Saved by Non-Christian Book

Saved by Non-Christian Book
ECD | November 30
Elijah, 50

Careful study of the Bible has led many people to join the Seventh-day Adventist Church in East Africa.

Elijah, however, became an Adventist after carefully studying the holy book of his non-Christian world religion.

Elijah, who grew up in a devout non-Christian family, excelled in his studies in East Africa. He made his religion the centerpiece of his lifework and earned related degrees at universities in three Middle East countries. He rose in prominence as a national religious leader and, among his responsibilities, oversaw missionary outreach for his religion in his homeland.

But questions rose in his mind when he joined a scholarly field trip to Italy. In Rome, he saw inscriptions on houses that declared God had commanded people to rest on the Sabbath. From the Bible, he understood that the Sabbath was on Saturday. But in Rome, he saw shops close and people go to church on Sunday.

Something else puzzled Elijah. In Italy, he visited ancient sites where people had been baptized by immersion, as Jesus was in the Jordan River. But he and other visiting scholars were told that baptisms nowadays were conducted by sprinkling water on people’s heads. He couldn’t find instructions to baptize this way in the Bible.

When Elijah returned home, he pored over the six chapters of his holy book that spoke about Jesus. He especially focused on the nineteenth chapter, which he now compares to Ellen White’s “The Desire of Ages.” In Elijah’s four decades of life, no one had ever preached to him about Jesus. He only had learned that Jesus was a great prophet but otherwise a normal man. Now in his holy book, he read verses describing the deity of Jesus, His death, His power at Creation, and His earthly miracles. In chapter 3, verses 45 and 46, he read startling words that impressed him that Jesus is, in fact, God. Opening the Bible, he compared the passage with Isaiah 9:6, which says, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Elijah’s mind was made up. He would worship Jesus.

“My holy book explained to me the deity and Jesus as Creator, and I immediately decided to accept Jesus as Creator, Lord, and Redeemer of my life,” he said in an interview. “No one preached this to me.”

As Elijah looked for a church where he could learn more about Jesus, he remembered seeing public street discussions — called dialogues — where leaders from his non-Christian world religion compared their beliefs with those of Christian preachers, including Adventists.

“More than any other denomination, the Adventists challenged my people about Jesus’ divinity,” he said.

So, on a Saturday, he went to an Adventist church.

Within days, Elijah had to flee to another city with his wife and their young children. Relatives had learned about his interest in Christianity and threatened to kill him.

On the first Sabbath in the new city, Elijah and his wife showed up in an Adventist church just in time for the start of a two-week evangelistic series led by Alain Coralie, executive secretary of the Adventist Church’s East-Central Africa Division. At the end of the meetings, Elijah and his wife, Josephine, were baptized by immersion.

Today, Elijah is 50 and eagerly sharing Jesus’ salvation with those who haven’t heard of Him. Many people have been baptized through his evangelistic meetings and his work as a literature evangelist. He also serves as a church deacon.

Some people might say that Elijah’s conversion came at a high cost. But Elijah wouldn’t change a thing.

“Philippians 3:7-14 challenges us to set aside all our gains and possessions and count them as loss for Christ,” he said. “I have set aside extended family privileges. I have set aside the great religious universities where I studied. I have set aside my degrees. I have set aside prestigious positions. And I have set aside a high salary paid by the governments of the three countries where I studied. I am focusing on Jesus Christ alone.”

Addressing all those who hear his story, Elijah added, “I wish for you to repent and also to focus on Jesus that you may be saved.”

