I was arrested and jailed for a murder I did not commit. I had been a lay pastor of a little church before I was imprisoned, and I was angry at this injustice. Then a group of Adventists visited the prison, and I heard their message of hope. But I found it difficult to accept the Sabbath. In the same prison was an Adventist man who also had been wrongfully accused of a crime. He encouraged me to follow God’s commandments.
I challenged the Adventists to bring me another Bible in another version that clearly stated that the Sabbath is Saturday. Only then would I believe. They brought me a Catholic Bible, which names Saturday as the Sabbath. I thought a long time about the law and the Commandments. If it’s true that the law was done away with, then why am I in prison for a crime I didn’t commit? If the law is done away with, then all the law should have been done away with. It struck me like lightning! The law wasn’t done away with at all, and therefore the Sabbath was still binding.
Convinced of this truth, I shared this message with other prisoners and began studying the Bible with others who wanted to know the truth. Some of these prisoners asked to be baptized even before I was. But I hesitated. I wanted to wait until I was freed to be baptized so I could profess my faith as a free man.
As I waited for my freedom, I had a troubling thought: What will happen to me if I put off following God and I die? I decided to follow God’s calling and be baptized while I was still in prison.
I remained in prison long after I was supposed to be freed. But God used me to lead others to Christ inside the prison.
At last I was freed. I became a lay worker under an Adventist pastor. I gave Bible studies, and in five years I led more than 150 people to Christ. One congregation with 30 members worships under a mango tree, for they have no other place to meet.
I harbor no ill feelings for those who wrongfully accused me of murder, for if I hadn’t gone to prison I might not have found this wonderful Adventist faith.
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Conrado Andoy, 65, shares his faith in central Philippines.