Inside Story: A Changed Heart

Fourteen-year-old Veresa [veh-REH-sah] listened as the doctor spoke to his parents.

“Veresa has a hole in his heart. But surgery can repair his heart and help him live a normal life.” Veresa tried not to worry about the surgery; he just wanted to be well.

Veresa’s surgery was a success. His parents couldn’t stay with him while he recovered in the hospital, so his nurse stopped by often to chat. Veresa looked forward to her visits and enjoyed hearing him talk about Jesus and read him promises from the Bible.

Veresa had grown up attending church every Sunday. But he had never heard some of the things that his nurse talked about. One thing in particular stood out in his mind: the seventh day is the Sabbath day.

When Veresa returned home, he went to the nearby Adventist church. He wasn’t sure what his parents would think of his going to this church, so he didn’t tell them. Veresa met the pastor and peppered him with questions about the Sabbath and other things his faithful nurse had taught him.

One day Veresa told his parents that he had been attending the Adventist church. They were stunned when he told them that he wanted to become a Seventh-day Adventist. “Why would you leave our church?” they asked. He tried to explain that he wasn’t leaving their church; he was following God’s way.

“If you insist on attending this church,” his father said, “then leave our home.” Sadly Veresa packed his few clothes and his school books and walked to the Adventist church. He told the pastor that his parents had sent him away. “You can live with us,” the pastor said.

Veresa stayed with the pastor for several months, during which time he joined the church through baptism. Every Sabbath he walked by his family’s home on the way to and from church. He prayed for his parents, who refused to discuss his faith.

One day Veresa’s parents asked the pastor to send their son home. Gladly Veresa returned home, and his parents welcomed him back. They didn’t try to change his mind about his beliefs. Veresa shared his faith with them, and his parents began keeping the Sabbath. But they have not made a decision to become Adventists.

“I hope that one day soon we can worship together again, this time in the Adventist faith,” Veresa says.

Pray for Veresa and his family. And remember that your mission offerings help give people around the world an opportunity to hear God’s truths and accept His love in their lives.

Veresa shares his faith in Fiji, an island nation in the South Pacific.

Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission.
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