Andrew McChesney

Story Tips
Adventist Mission is only identifying Elijah by his first name and is not disclosing his whereabouts to protect his life in a place where people who leave his religion for Christianity face physical attacks and sometimes death.
Download medium-resolution photos for this story from our Facebook page: Photos are uploaded on Sundays, six days before the mission story is to be presented.
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ႏိုဝင္ဘာလ(၃၀)ရက္၊ ေရးသားသူ-Elijah(၅၀)ႏွစ္၊

အေ႐ွ႕အလယ္ပိုင္းအာဖရိကတိုက္မွာ သမၼာက်မ္းစာကိုေသခ်ာစြာဖတ္႐ႈေလ့လာျခင္း
အားျဖင့္ လူေပါင္းေျမာက္မ်ားစြာတို႔ဟာေျမာ္လင့္ျခင္းအသင္းေတာ္ထဲသို႔ဝင္ေရာက္လာခဲ့ၾကပါတယ္။

Elijah ကေတာ့၊ေလာကီဘာသာေရးစာအုပ္ကိုေသခ်ာစြာေလ့လာဖတ္႐ႈခဲ့ျပီးမွ၊ေျမာ္

သူဟာေလာကီဘာသာေရးမွာယံုၾကည္ကိုးကြယ္တဲ့မိသားစုကေနၾကီးျပင္းလာခဲ့ျပီး၊ စာ
သင္တဲ့အခါမွာလည္းထူးခြ်န္ခဲ့ပါတယ္။ ေလာကီဘာသာေရးဟာသူ႕ရဲ႕အဓိကလုပ္ငန္းျဖစ္ျပီး၊ေလာ
ကီဘာသာေရးတကၠသိုလ္မွာလည္းဘြဲ႕ေတြကိုဆြတ္ခူးခဲ့ပါတယ္။ သူဟာႏိုင္ငံရဲ႕ဘာသာေရးေခါင္း
ေဆာင္တစ္ဦးအေနနဲ႔တာဝန္ထမ္းေဆာင္ခဲ့ပါတယ္။ ဒါေပမယ့္၊ အီတလီႏိုင္ငံမွာဘာသာေရးဆိုင္
ရာကြင္းဆင္းခဲ့တဲ့ပညာသင္ေက်ာင္းသားေတြထဲမွာ သူပါဝင္ခဲ့တဲ့အခါ၊ သူ႔ရဲ႕စိတ္ထဲမွာေမခြန္းေတြ
ေပၚထြက္လာခဲ့ပါတယ္။ ေရာမႏိုင္ငံမွာအိမ္ေတြေပၚ”ဘုရားသခင္ကလူေတြကိုဥပုသ္ေတာ္ေန႔မွာ
အမိန္႔ေပးခဲ့ပါတယ္” ဆိုတဲ့စာတန္းကိုေရးသားထားတာေတြ႔ခဲ့ရပါတယ္။သမၼာက်မ္းစာအရ စေနေန႕
ဟာဥပုသ္ေန႔ျဖစ္တယ္ဆိုတာ သူနားလည္ခဲ့ပါတယ္။ ဒါေပမယ့္၊ ေရာမႏိုင္ငံမွာ ေဈးဆိုင္ေတြကို
ပိတ္ျပီးဘုရားေက်ာင္းကို တနဂၤေႏြေန႔မွာတက္ၾကတာေတြ႕ျမင္ခဲ့ရပါတယ္။

ဒါေတြဟာElijah အတြက္အံ့ဩစရာေကာင္းလွပါတယ္။ အီတလီႏိုင္ငံမွာေ႐ွးက်တဲ့
ေနရာေတြမွာ ေယာ္ဒန္ျမစ္မ်ာသခင္ေယ႐ႈေရႏွစ္ျခင္းခံခဲ့သလို လူေတြဟာေရႏွစ္ျခင္းမဂၤလာခံယူ
ခဲ့ၾကပါတယ္။ ဒါေပမဲ့၊ယခုေခတ္မွာ၊လူေတြရဲ႕ေခါင္းေပၚမွာ ေရဖ်န္းျခင္းအားျဖင့္ႏွစ္ျခင္းခံတာ
ဆိုျပီးေလ့လာေရးအဖြဲ႕ကို ေဒသခံေတြကေျပာျပခဲ့ၾကပါတယ္။

