Sabbath or Scholarship?
It was an offer that the Seventh-day Adventist girl could not refuse: a full scholarship to study at a private non-Christian school.
Malevelev, who grew up in an Adventist home, had been taught since she was young to remember God in all her decisions. The girl had planned to enter middle school at Taiwan Adventist Academy when she finished sixth grade, but then recruiters from the private school showed up in her village in the southern Kaohsiung region of Taiwan. They encouraged Malevelev and her parents, who belonged to the Rukai indigenous people group, to accept the full scholarship.
Tuition was high at Taiwan Adventist Academy, and it would be difficult for the parents to afford. They asked the girl to go to the private school.
During summer vacation, Malevelev visited the school and saw that she would be required to attend classes on Sabbath. She would not be able to go to church to worship God. A conflict erupted within her: Should she accept the full scholarship or keep the Sabbath? As she struggled with the decision, she remembered God. She knew that she should choose the Sabbath.
At the end of the summer, Malevelev’s parents insisted that she go to the private school. The girl felt dreadfully discouraged, and she prayed fervently.
“God, help me,” she prayed. “Show me what to do.”
Taking courage, she spoke kindly but firmly to her parents.
“I want to go to Taiwan Adventist Academy,” she said. “I will not go to classes on Sabbath because I want to go to church.”
She explained her desire to remain faithful to God by keeping all ten commandments, including the fourth, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8; NKJV).
“I don’t want to betray the truth taught by my grandfather,” she said.
Seeing the girl’s determination, her parents allowed her to study at Taiwan Adventist Academy.
Today, Malevelev has studied for five years at the school and is in the 11th grade.
“I’m very happy here,” she said. “I have wonderful teachers and classmates, and we are like a big family. More important, I have made many Christian friends. We have morning and evening worship together, we pray together, and we study together. I cherish every moment at the school. Although I don’t know what will happen in the future, I know that God will lead me and fulfill His wonderful plan for me.”
She is glad that she was taught from childhood to remember God always. Repeating Ecclesiastes 12:1, she said, “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, ‘I have no pleasure in them.’”
“When you need to make an important decision, believe in God and choose according to His will and pleasure,” she said. “I encourage myself with this verse all the time. Now I am sharing my secret with you, and may God bless you.”
Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission. Find more mission stories at adventistmission[dot]org