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Rohi Goiye, left, embracing his best friend, Dwight Ope, outside Kama Seventh-day Adventist Church in Goroka, Papua New Guinea. (Andrew McChesney / Adventist Mission)

Getting a Best Friend Out of Bed on Sabbath

Thirteen-year-old Dwight felt bad because his friend was missing Sabbath School and Pathfinders.

By Andrew McChesney

Thirteen-year-old Dwight Ope and 15-year-old Rohi Goiye are best friends in Goroka, Papua New Guinea.

They walk home from school together. They play together. They dislike saying goodbye to each other.

But Dwight was sad. Rohi was missing out on Pathfinders and interesting Sabbath School lessons every Saturday at Kama Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Dwight decided to pray for Rohi to go with him to church on Sabbath.

“Dear God, please help Rohi to come,” he prayed before bedtime. “Help us to stay good friends. Help us to all go to heaven together.”

At school the next day, Dwight spoke with his friend between classes.

“Come for the Sabbath program, and then we will go to my house for a large lunch,” he said.

He was happy when Rohi replied, “OK, I’ll come.”

But Rohi was thinking, “No, I’m not going to go.” He was shy about going to a church where didn’t have many friends.

On Sabbath, Dwight looked for Rohi at church and didn’t see him.

On Monday, he invited Rohi to go the next Sabbath.

“Come for the Sabbath program, and then we will go for a large lunch together,” he said.

He was happy when Rohi replied, “OK, I’ll come.”

Rohi felt bad for not keeping his promise, and he didn’t want to disappoint his friend again. He thought, “I’ll probably go if I can wake up early.”

Dwight prayed for Rohi every night that week.

“Dear God, please help Rohi to come,” he prayed. “Help us to stay good friends. Help us to all go to heaven together.”

On Sabbath morning, Rohi woke up at 8 a.m. Sabbath School began at 8:30 a.m., so he had only 30 minutes to get ready and run to church.

Rohi sprang out of bed, dressed, and rushed to church. But when he arrived, he was too scared to go inside. He stood outside the building, wondering what to do. A school classmate saw and led him to the Sabbath School class.

Dwight was thrilled to see his best friend in the class and jumped up and down with joy! God had answered his prayers.

Rohi liked the Sabbath School class. The teacher and the teenagers talked about social media and how much time people spent online.

“The time spent on Facebook and Instagram could be better spent reading the Bible,” the teacher said.

Rohi realized that the teacher was right. He thought, “Social media takes up most of my time, and I could be doing better things.”

After Sabbath School, Dwight invited Rohi to sit with him and his family for the sermon.

Rohi found the worship service a little confusing. His own church didn’t have a children’s story before the sermon or a Pathfinders club afterward. But he liked them both. He also enjoyed lunch at Dwight’s house.

The next Friday night, Rohi set his alarm clock for 6 a.m. Normally, he didn’t set the alarm for Saturday morning, but he didn’t want to be late for Sabbath School.

When the alarm went off, he promptly jumped out of bed.

His mother was surprised and asked, “Where are you going?”

“I’m going to church,” he said.

Rohi was waiting outside the church building when Dwight arrived for Sabbath School. Dwight was so happy to see his friend!

A year has passed. Now Rohi sets the alarm for 6 a.m. every Sabbath. He also is a Pathfinder and takes parts in other church activities. He likes his new life.

“I didn’t used to be busy on weekends and I stayed at home,” he said. “But now I come to church and am very busy. It’s fun!”

Dwight still prays for Rohi every night. He hopes that his friend will be baptized.

God answered his first prayer and brought Rohi to church, and he is sure that God will answer this prayer, too.

Rohi Goiye and his friend Dwight Ope describe their experience with the Sabbath. (Andrew McChesney / Adventist Mission)

Part of a 2016 Thirteenth Sabbath Offering helped construct children’s Sabbath School classrooms in Rohi’s province in Papua New Guinea so other children, like him, can learn about Jesus. Thank you for your Sabbath School mission offering.