ကအခန္းၾကီးေျခာက္ခန္းကိုျပန္လည္ဖတ္႐ႈေလ့လာခဲ့ပါတယ္။ အထူးသျဖင့္၊အခန္း၁၆ကိုအာ႐ံု
စိုက္ျပီး၊အီးဂ်ီဝိႈက္ရဲ႕”ထာဝရလိုအင္သက္ေတာ္စဥ္”စာအုပ္နဲ႔ ႏိႈင္းယွဥ္ခဲ့ပါတယ္။ သူမဟာႏွစ္(၄၀)
တိုင္တိုင္အသက္ရွင္ခဲ့ေပမယ့္၊ သူမဆီမွာသခင္ေယ႐ႈအေၾကာင္းကိုဘယ္သူမွမေဟာခဲ့ၾကပါဘူး။
သူ႔အေနနဲ႔သခင္ေယ႐ႈဟာပုေရာဖက္ၾကီးျဖစ္ျပီး ပံုမွန္လူသားတစ္ဦးျဖစ္ေၾကာင္းသိရွိနားလည္ခဲ့

ဖန္ဆင္းျခင္း၊ေယ႐ႈရဲ႕တန္ခိုးေတာ္၊ သူလုပ္ခဲ့တဲ့အံ့ဖြယ္နိမိတ္လကၡဏာေတြကိုဖတ္႐ႈေလ့လာခဲ့ပါ
တဲ့အခါ၊ေယ႐ႈဟာဘုရားသခင္ျဖစ္ေၾကာင္းကို ပိုျပီးေတာ့နားလည္သေဘာေပါက္ခဲ့ပါတယ္။

အာ႐ံုစိုက္မႈဟာေျပာင္းလဲခဲ့ပါတယ္။ Elijah အေနနဲ႔သခင္ေယ႐ႈကိုဝတ္ျပဳကိုးကြယ္ေတာ့မွာျဖစ္

“ကြ်န္ေတာ့ရဲ႕သန္႔ရွင္းတဲ့စာအုပ္ကသခင္ေယ႐ႈဟာ ဖန္ဆင္းရွင္ျဖစ္ေၾကာင္းကိုရွင္းျပ
ဘယ္သူမွဒီအေၾကာင္းကိုလာမေဟာခဲ့ပါဘူး”လို႔ အျပန္အလွန္ေတြ႕ဆံုစကားေျပာပြဲမွာသူေျပာျပ

Elijahအေနနဲ႔ သခင္ေယ႐ႈအေၾကာင္းကိုပိုသိရွိနားလည္ႏိုင္ဖို႔၊ရွာေဖြရင္းလမ္းမေပၚ

“အျခားဂိုဏ္းဂဏေတြအတြက္ သခင္ေယ႐ႈဟာ ဘုရားသခင္ျဖစ္ေၾကာင္းကိုေျမာ္
လင့္ျခင္းအသင္းသားေတြက ပိုျပီးယွဥ္ျပိဳင္ စိတ္ေခၚႏိုင္ခဲ့တယ္”လို႔ သူေျပာျပခဲ့ပါတယ္။

ဒါေၾကာင့္မို႕၊Elijah ဟာစေနေန႔မွာေျမာ္လင့္ျခင္းအသင္းေတာ္ဘုရားေက်ာင္းသို႔သြား

Elijah ဟာခရစ္ယာန္ဘာသာကိုစိတ္ဝင္စားေၾကာင္း ေဆြမ်ိဳးေတြသိရွိလာတဲ့အခါ
သူ႔ကိုသတ္ဖို႔ျခိမ္းေျခာက္လာခဲ့ပါေတာ့တယ္။ ဒါေၾကာင့္မို႕၊သူတို႔မိသားစုဟာအျခားျမိဳ႕ကိုေရႊ႕

