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Elisha Athota embracing his wife, Solomi, on the compound of the Adventist Church’s South Andhra Section in Ibrahimpatnam in central India.

The Stubborn Bride

An Indian construction worker thought his wife was Adventist. She wasn't so sure.

By Andrew McChesney, Adventist Mission

Knock, knock.

Knock, knock.

Elisha Athota, a construction worker, opened the front door of his house in Vanukuru in central India. Outside stood a man and a woman Elisha had never seen before.

“We want to ask you something very important,” the man said. “We want you to marry our daughter. Her name is Solomi.”

Elisha was surprised. He wanted to get married, but he never expected to find a wife this way. Elisha spoke with the two strangers for a few minutes. Then he shook his head. “I cannot marry your daughter,” he said.

Elisha explained to the parents that he was a Seventh-day Adventist and only wanted to marry a woman who kept his faith. The parents assured him that their daughter would become an Adventist. Elisha and Solomi liked each other, and after a while the two were married.

“But after the marriage, she broke the promise that her parents had made,” Elisha said in an interview at the headquarters of the Adventist Church’s South Andhra Section, with Solomi seated at his side.

Solomi said she had been unconvinced that Saturday was the biblical Sabbath, so she kept attending her Sunday church.

Her husband sank into discouragement. He didn’t know what to do. Seeing his sadness, Solomi began to pray that God to reveal to her whether Saturday or Sunday was the true Sabbath.

Around that time, an Adventist pastor showed up at her church. The pastor was visiting various churches in the area, passing out religious literature.

The pastor gave Solomi some literature and encouraged her to visit his church the next Sabbath. When she came, he began Bible studies that explained the difference between Saturday and Sunday.

Five months after the wedding, Solomi embraced the Sabbath. Today she and her husband are full-time Bible workers.

Elisha said he now realizes the importance of following the advice of Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:14: “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (NKJV).

“If your potential spouse doesn’t agree to keep the Sabbath, don’t take the risk of getting married,” he said. “Marry someone of your own faith.”

But if a mistake is made or something goes wrong, don’t lose hope, he said.

“I really regretted my marriage decision at first, but now I am very happy,” he said.

Solomi said she also was filled with joy.

“We are most happy about one thing: We are now able to teach the Sabbath truth to many people,” she said.

Part of the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering in third quarter 2017 will help finish building a training and conference center on the compound of the South Andhra Section near Elisha and Solomi Athota’s home in central India. This will be the first major training and conference center in the entire Southern Asia Division. It be available for use by pastors and lay workers such as Elisha and Solomi from around the division. Please remember this project and the Adventist work in central India in your prayers and with your Sabbath School mission offerings.