Macedonia | December 21

The Invitation

Rasim

Rasim stood shyly on the fringe of his neighbor’s small yard. It was the first time he had attended the children’s Bible club at Auntie Jadranka’s [yah-DRAHN-kah], and he wasn’t sure what to do.

“Come, sit down with the other children,” Auntie Jadranka said, beckoning him to an empty spot on the ground. Rasim sat down among the other children and relaxed. He listened intently to the story Auntie Jadranka told and tried to follow the other children as they sang songs about Jesus. From that week on, Rasim joined the children for their Bible club. He didn’t know much about Jesus, but he was happy to learn.

Another Invitation

Auntie Jadranka invited Rasim to go to church with her on Sunday, and he agreed. He enjoyed church and went every week until his father told him to stop going. Rasim obeyed, but he missed Sunday school. 

Several months later Rasim began going to a man’s house to read the Bible. It wasn’t as interesting as the children’s Bible club, but he enjoyed the candy the man gave the children. Then his father told him to stop attending the meetings. Rasim obeyed. 

Uncle’s Challenge

Rasim’s uncle came to visit. He learned that Rasim was interested in God gave him some books. “I’ll teach you about God,” he told the boy. “Jesus is not God. And He didn’t die on a cross for you or anyone!” Uncle said. 

Rasim listened respectfully to his uncle. He read the books his uncle gave him. But he doubted what the books said. If this is true, he thought, what about the things I learned from Auntie Jadranka?

The Neighbor

Rasim knew that his neighbor, Bio, was a Christian. Rasim decided to talk to him about God, but he wasn’t sure where to start. “My uncle says that Jesus didn’t die on the cross,” Rasim challenged. To his surprise, Bio didn’t argue. He simply opened his Bible to Matthew and read the story of Jesus’ crucifixion.

“OK, maybe you’re right that Jesus died on the cross,” the boy said, “but Jesus isn’t God.” 

Bio turned to John 13:13 and read: “ ‘You call me “Teacher” and “Lord” and rightly so, for that is what I am’ ” (NIV).

Rasim realized that he was wrong. He began studying the Bible for himself. The more he learned, the more convinced he became that Jesus is God. One day he could no longer listen to his uncle’s teaching. “I’m sorry, Uncle, but the Bible speaks the truth. Jesus is God, and He died for our sins.”

Rasim continued reading the Bible Sabbath and discovered the Ten Commandments and the Sabbath truth. He wanted to follow God. When Bio invited him to attend the Adventist church, Rasim agreed.  

Seeing God Work

One morning Rasim got up early to attend a prayer service at the church. His father saw him and told him he couldn’t go. Rasim returned to the house and prayed. “God, please help my father allow me to go to church.” 

Rasim dressed and walked outside.  “I’m going to church,” he said. 

“Go,” his father waved him away without anger. Rasim hurried away, thanking God for changing his father’s heart. 

Late one night Rasim’s father awoke to find Rasim reading the Bible. “Close that book or I will burn it,” he said. Then he went outside.  

Rasim read the next verse: “Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me” (Psalm 50:15, NIV). Rasim prayed, “Please deliver me as You promised in Your Word. I will honor You.” 

Just then his father returned. Rasim held his breath, but his father said nothing. In minutes he was asleep. Rasim read the Bible for another half hour, praising God for giving him peace to read. 

Life wasn’t easy for Rasim. Often he sensed Satan attacking him, accusing him that he wasn’t good enough to follow God. But then he sensed another voice saying, “Go to God, worship Him and serve Him.” Rasim grew to recognize these voices and chose to follow God.

Accepting God’s Invitation

Rasim took his stand for God and asked to be baptized. He knows his battles are just beginning, but he has found a home and a family in the church. Church members are determined to encourage Rasim and help him grow in Christ. 

Adventists in Macedonia are few, but they are determined to share God’s invitation for salvation with others. Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help them build a training center so that believers can share God’s love more effectively with others. Thank you for giving so others can hear and accept God’s invitation to spend eternity with Him.

Rasim took his stand for God and asked to be baptized. He knows his battles are just beginning, but he has found a home and a family in the church. Church members are determined to encourage Rasim and help him grow in Christ. 

Adventists in Macedonia are few, but they are determined to share God’s invitation for salvation with others. Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help them build a training center so that believers can share God’s love more effectively with others. Thank you for giving so others can hear and accept God’s invitation to spend eternity with Him.

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