Bildash Sangma, 78, from a village near Guwhati, northeast India
I hated Adventists. I was a member of another Protestant denomination, and I felt that there was no better religion than my own. But in spite of my hatred of Adventists, I decided to send my two daughters to an Adventist boarding school. Although I didn’t like their religion, I knew that young people who studied in Adventist schools were disciplined and better prepared to face the future. However, I never considered that my daughters would actually become Adventists. But after being at the boarding school for three years, they both decided to be baptized as Seventh-day Adventists.
When they came home for a break, I learned what they had done. I was so angry I didn’t know what to do. I scolded them, but they didn’t budge. However, I was sure that I’d be able to talk them out of their nonsense before they went back to school. I laid a plan to bring them back to the faith of their parents. I didn’t threaten to take them out of the school. In fact, after graduating from academy, my eldest daughter, Mercy, studied at Spicer College under a special scholarship.
Later, a literature evangelist missionary was sent to the area of India where I live. Amazingly, the missionary came and asked to live in my house while he worked in the area! I definitely did not want an Adventist missionary living in my home, but because I respect my daughter (who was now married) and son-in-law, I agreed to let the man stay in my home.
As the days passed, I went with the missionary while he sold books. I found this man diligent and faithful in his work, and I enjoyed leading him around and finding where he wanted to go. So I went with him to 12 villages. As I listened to him talk to people and sell books, I began to understand a bit more about Adventist beliefs. I didn’t tell him, but I kept the new information in my heart.
One day this literature evangelist meekly asked if he could host some Bible studies in my home. I agreed. My family was invited, of course, as well as some friends who regularly come to my home. I decided to listen in on the Bible studies and learned some interesting things. I’d been a member of my church for 57 years and hadn’t known anything about what Adventists believed. I only knew that they have a good educational system.
The mission worker finished his Bible studies, and then two more mission workers came to hold studies with people. They met in a hall in town. But some people in the village didn’t want them to hold meetings, and some threatened to make them sorry if they insisted on having their meetings in our area.
Then another pastor came and asked for anyone who was willing to give their life to Christ to stand for what they had learned in the Bible studies. I stood up. I had been a Christian, but now I realized that Adventists accept the full truth of God’s Word.
My wife was delighted with my decision and willing to join me in my decision. We were baptized with six others. Some of my former church members mocked us at the baptism, but God has silenced them.
We’re getting old now, but our faith in God is strong. I’m delighted that God was patient enough with me to let me see the light, even though I had fought against His truths for years.
I am now leading a small group of 35 people, and although we are not large, our group leads the entire area in tithe giving. We didn’t have a place to build a church, so we met in my home. Then I gave a piece of land to build a small church.
A portion of your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will go to build much needed churches in India, in addition to dormitories at Adventist schools. Please plan now to give a liberal Thirteenth Sabbath Offering on June 28.