluctant Follower

David

David stared at the poster advertising evangelistic meetings. His eyes caught the address on the bottom of the notice. His face flushed, and his fists curled. Was it a mistake, a misprint? Or were his parents allowing the people to hold meetings in their home? He tore the poster into pieces and walked away. He was not going to be forced to attend a meeting in his own home.

Reluctant Follower

David and his family weren’t religious. At 12 years old David was already smoking and drinking. The last thing he wanted was to be forced to take part in a religious meeting. He stayed out that night until he knew the meeting was over. Then he slipped into the house. His mother met him with a stern look. “You shouldn’t have torn down the announcement and skipped the meeting,” she said.

“It’s my choice to skip the meeting,” David said, trying to assert his authority. He and his mother began arguing, and before long David knew that he would have to attend the next meeting.

The next evening he slouched in a corner of the living room as his mother welcomed neighbors at the door. He was surprised to see several young people arrive. They seemed happy to be there. Reluctantly David followed them to another room where the young people would hold their own meeting. The leader had planned music and activities for the children, and before long David forgot his misery and enjoyed the meeting. “It was fun,” David told his mother later. For the rest of the week David willingly attended the children’s meetings.

Learning to Lead

At the end of the home meetings, the group moved to the Adventist church for evangelistic meetings. And David attended. When the speaker talked about following Jesus’ example by being baptized, David felt he should respond. He and his cousin joined the Bible classes to prepare for baptism. As his love for God grew, he forgot about drinking and smoking.

David’s family did not join him in taking his stand for Christ. But his cousin, who had smoked and drank and gotten into mischief with him, did.

David began sharing his faith with his family, with classmates at school, and even on the street. People began calling him Pastor. When the church scheduled another evangelistic series, David and his cousin asked to hold pre-evangelistic meetings in David’s home. This time instead of fighting to avoid the meetings, David hosted them. His mother attended, and as she listened to David speak about God and his faith, she surrendered her life to God.

The next year David again held meetings in their home, and this time three of David’s cousins gave their lives to God.

David felt called by God to become a pastor. He knew that when he graduated from high school he wanted to study theology at Zurcher Adventist University. But he did not have the money to pay his tuition.

Putting God to the Test

“Trust God to provide your tuition,” his cousin urged. So David registered for school, even though he didn’t know how he would pay for his school fees. David watched amazed as God led people to help pay his school fees. Although he has struggled financially, God sees that his tuition is paid.

During David’s second year at the university he began pastoring a small church in a nearby village. After worship services on Sabbath, he visits from door to door sharing God’s love with others.

The women in the little church organized an evangelistic series for which David spoke. Many people responded, accepting Jesus as their Lord. One of the people who gave their life to Jesus was a teenage girl whose parents were unhappy with her decision. At her baptism her parents expressed their anger. But she has stood firm in her decision and is now an active member of the church.

David continues sharing Jesus wherever he is invited to speak. Many have responded by giving their lives to Christ and asking to be baptized. “God has affirmed my calling to become a pastor,” David says. “And Zurcher Adventist University is making my calling possible by offering a quality education.”

Appeal

Zurcher Adventist University is growing rapidly, and with growth come challenges. The school needs to build a multipurpose hall that will include classrooms, offices, and a computer lab in order to meet national accrediting requirements. Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help complete this building and allow the university to continue growing and serving the needs of the people in Madagascar and throughout the Indian Ocean region. Thank you for your support on September 29. 

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