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Luis Antonio Mendoza Condori, 11, standing in his Pathfinder uniform on a street in Cusco, Peru. (Andrew McChesney / Adventist Mission)

Boy Skips Sabbath Classes in Peru

Father, Mother, and Teacher hadn’t given permission, but Luis decided to honor God anyway.

By Andrew McChesney,

Luis Antonio Mendoza Condori got a surprise vacation in the fifth grade when all public schools closed across Peru.

Teachers refused to work for two months because they wanted higher wages.

When Luis’ school finally reopened, the teacher told the children that they had to work extra hard to make up for the two months of vacation. She added an extra day of classes every week on Saturday.

Luis didn’t want to study on Saturday. He had given his heart to Jesus and been baptized earlier that year after attending a Vacation Bible School in his hometown, Cusco.

On Friday, Teacher reminded the children that they would meet again the next day, and she announced that there would be an important exam.

Luis nervously approached Teacher after the last class on Friday.

“I am a Seventh-day Adventist,” he said. “Please allow me to take the exam on another day because I go to church on Saturdays.”

Teacher thought for a moment.

“Let me see,” she said. “Let me review your grades.”

She hadn’t given a “yes” or “no” answer. But Luis always received good grades, so he hoped that Teacher would excuse him from class on Saturdays. He went home and told his parents, who didn’t go to church, about the situation.

“It depends on the teacher,” Mother said. “If Teacher gives permission, then you can skip school on Saturdays. But if she doesn’t give permission, then you must go to school.”

Before going to bed, Luis prayed.

“Help me and make Teacher give me permission,” he prayed. “Sabbath is a holy day set aside by You, and I have to worship on this day.”

Teacher hadn’t given permission. Father and Mother hadn’t given permission. But Luis decided to go to church on Sabbath morning.

At church, Luis didn’t tell the pastor or anyone else about his problem. He felt embarrassed. But he kept praying for God to convince Teacher to allow him to skip Saturday classes.

Luis felt nervous when he arrived at school at 7 a.m. Monday. He didn’t want to speak with Teacher.

Teacher didn’t say anything to him all day. When the children were leaving at the end of the day, Teacher called him to the front of the classroom. He nervously came forward.

Teacher smiled.

“It’s OK,” she said. “Your grades are good. I’ll let you make up for Saturday schoolwork on other days of the week.”

Luis was thrilled! God had answered his prayers. With a happy grin on his face, he ran home as fast as he could to tell his parents.

“OK, you can go to church then,” Mother said.

When Luis went to bed that night, he prayed, “Thank You for helping me get permission to go to church on Sabbaths.” When he opened his eyes in the morning, the thanked God again.

After such a wonderful answer to prayer, Luis is now praying for something else that seems impossible: for his parents to get married and to be baptized.

“If God could answer my prayer about not going to school on Sabbath, then I am sure that he will answer my prayer about my parents,” he said.

Luis Antonio Mendoza Condori talks about his faith. In English and Spanish. (Andrew McChesney / Adventist Mission)

Part of the second quarter 2019 Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help open a special place in Luis’ hometown where children and teenagers can go to Vacation Bible School every day. The special community center will offer English lessons, music classes, and other activities that will teach the children about Jesus. Thank you for your mission offerings.

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