Part 6: Temple Plot Foiled
By Andrew McChesney
Months passed before Junior and Mother found out why Father had changed his mind and went to Junior’s baptism. Evil spirits had forbidden Father from going to the Sabbath afternoon baptism, so he had turned down his son’s invitation to attend. On the day of the baptism, Father felt restless and asked Mother to drive him to the Candomblé temple in Manaus, Brazil. Around 5 p.m., spirits at the temple told Father to dress in his high-priestly robes and go to Alpha Seventh-day Adventist Community Church. They promised to possess people in the church to prevent Junior from being baptized.
Father donned his robes and hailed a taxi. He could hear an invisible legion of evil spirits swirling around him. At the church’s entrance, the spirits suddenly declared that they could not go in.
Father remembered the most important lesson that the spirits had taught him years earlier: Never leave a job undone. If he started a task, he had to finish it. Father boldly entered the church. As he walked into the crowded main hall, a sweet, sanctified energy flowed over him. It was unlike anything he had ever experienced, and it felt good. Later he realized that it must have been the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Father’s anger about the baptism vanished. A deacon, Roberto Fernandez, met him at the back, gave him a hug, and led him to the baptismal pool. Father turned around and looked at the congregation, where he saw people with bowed heads. He thought they were frightened but later understood that they were praying. When he saw Junior in the baptismal pool, he realized that the spirits had lied to him. Junior wasn’t being forced to join the Adventist Church. It was his own decision.
After a song, Pastor Ricardo raised his arm and said, “As a minister of the gospel, I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.” Then he immersed Junior under the water.
After the baptism, Junior took the microphone and looked at Father.
“Daddy, despite your religion, I love you very much,” he said.
He hugged Father and started crying. His words broke Father’s heart.
When the ceremony ended, church members showered Father with hugs. He was shocked. He never expected to be treated with such love. “This is such a nice place, and the people are so nice,” he said as he got into the car.
Back home, Father called everyone he knew to announce proudly that his son had been baptized. He described the experience as incredible.
Mother realized that the Holy Spirit had started to work in his heart. An unbelievable peace filled their home. For four days. Then the evil spirits ordered Father to kill Mother and Junior.
Your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help open eight churches in the South American Division, including four in Brazil, where Father (Eduardo Ferreira dos Santos) and his family live.
Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission. Find more mission stories at adventistmission[dot]org