Then my brother became a Christian—an Adventist Christian! I wasn’t sure what he believed, but I was sure it meant trouble. My brother tried to convince me to study the Bible and give Christianity a chance, but I refused to listen. In fact, I refused to allow him to say one word about it in my presence.
He sent me Bible studies and literature, but I refused to open the envelopes. I reminded my brother that Karl Marx had said that religion is the opiate of the people, and I refused to be tainted by such superstition.
But my brother kept sending the literature. Finally I decided to read what he sent, only so I could show him the errors of his new beliefs. I opened the first envelope and read through the lesson. Then I read another and another. The sixth lesson talked about Jesus’ second coming. Something about this lesson touched my heart. My interest was aroused. I went back and reread each lesson and filled in the study sheet. I found myself looking forward impatiently for each lesson to arrive.
I found the tiny Adventist church in my city and began to visit it. I began reading the Bible, too. When I finally told my brother that I was studying the Bible, we shared precious moments of discovery together. For the first time in my life I experienced the presence of God in my life as we prayed together.
At first I thought that only absolute vegetarians who wore ultra-conservative clothes were God’s true children. But over time God revealed that His children don’t focus on outward appearances and actions, but on being heart-right with God. As I realized this, I felt a wonderful freedom and joy. I learned to love the believers who didn’t eat like me or look like me. I learned to love others because Jesus loves them and He relies on us to be His light in this dark world.
Four years after my baptism God surprised me again. I had wanted to teach a few old women in a village how to serve God, but the conference invited me to become the women’s ministries director! Imagine, me, the stubborn atheist, teaching other women to love God! He never ceases to amaze me.
God reached me through a praying brother and literature provided by the mission offerings of faithful people around the world. Imagine what he can do with your mission gifts.
Tatiana Modreva shares her faith in western Bulgaria.