Part 2: Bullied at School
By Andrew McChesney
Mother was worried about Junior. The usually cheerful 15-year-old boy had become uptight and hostile in their home in Manaus, Brazil. Against her wishes, he had signed up to learn Capoeira, an African-Brazilian martial art.
“Eduardo, I don’t like Junior learning martial arts,” she told her husband.
“It’s no problem for me to take him,” he replied. “The classes are just up the street from the Candomblé temple where I work.”
“That also bothers me,” Mother said. “I didn’t know whether Capoeira and Candomblé are somehow related, but I didn’t want my son doing either.”
Father scowled. “Junior told me that some boys are bullying him at school,” he said. “That’s why he decided to take martial arts.”
The next day, as Mother waited at school to take Junior home, she poured out her heart to Dilma Araujos dos Santos, the mother of one of Junior’s classmates, Clifferson. “My son doesn’t have any good friends,” she said.
A few days later, Clifferson invited Junior to a video gamers club at his house. Mother, pleased that Junior had found a friend, allowed him to go.
At Clifferson’s house, Junior found several boys playing a sports video game. After a few minutes, Clifferson turned off the game and invited the boys to sing about Jesus. Then the boys opened Bibles and talked about what Jesus meant to them. “Are you Christians?” Junior asked. “Yes,” Clifferson said. “At our club, we play sports games and talk about Jesus.”
Junior liked his new friends, he didn’t miss any meetings after that.
One day, Clifferson’s mother invited Junior to go to church with the family. Junior was happy to spend more time with Clifferson, and he stopped going to martial arts classes. He didn’t tell Mother that he was visiting Alpha Seventh-day Adventist Community Church. He only said he was going out.
Mother soon noticed that Junior was eager to leave the house on Saturday, and she asked what he was doing. Junior showed her the YouTube channel where the church live-streamed its Sabbath services. Mother began to watch.
One Sabbath, Junior told Mother that a man had given his heart to Jesus and been baptized at the church. “I want to be baptized,” he said.
A few Sabbaths later, Mother accompanied Junior to church. She listened as the Sabbath School teacher spoke from the Adult Bible Study Guide. Someone gave her a Bible, and she looked up the verses that the teacher was reading from Revelation. A chill ran down her spine when she read, “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8; NKJV).
“That’s the destiny of my husband,” Mother thought. “He will perish in the lake of fire.” From that day, she began praying for Father.
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
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