The Kingdom of Bhutan is a tiny country between India, Tibet, and China. Even though it is a tiny country, Bhutan has very big mountains! The people who live there (called Bhutanese) are friendly, and many of them are farmers who grow food or take care of animals.
Most people (about 75 percent) who live in Bhutan follow a kind of religion called Tibetan Buddhism. The rest of the people follow a mixture of Buddhism and Hinduism, a religion from India. There are very few Christians there. In Bhutan it is against the law for people to change their religion.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church started working for the Bhutanese people in 1991, but it was hard. Because Christian missionaries aren’t allowed into Bhutan, the Adventist missionaries started telling the people from Bhutan living across the border in India about Jesus. Two years later a few of these Bhutanese people in India had become believers. Then some Bible workers taught these people how to give Bible studies. Some of the new believers went back to Bhutan to tell others what they had learned. A few years later about 120 Bhutanese people had become Seventh-day Adventists.
Dema [DEE-mah] was born in eastern Bhutan. Her parents are Buddhists. Dema completed school through tenth grade in her hometown. Her parents began looking for a school where she could continue her studies, but it wasn’t easy to find a school in Bhutan.
About this time Dema met an Adventist man who told her many stories from the Bible. Through these stories Dema learned about the creation of the world and God’s Sabbath day. She began to understand that there is a living God who loves her—the God who made the earth and all the creatures in it, including her.
Dema’s parents decided to send her to Darjeeling, a city in northern India, to study. But the Adventist man worried that if Dema were to go to Darjeeling, she would forget what she had learned about God and the Bible. She might never have another opportunity to learn about Jesus Christ. The man told Dema about an Adventist boarding school in northern India where she could complete her high school studies. Dema was excited to think that she could attend a Christian school and began praying that her parents would change their mind about sending her to Darjeeling. She told her parents about the Adventist boarding school, and they decided to send her there for her studies. God answered Dema’s prayers, and she was able to study in the Adventist school, where she learned so much more about Jesus than she could ever have learned in Bhutan. Now she can quietly tell other people in Bhutan about what she learned at the Adventist school and teach them about Jesus.