Laura and Paulo live in town on the island of Madeira in the Mediterranean Sea. Paolo had once been an Adventist, but he had stopped attending church before he married. However he often read from Acts of the Apostles, a book he treasured.
The family began attending the only church on the island. They made the four-hour trip by bus, often arriving late if there was any delay..They stayed for afternoon meetings, arriving home late at night. Nine months later they were baptized. Not everyone in the community was happy that Laura had left her church to become an Adventist. Sometimes the family returned home from church to find windows broken. Other people stopped doing business with Paulo, a tailor. When his business dropped off, Paulo found other ways to make a little money to support his family.
The family couldn’t afford to take the bus to the distant church every week, so they went only once a month. On the Sabbaths when they stayed home, they sang songs and read the Sabbath School lessons to their children. They invited friends to join them, but no one was interested.
The couple’s children have faced a lot of prejudice in school for refusing to eat unclean food and for keeping the Sabbath. But they’ve remained faithful.
Their son Fernando shared his faith with a girl he liked, and she became an Adventist. Her father told her to leave home and refused to speak to her for seven years or attend her wedding. But she visited him when he became sick, and at last the two were reconciled. Now her father thinks Fernando is the best son-in-law in the world.
Now that the roads on the island of Madeira have been improved, a group of Adventists from the church in the capital city drives to Ponto Muniz to worship with Paulo and Laura. The family continues to invite their neighbors to join them, but the family remains the only Adventists in the town.
“We will continue to share our faith with anyone who will listen,” Laura says. “And we invite our friends to join us for worship. We just want to break down prejudice and invite people to meet Jesus.”
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Laura and Paulo Corriera and their family share their faith in Porto Muniz, Madeira.