Part 3: Abandoned by Father
By Andrew McChesney
Father always seemed to be angry after Mother told him that she was going to the Adventist church. Every little thing irritated him. One night, he exploded with rage when Mother arrived home late from a church event.
The next morning, Mother arrived at the dental clinic, where she worked as a secretary, in Manaus, Brazil, and learned that she no longer had a job. The clinic had closed. All the way home, she wondered how to tell Father. But he wasn’t at home, and he didn’t answer phone calls. Then Mother noticed that his clothes were missing from the closet. He had left home.
Mother didn’t say a word to their son, Junior. The boy, busy at school and the gamers club, only noticed that Father was gone three days later when he received a WhatsApp video message on his cell phone. Father said Adventism and his faith, Candomblé, could not coexist in the same house.
Mother also received a WhatsApp message. Father said he had moved to the Candomblé temple, where he worshiped evil spirits as a high priest.
“I’m never going to give up my religion,” he said. “You have to accept it.”
Mother had never heard about the great controversy between Christ and Satan. But she was worried, and she met with Ricardo Coelho, pastor of Alpha Seventh-day Adventist Community Church. Weeping, she confided that Father worked as a Candomblé high priest and had deserted the family.
Pastor Ricardo comforted Mother and, opening his Bible, said kindly, “Let me share some advice with you.” In 1 Corinthians 7:3, he read, “Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband” (NKJV). In Proverbs 14:1, he read, “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands.” Looking at Mother, he said, “Be a good wife to your husband, Eduardo, and pray for him.”
The Bible verses encouraged Mother, and she decided to pray even more.
Weeks passed, and Mother ran out of money. She found strength in the Bible and prayed the promise of Joshua 1:9, which says, “Be strong and of good courage … for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
When Grandmother, Father’s mother, learned that the family was low on food, she called Father, and he began to deliver groceries.
One day, Grandmother told Mother that spirits had summoned her and Junior to the temple. When the pair arrived, Father was possessed by an evil spirit who spoke through him in a low, distorted voice. The spirit said Father could go back home but threatened to kill him if Mother or Junior tried to teach him about their religion or invited him to church.
Father returned home that day. He had been gone for two months. Mother prayed even more.
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
The post Inside Story: South American Division ~ Part 3: Abandoned by Father appeared first on Sabbath School Net.