“I Can’t Do This”
By Andrew McChesney
The party sounded perfect. A table was booked at a club in Harare, Zimbabwe. Alcohol was purchased, and people were invited. But Elder didn’t come. “What happened?” Hubert asked when he later saw his friend.
“I can’t do this,” Elder replied. “I’m an elder.”
Hubert had heard the explanation before. He and Elder had become friends while teaching at a high school in Harare. Nineteen-year-old Hubert was taking off a year to teach before entering the university. Elder was 25 and an elder at a Seventh-day Adventist church. Hubert partied, but Elder would not participate. He always explained, “I can’t do this. I’m an elder.”
Hubert had never met an Adventist before, and he thought, “This guy is true to his church.” But he declined Elder’s invitations to go to church.
The next year, Hubert enrolled at Midlands State University in Gweru. He kept remembering Elder, and he visited an Adventist church for the first time. The people were warm and friendly, and the sermon touched his heart. During the semester break, he went to another Adventist church while visiting an aunt. It got to the point that every time he saw a church, he wanted to go inside. He felt like something was missing from his spiritual life.
For his second year of studies, Hubert received a scholarship to study in Russia. He wondered whether he would find an Adventist church there.
One Saturday, he was drunk when Mildred arrived at the birthday party of a mutual friend at 8 p.m. in Moscow. “Why did you come so late?” he asked.
“I was at church,” Mildred said.
“But it’s Saturday,” Hubert said. “Church is on Sunday.”
“Well, I’m a Seventh-day Adventist,” she said.
Hubert couldn’t believe his ears. Mildred saw his interest and invited him to go to church the next Sabbath. She even waited for him in the metro station on Sabbath morning. But Hubert was embarrassed that she had seen him drunk and did not show up. When she called to see where he was, he found himself saying, “I’m sorry. I’ll come next Sabbath.” Mildred called him throughout the week to remind him of his promise. He accompanied her to the Moscow International Seventh-day Adventist Church on Sabbath.
A year later, Hubert gave his heart to Jesus in baptism. He contacted Elder and thanked him for being faithful. Elder was overjoyed!
Today, Hubert Nyabadza is an active church member. “I am thankful to God that He led me to the Seventh-day Adventist Church,” he said.
Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission. Find more mission stories at adventistmission[dot]org