Enock slipped into his mother’s home and saw her on her knees. She’s praying for me again, he thought. She keeps praying that I’ll be a pastor. Some pastor I’d make, he told himself. He wanted to slam the door, but instead he walked quietly to his room.
Ever since Enock’s friends had introduced him to alcohol and drugs, his life had been sliding downward. He stopped attending church with his mother and joined his friends when they set out to steal. They even prayed to the devil for success in their robberies. He tried to forget his mother’s prayers, but her words and her prayers spun in his head.
Enock had been expelled from three schools for his behavior, but his mother refused to give up on him. She found an Adventist school that would take him, and she sacrificed to send him there. The chaplain took a special interest in him and prayed for him. At first Enock resented the chaplain’s prayers, but in time his heart began to soften. He realized that the life he was living was not the path to happiness.
Some students invited him to join their singing group. At first he went just to hang out with them and watch them practice. But in time he joined in singing songs about God’s love and Christ’s sacrifice—songs he had not dreamed he would ever sing. Before long he agreed to sing with the group.
The walls that Enock had built around his life began to crumble. Far from his friends who had led him into drugs and theft, he realized he had gone from robbing people to raising funds for the needy! One day while talking to the chaplain, he asked for prayer. That day he confessed his sins and previous life and invited Jesus into his life.
Again and again his mother’s words reminded him that she had dedicated him to God and the ministry. But doubts filled his heart as he thought of the terrible things he had done. “Will God really forgive me?” he asked the chaplain.
“God has already forgiven you,” the chaplain said. “He forgave you the moment you asked Him to.”
A smile spread across Enock’s face. “I want to become a pastor,” he said.
The two sat in silence for several minutes. Then the chaplain smiled and said, “If God wants you to become a pastor, He will make a way.” He reached for a paper and gave it to Enock.
Enock stared at the paper. It was an admissions form for the Adventist college. He looked at the chaplain, questions filling his eyes. The chaplain nodded.
Enock began filling out the form. At the question asking for his three fields of interest Enock hesitated. Then he wrote “theology” in all three blanks. Then he stopped. The Adventist university was nearby, and he didn’t want to be around his own friends.
“There is an Adventist school on New Britain Island, far from the capital, Sonoma Adventist College,” his chaplain said as if he’d read the boy’s thoughts. Enock finished the application, and the chaplain mailed it.
After graduating from high school, Enock visited his family. “I’ve prayed for you all these years,” his mother said. Instead of stiffening in anger as he had for years, he smiled and thanked her. His father and brother noted the changes in him and began attending church. And when Enock met some of his former friends, they were so inspired by his faith that they gave him money to help pay his school fees.
Now when Enock returns home during school breaks, some of his old friends ask him for advice. Enock prays with them and tells them that drugs and alcohol aren’t the answer—that only Jesus can help them.
Enock has found a ministry helping people who are struggling with alcohol, drugs, and spiritual darkness as he once did. He wants others to know that Jesus will forgive them and give them a new start in life, just as He did for him. His prayer for others is similar to his mother’s prayers for him, that they may have new life and new hope through Christ.
Enock thanks God that his mother never gave up praying for him. He thanks God, too, for Adventist teachers and friends who led him to Christ. Our mission offerings support Adventist schools around the world and are one of the most effective mission outreaches we have. Thank you for giving so that others can have a chance to choose Jesus.