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Rosen Nakov, 48, says, “Many Adventists worked in the factory, but none worked in the garage. Apparently, God needed me there.” (Andrew McChesney / Adventist Mission)

Trains, Trucks, and Sabbath

Bulgarian teen keeps the Sabbath, and God rewards him with one of the best jobs at the factory.

By Andrew McChesney

A 10-year-old boy listened in amazement to his first sermon in a Seventh-day Adventist church.

The preacher told the story of a postman who picked up a letter addressed to Santa Claus. The letter was written by a small boy who wanted a toy train. The postman didn’t have a child of his own and decided to buy a toy train and give it to the small boy.

The small boy was delighted with the present!

As Rosen Nakov listened to the story, he also was delighted. He also was a small boy, and he always had wanted a toy train to play with in his home in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The story touched his heart, and he returned to the church the next Sabbath, and then the next. Soon he made friends in the church and formed a friendship with Jesus.

After graduating from high school, Rosen faced compulsory service in the then-communist country’s military. But he had two options: He could enlist as a soldier for two years, or he could work in a factory for five years. He chose the factory to avoid any problems with observing the Sabbath.

At least 10 Adventists worked in various departments of a mammoth truck factory in Sofia, and Rosen decided to work there for his alternative service. Visiting the factory, Rosen met an Adventist worker who invited him to join him in fitting engines into trucks.

Rosen went to the factory’s administrative office to apply for the position. A manager looked at Rosen’s documents and saw that he had experience as a car mechanic.

“Why are you applying for that job of fitting engines?” he said. “You should work in the garage, repairing truck engines.”

Rosen immediately asked, “Does the job come with Sabbaths off?”

“Yes,” the manager replied. “The job is from Monday to Friday.”

He sent Rosen to the human resources to finish the paperwork. When Rosen presented his documents in the HR department, a manager said, “Why are you applying for that job of repairing truck engines? You should work in the garage’s small engines shop.”

On Rosen’s first day at work, he saw that six other people worked in the small engines shop. During their first lunch break in the factory cafeteria, one of his coworkers asked, “Tell us, who do you know in top management?”

“What do you mean?” Rosen asked.

“You must have a high-level connection in the factory’s top management,” said another coworker.

Rosen learned that the small engines shop was one of the most desired places to work at the factory. Many of the factory’s thousands of employees engaged in difficult, dirty labor, including those working with big, dirty truck engines. But work on car motors at the small engines shop was relatively light and clean. All of Rosen’s coworkers had received their jobs because they knew someone in top management.

Sitting in the cafeteria, Rosen realized that by honoring God with the Sabbath, God was honoring him with a coveted job.

Across the cafeteria table, a coworker pressed Rosen for an answer.

“Who’s your connection?” he said.

Rosen pointed heavenward.

“My connection is from above,” he said.

From that day, Rosen’s coworkers in the garage knew that he was a Seventh-day Adventist. Many sought his assistance as word spread that he was an expert in repairing car engines. He was the only Adventist in the garage.

“Many Adventists worked in the factory, but none worked in the garage,” he said. “Apparently, God needed me there.”

Rosen, now 48, doesn’t know whether any coworkers accepted Jesus through his influence, but he is certain that God had a plan.

“Just like God used the train story to touch my heart as a boy, perhaps He wanted me to be in the garage so I could touch someone’s heart,” he said. “The good Lord knows how to touch every person’s heart.”

Rosen Nakov says God rewarded his faithfulness to the Sabbath. In English and Bulgarian. (Andrew McChesney / Adventist Mission)

Part of the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering in first quarter 2020 will help construct a church building for Sofia West Seventh-day Adventist Church in Rosen’s hometown, Sofia, Bulgaria. Thank you for planning a generous offering.