Some of the best testimonies I have heard are those that describe how some of us became SDAs. I know people from different backgrounds have had their own unique experiences with regards to the journey.
By the way, I used the word 'room' instead of church coz there aren't any here. Altho, the catholics have their own 'real' church the other christian denominations, like us, are huddled in one compound separated by big rooms. Adventists here, especially, are having a hard time getting a place of our own. One of the reason is we use the word Sabbath and others tend to think we are jews. Coz of this, the Pastor at that time mentioned to us to not say out loud 'Happy Sabbath' when greeting one another. Anyway, i'm out of topic now. Thought i'd just have to clarify the word 'room'.
When I was 19 I got an apt. which happened to be 1 block from the only SDA church in town. Don't think it's about convenience for me. It was divine providence. I didn't actually go to the church for about 2 years. I didn't know they went on Saturday. I didn't know anyone did that. I thought Sunday was the Sabbath.
I thought it was a weird name. And there was no one there on Sunday. I thought it had been abandoned. For those 2 years, that's what it was like. I just ignored it.
So I was seeking, doing Yoga and stuff. I found a Bible and read it, for the first time. I went around to the churches seeking fellowship, but found they where not sincere, and didn't practice what the Bible taught, and the pastors where asleep and shamefully self indulgent. They where not burdened.
Later I saw some people at the SDA church on Sunday, so I tried it, in spite of the weird name. They where actually Pentecostals that had started renting the church on Sunday.
Then a strange thing happened. I was on my bike and I noticed the sun, and said to the sun, "Thank you Lord for everything I have." That was weird. Then I wrecked and hurt my wrist. I had been watching Benny Hinn, so I hoped the SDA people would lay hands on me and heal me. I didn't have medical insurance. I didn't know if it was fractured, but I had faith to be healed.
It was a Wednesday, and at the church, I found a completely different congregation. These where the SDAs. They laid hands on me and prayed.
Someone invited me for a Bible study, so I went to his house for that. He had Amazing Facts guides. Those where neat. I asked if a ghost could be saved, and learned some incredible things that gave me stuff to think about for months. I was in awe.
Then I discovered Ellen White. That was really a powerful experience. I had some devils that tormented me.
The prophecy seminars, I watched over and over, just in wild wonder. I knew that I had found God's Remnant Church.
What was it about the SDA church that was so different might I ask? I mean you could have settled into any one of the following denominations you first came across if you so desired, but you ended up knowing that the SDA denomination was that one where you aught to be.
I was born into the pentecostal church in the u.s, more specifically the Indian pentecostal church. Which, like a former testimony, was very morally and biblically based, with as much light as they had. And from a very young age, I had a very close and intimate relationship with God. The oldest thing I could remember that started my close relationship with God was, I used to write letters to God. And childishly, I would leave it in the closet with milk and cookies, getting up the next morning thinking he would eat it. My relationship with God was the most closest relationship I had with anyone, even at a young age. I loved to spend time and talk with him, as a friend. In the end of middle school and through out high school, I suffered from severe depression. I would not go to lunch in the cafeteria, would skip classes, and would usually just hide myself from people always. I was doing poorly in school because of it too. The devil was really trying to destroy my life with this because I really felt I was in bondage to depression. And I know for a fact, that if I did not have God holding me through it, I would have taken my life. And only until I became an Adventist did I truly get delivered from depression. Also, because I was pentecostal, there was a false teaching about tongues, which I thought I had. And seeing everyone around me doing the same thing, I taught I was doing the right thing, and I would spend a lot of time, even by myself speaking this "language", thinking I was speaking to God. I remember before I was supposed to take the SAT, I would just spend hours speaking this false tongues, not even praying. And I didn't get a great score on it either. But, when I became an Adventist I also stopped speaking this false tongues because how can you communicate to God, if you don't even know what your saying. And another thing I realize now is that I would take so much time speaking this false tongues that I wouldn't even pray or read the bible. But yea, during senior year, I needed to apply to colleges, and because of family pressure, I had to go to pharmacy school. Because it was the thing all Indian girls had to do. With my grades I did not think I would get in and I prayed about it, miracoulsly I did get accepted to one school. But my family didn't think the school would be good because my cousin could not get in the program there. But during this time first I prayed to get into pharmacy school but did not want to do nursing because thats what my mother and all my aunts were. I was supposed to do something better because I was born in America. (that was the mentality) And if I had to do nursing, I just COULD NOT go to community school. Those where my standards. But my only other choice was nursing. And I thought I'd hate it, but I started to like it because it was a good helping field and good to minister to souls about Christ. So I went to nursing for a semester, started dorming, and very carelessly, mainly cause I was still going through depression, I got kicked out of the program. And when that happened I really felt like I had failed in life and like all these expectations and standards I had for myself. Really shattered. This outer picture I wanted people to see me as, was no more. And like I started to feel like the worst feeling ever, because in Indian families and especially in my family, education was the thing that defined a person. So I really felt like I lost it all but strangely after a few hours of crying, my focus and thought just became to be solely on heaven because I felt that was the only thing I had. I felt like I had lost everything, and now the only thing I wanted to focus on was eternity and how to get to heaven. Also because before with school I didn't have time to really spend with God. But now I just wanted to give all my energy and time for God. I also started going to a community college the next semester, the one place I just could not go to. Also during high school, I really started having a lot of questions about biblical topics, like about "rapture". I remember asking a pastor, about where it says we will be going through a secret rapture but he couldn't find one. And I had a lot of other questions about the end times. I remember, during senior year, a friend, who was also an Indian pentecostal, was telling me how a girl in her church said that we would go through tribulation and that bible showed of verses that proved that Christians would not go through a pre-tribulation scenario. So, at first I thought that she must have been crazy. But I wanted to know for sure, if what see was saying was true or false?
