By Andrew McChesney, Adventist Mission
Home was not a happy place for Hazel Moyo. Her father drank, and her parents argued frequently in Gwanda, a small town in Zimbabwe. Hazel longed to have a happy family.
At the age of 14, Hazel made a decision that triggered a chain of events that would change her home forever. She started going to church. She saw other children heading to Sunday services, and she wanted to go, too. So, she took her nine-year-old brother by the hand and went. After high school, Hazel saw a newspaper advertisement for Solusi University, a Seventh-day Adventist
institution located about two and a half hours by bus from her home. She met university recruiters when they visited her town, and her father agreed to pay for her tuition.
At Solusi, Hazel soon joined a singing group and asked them many questions about the Sabbath. One of the group’s members, a young married pastor name Elyght Nyatanga, announced, “I want this girl to be my daughter,” he said. “Every Wednesday, I will pray and fast for her to know God.”
Five other group members liked the idea and, together with Hazel, joined in. For three months they prayed and fasted. Then Solusi University held a Week of Prayer, and Hazel was baptized.
When Hazel turned 23, Elyght presented her with Ellen White’s book Messages to Young People. Hazel was touched by the advice for happy families. She wanted a happy family. “I learned how you approach an angry parent, how you address some of the issues that you have with parents, and how to show honor to your parents,” she said. A favorite passage on page 331 says, “There are many children who profess to know the truth, who do not render to their parents the honor and affection that are due to them, who manifest but little love to father and mother, and fail to honor them in deferring to their wishes, or in seeking to relieve them of anxiety.”
Joy began to fill Hazel’s home as she followed the book’s advice. Then during a school break, Hazel invited her parents to read the Bible and pray before going to bed. They agreed! The next evening, Mother asked Hazel to read the Bible and pray again. Soon the family began having evening and morning worship every
day. Happiness now permeates the home, and Hazel is
praying for her family to be baptized. “Now we are a
happy family—the kind of family that I always wanted,”
said Hazel, left.