အဲဒီျမိဳ႕သစ္မွာ၊ပထမဥပုသ္ေတာ္ေန႔၌Elijah နဲ႔သူ႔ဇနီးဟာေျမာ္လင့္ျခင္းအသင္းေတာ္
ဘုရားေက်ာင္းမွာတက္ခဲ့ၾကပါတယ္။ အဲဒီအခ်ိန္မွာ အေ႐ွ႕အလယ္ပိုင္းအာဖရိကဒီဝီဇံေျမာ္လင့္
ျခင္းသာသနာအဖြဲ႕ခ်ဳပ္ရဲ႕အတြင္းေရးမွဴးခ်ဳပ္ Dr.Alain Coralie ဟာရက္သတၲပတ္ႏွစ္ပတ္တရား
ပြဲအစီအစဥ္ကိုစတင္ခဲ့ပါတယ္။ တရားပြဲအဆံုးမွာ၊Elijah နဲ႔သူ႔ဇနီး၊သူ႔သားJosephine တို႔ဟာ

ေတြဆီမွာေဝငွေဟာၾကားဖို႔ ဆႏၵျပင္းျပခဲ့ပါတယ္။ Elijahဟာဓမၼစာေပအမႈေတာ္ေဆာင္တစ္ဦး
ျဖစ္ျပီး၊သူ႔ရဲ႕တရားပြဲေတြေၾကာင့္လူေျမာက္မ်ားစြာႏွစ္ျခင္းခံခဲ့ၾကပါတယ္။ အသင္းေတာ္မွာလည္း

လူအခ်ိဳ႕က Elijah ရဲ႕ဘာသာေရးေျပာင္းလဲမႈဟာ၊ ဆံုး႐ံႈးနစ္နာမႈမ်ားလြန္းတယ္လို႔
ေျပာေကာင္းေျပာပါလိမ့္မယ္။ ဒါေပမယ့္၊ သူကေတာ့၊ ဘာတစ္ခုမွ အေျပာင္းအလဲလုပ္မွာမဟုတ္

“ဖိလိပၸိ ၃း၇-၁၄ မွာ၊ အက်ိဳးစီးပြားနဲ႔ပိုင္ဆိုင္သမွ်အရာခပ္သိမ္းဟာ ခရစ္ေတာ္ေၾကာင့္
႐ံႈးေစေသာအရာကဲ့သို႔ထင္မွတ္ဖို႔စိန္ေခၚေနတယ္” လို႔သူေျပာျပခဲ့ပါတယ္။

“ခရစ္ေတာ္ေၾကာင့္ မိသားစုခံစားရမယ့္ အခြင့္အေရးေတြ၊ ကြ်န္ေတာ့ေလာကဘာသာ
ေရးပညာေတြ၊ ကြ်န္ေတာ္ဆြတ္ခူးခဲ့တဲ့ဘြဲ႕ေတြနဲ႔ ကြ်န္ေတာ့ရဲ႕ဂုဏ္သိကၡာရွိတဲ့ရာထူးေတြ၊ နစ္နာ
ဆံုး႐ံႈးခဲ့ရပါတယ္။ သခင္ေယ႐ႈကိုသာ အာ႐ံုစူးစိုက္ေနပါတယ္” လို႔Elijah ကေက်ေက်နပ္

Elijah ဟာ၊သူ႕ရဲ႕ရာဇဝင္ကိုၾကားနာရသူေတြအတြက္”သင့္အေနနဲ႔ဧကန္မုခ်ကယ္တင္
ျခင္းကိုရႏိုင္ဖို႔ေနာင္တရျပီး ခရစ္ေတာ္သခင္ေယ႐ႈကိုသာအာ႐ံုစူးစိုက္ဖို႔လိုခ်င္ပါတယ္”လို႔အသူ႕ရဲ႕
ဆႏၵကိုေျပာျပခဲ့ပါတယ္။ ဒီတပတ္ Elijah ရဲ႕သက္ေသခံခ်က္ကေတာ့ဒီေလာက္ပါဘဲ..။

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