India | April 19

Law and Testimony

Geetha and Kalaivani

Geetha, 33, worked in Chennai until she lost her job due to Sabbath issues.

My father was a Catholic, and my mother a Hindu, but as a child I went to the charismatic church near our home. I received a New Testament, and as I read the book of Revelation, I wondered what it all meant. 

Then I was invited to a meeting being held by some Adventists. The pastor talked about Revelation. Every Friday I went to these meetings and learned more about this fascinating book. At first my parents didn’t mind, but when I refused to eat meat and took off my jewelry, they objected. 

My family ate meat, and in Indian culture jewelry is a sign of beauty. My father wanted me to marry a Catholic man, and they knew that no Catholic man would want an unadorned vegetarian. 

I was working as a receptionist in a law firm that was open six days a week. I asked to have Sabbaths off, but the manager refused, saying I must choose between work and God. “I’ll follow God,” I told him.

My parents were upset that I quit my job, for they relied on my salary. But I prayed that God would help me find work that I could do without breaking the Sabbath. Six months later I found work as a typist in an Adventist company. I praise God for this. My father considered becoming an Adventist, but he is too concerned about his work to follow the faith I love.  

Before leaving the law firm, I was able to share my faith with one of the lawyers. Here is her story:

Kalaivani, 29, a lawyer working in Chennai

When I was in the tenth grade, a classmate told me about Jesus. After passing the national exams following the tenth grade, I had more faith that God cares even for me, but there was no money for me to continue my studies. I prayed that God would help me continue my studies, and He provided the means. I finished twelfth grade and went on to complete my bachelor’s degree in math. 

My Sunday church encouraged me to continue my studies, so I earned a law degree and joined a law firm as a junior partner. I was able to help my family, and even my senior partners helped my family. 

I had worked in this firm for three years when our receptionist, Geetha, joined the Adventist Church. Geetha began telling me about Adventists. She invited me to visit her church, so I went. In my own church the pastor would find a Bible text and weave stories around it to make a point. But these Adventists were different. The pastor backed up everything with Bible texts. But I was used to the loud and energizing music that really pumped me up at my church. The Adventist service was far simpler with no rousing music to pump up adrenaline. At first that bothered me, but Geetha invited me again. This time as I learned more about what Adventists believe, I was drawn to it. I especially liked the temperance message—no coffee or tea, and favoring a vegetarian lifestyle. I was also introduced to Ellen White’s writings, which made a lot of sense to me. 

It took me a long time studying what the Bible says and what my former church and the Adventist Church taught before I finally asked to be excused from work on Saturdays. My legal firm refused.

I threatened to quit if they wouldn’t give me Saturdays off. My senior partner told me that if I left, I’d have to repay all the favors they gave my family. It would take me 14 years to repay this, but I wanted to follow God’s requirements, so I quit this law firm with the promise to repay them an amount every month. Two days later I found work with another law firm with Sabbaths off, and with a similar salary!

I’m now in the church’s baptismal class and hope to be baptized soon. I thank God for working this out for my good, for making a way for me to follow Him in all truth. 

I still live with my parents, who have fought with me over changing jobs. In Indian culture a single woman lives with her parents until she’s married. Whatever she earns becomes the family’s money. I trust that God will make a way to honor my parents and still be faithful to God.

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