Senegal | January 18

Air-conditioned Evangelist

Francis

Francis was not impressed with the church his sister had joined. For one thing, she changed the way she dressed, and there were certain foods she no longer wanted to eat. But worst of all, she wouldn’t work on Saturdays. What kind of people won’t work on Saturdays, he wondered. They are lazy people! Jobs are hard enough to find. How do they expect to make a living if they won’t work on Saturdays? 

Privately Francis mocked his sister for becoming a Seventh-day Adventist, but he decided to be patient. Once she was thinking straight again, he was sure she would come back to the religion they were raised in. 

Not Impressed

After she had spent the day at church, she would come home in a joyful, cheerful mood. She would tell him about the stories she had heard. She shared what the pastor spoke about. Sometimes she sang a song she had learned. He listened politely—she was his sister, after all—but he still wasn’t impressed. Nevertheless, it was nice to see her so happy.

One day he asked her to explain why she worshipped on Saturday. She opened her Bible and showed him several passages. It makes sense, he thought, but I will never become an Adventist myself. 

He was surprised to find himself at a prayer meeting on a Wednesday night at her church. His sister had invited him, and the next thing he knew, he was there. The message he heard touched his heart. Before he realized it, he was attending meetings at the church regularly, drinking in the Bible truths he was learning. He made a decision to follow Christ for the rest of his life. As Francis rose from the baptismal waters, he laughed because he had indeed become an Adventist, something he had vowed he would never do.  

You’re Fired!

Francis had been studying to become an air-conditioner installer, but now he didn’t believe that he could continue his training on Saturdays. After many fitful nights, praying about what he should do, Francis decided to talk to his boss. The employer exploded in anger. “I’m the boss, and I work on Saturdays. You are just an apprentice! You think you can slack off? You can do whatever you want after the course is completed, but I’ll fire you if you don’t show up for the training.” His parents tried to intervene on his behalf, but it didn’t help. He was fired anyway. 

It was a discouraging time for Francis. No job, no money, and still living with his parents. People started telling him how foolish he was. Why would you give up a good job that will give you food tomorrow? Now you have nothing, they would say. Francis told them that God must come first in his life now. He began to do door-to-door evangelism as he considered his future. 

Francis continued to pray that God would help him find another opportunity so that he could continue his training. Through a series of referrals and connections, he found a place that didn’t require Saturday work. He possessed an innate ability to understand how machines worked and how to repair them. Those who knew him were not surprised that he graduated at the top of his class. 

Success at last

Francis was thrilled when the members who had been praying for him held a special celebration for him at the church. He was grateful for their support, and they were proud of his achievement, and inspired by his faithfulness. 

In just a few short years he earned a solid reputation for doing honest, high- quality work. Francis excelled in his business and soon had a steady income.

Francis still enjoys his air-conditioning career, but he especially loves evangelism. He has used his own money to sponsor evangelistic meetings, and he discovered a talent for leading out. Seven people were baptized recently as a result of this outreach. Today he is married and has three children. His personal motto is “Ask God; He always answers.”

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