And during this time I had time to redirect my focus on heaven, I really really prayed and cried to God to understand the truth about the end times. I wanted to know, for sure, what the bible said. Because when I read revelation, I had absolutely no clue what it meant. And I never learned about the end time. So, as I was reading the bible, I started to see like in 2 Thessalonian s 2:3, and how Jesus was coming with trumpet & sound, how every eye shall see him and many other verses. And I just knew that rapture wasn't true but then I wanted to know more about it. So I just started praying to God to know the truth and that I didn't want to be deceived. Because I read that in the last day there will be many deception and that if it where possible the elite would be deceived. And I was like, wow the deception, most be great. So I just continued to pray that I didn't want to be deceived. So around that time, my family had started getting cable with Christian channels and one day I was flipping through them, and I found a channel that was talking about revelation and about the same things that I was learning about, it was 3 abn. Obviously, God was answering my prayer. And I just continued to watch the channel which was talking from the bible, like I've never heard of before. It was so accurate, so in depth and the knowledge of the Bible was so beyond anything that I've ever heard. I was so interested to knowing more about the bible, I just continued to watch it and my knowledge of the bible really expanded. And God had more than answered my prayers. I later started to listen to the other truths like the sabbath, hell, tongues, and although I was skeptical at first, I prayed about it and studied the bible about it, and found that it was true. God would also confirm it through my surrounds which made it more the accurate. So after a few months, I started to find that the seventh day adventist church was truly the true church and the remnant. And after becoming an adventist, God had helped me overcome depression, made me really firm in my faith and has given me a strong rock. I really changed for the better in my character and just feel really satisfied, complete and know for certain that what I believe is the truth.
yes .....actually because after I decided that the Adventist church was true, I felt I needed to attend an Adventist church. And sense I live with my family and am a dependent to my parents. It was really hard to go. But one sabbath, I just needed to go to a church. So I looked up the nearest Seventh Day Adventist church near me. And I went one sabbath, but when I came back I received hell. My parents had always seem me watch 3abn and they would always watch daystar, and I would talk to them about these truth but they wouldn't care much. But when I decided to go to a church for the first time, and they found out. I got in a lot of trouble. Like my mom was hitting me like crazy and my entire extended family found out and a lot of pastors came to our house to try to convince me that I wasn't believing the truth. My aunts would debate with me that I wasn't believing the truth. Because I come from a strict like Indian pentecostal family. But I would not budge to what they said, because it made absolutely no sense. And whenever I would talk to them about why I believed these truths they would cut me off and not let me talk. So it was difficult. That week I went to the church it was really intense, but afterward it started to die off. But yea, its still like uneasy with my aunts and uncles and my pastors about the subject but there's no more debating. Its really is hard for me to go to the church, I think I've went one other time to church on the sabbath and I went to a concert one night, as well. But I keep the sabbath at my house and well hopefully later attend the church. But yea, through that struggle I felt God like strengthen me and make me soo bold. Like after that sabbath, on sunday in the pentecostal church, I went up and said a message and spoke to the youth about the bible truths. And my burden is for my family and my church because I want them to come to the truth. I really pray that they would come to theses truths.
No one knows the trouble you are going through. Only Jesus does. let me encourage you to keep the faith. All of us here on AO will be praying for you. Remember that those who have gone before us have brightened the way. Let me also encourage you to continue to pray for your family and pentecostal brethren. They are only reacting that way because they feel you have made a mistake, so what you need to do now is to shine for Jesus, and let them see what the difference has made in your life.
When I say shine for Jesus I am not only limiting that to just religious matters. Be faithful in your household chores and responsibilities, and let them see the change in attitude.
The SDA church has a lot to offer the youth. Soon they will see as others have come to see, that when young people take their God seriously, there isn't anything they cannot accomplish.