Part 4: Plotting With Spirits
Months passed before Mother and Junior learned why Father had abandoned them for two months and lived in the Candomblé temple in Manaus, Brazil. It was because Junior wanted to become a Seventh-day Adventist.
After seeing a man baptized at Alpha Seventh-day Adventist Community Church, Junior told Mother that he also wanted to be baptized. Mother told Father, and Father, at the temple, was ordered by evil spirits to stop the plan.
At home, Father tried to convince Junior to reconsider, but the boy stood firm. The evil spirits stepped up their pressure, telling Father that he would be destroyed if he did not stop Junior. Father didn’t understand how Junior’s baptism could destroy him, but he agreed to plan by the spirits to move out of the house. The spirits said Mother would lose both her husband and her job on the same day, and she would stop taking Junior to church. Father didn’t want to leave home, and he worried about the plan all day. But when Mother arrived home late from a church event that night, he angrily decided to leave.
At first, the plan unfolded as predicted. The next day, Father left the house, and Mother lost her job. But the rest of the plan fell through. The spirits had hoped that Mother would run out of money and stop taking Junior to church. But when Mother couldn’t afford to buy gasoline, church members offered rides in their cars. After two months, the spirits declared that they would create a new plan to prevent Junior from being baptized. They told Father to return home.
Meanwhile, Junior had started Bible studies in preparation for baptism. He joined Pathfinders, participated in the church’s music program, and helped operate the church’s sound system. Although the evil spirits had promised to stop Junior from being baptized, the boy’s desire only grew. To Father’s chagrin, Mother also started talking about getting baptized.
Pastor Ricardo set the date for Junior’s baptism on Oct. 29, a year after the boy had first heard about the Adventist Church at his friend Clifferson’s house. Mother longed to be baptized at the same time. When she told Pastor Ricardo, he gazed at her seriously. “You cannot be baptized because you’re not legally married,” he said. The words hit Mother like a punch. Her common-law marriage was blocking her desire to be baptized with Junior. Pastor Ricardo saw her disappointment. “Don’t worry,” he said. “Ask Eduardo to marry you.”
Tears flowed down Mother’s cheeks as she left the church. She doubted that Father would agree. Nevertheless, she sought him out. “I have a question,” she said. “No matter how you answer, our relationship won’t change. Will you marry me?”
Father pursed his lips into a pouty, puppy-dog expression. Then his face grew serious. “No,” he said. “I’ll never marry you.”
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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