The meetings were a hit, and pretty soon many of the members were attending Murrell’s evangelistic series—including several of the
████ pastors! Their numbers grew each night until 108 pastors were attending and learning Bible truth, including the truth about God’s Seventh-day Sabbath. At the close of the meetings, when Murrell asked those who were committed to keeping the true Bible Sabbath and the commandments of God to raise their hands, almost every hand went up!
We are told that at the end of earth’s history, “Tribe after tribe from the ranks of the enemy united with the commandment-keeping people of God” (Testimonies for the Church, 8:41). And we are just starting to glimpse it!
There is one more story that is so special I have to share it with you.
THE UNUSUAL VISITOR
Tim Saxton, our AWR coordinator for India, had just concluded an evangelism training session for the day, when he saw a man approaching. He looked extremely poor, even by Indian standards, and Tim’s first impression was that this man was coming to ask for money.
However, the man surprised him by requesting prayer for his eight-year-old daughter. She had a hole in her heart, and the father was taking her to a hospital in the city. The man’s wife stood just behind him holding a baby, and what struck Tim was that she didn’t wear any jewelry—an adornment common among Indian women.
After prayer, the man seemed to blend into the crowd, so Tim called out to him through his interpreter, asking if there was anything else he needed. The man said no, except to say that if Tim ever came to his village for a seminar—several hundred miles away—he would have 10 pastors come and listen to his presentation.
Believing him to be an Adventist pastor, Tim explained he would need an invitation from the local conference to visit his district. That’s when the interpreter said, “I don’t think he’s Adventist.”
Sure enough, Tim learned that the man was a Pentecostal pastor. But what was a Pentecostal pastor doing in an AWR training session?
Tim’s interest was piqued, and he looked more closely at the little family. He noticed their weariness and felt impressed he should invite them to eat.
But when he did, the man declined the invitation, and when Tim insisted, the man declined again, even as he and his wife were retreating.
In that moment, Tim thought of Abraham’s invitation to the three angels before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. In the book Patriarchs and Prophets, we read that the three angels initially declined Abraham’s invitation to stop and eat. The patriarch had to insist before they accepted. Tim later told me, “I cannot describe the surreal sense that came over me as I, too, insisted this man come and eat with me. And he finally agreed, saying ‘I will come and eat with you.’”
Let me share in Tim’s own words what happened next:
When I had first arrived in India, the conference had lodged me in a beachfront hotel that was absolutely beautiful with landscaped grounds and a white sandy beach. I decided to treat this family at the restaurant of that hotel. We traveled there in the local church vehicle, and when we arrived and went inside, there was no doubt this family looked out of place. In fact, as we later learned, in all their life of poverty, they could never have hoped to even enter such an establishment.
Since it wasn’t quite time to eat yet, I led the family to the back and showed them the beauty of the grounds. I will never forget their faces. The look of care and toil seemed to vanish, and the most beautiful joyous smiles appeared as they realized that as our guests, all this was for them to enjoy. Grabbing their children, they rushed off to enjoy the magnificence of the place.
█████████████████ sat down with me and I shared with him (through the pastor interpreter) the Three Angels’ Messages and the Sabbath. As I concluded, the man broke down crying saying, “God has led me here.”
After a delicious meal, we sent them on to the hospital. When they arrived. the doctors performed tests on the little girl, only to discover that the hole in her heart was gone. She had been healed!
What a wonderful testimony! But the story doesn’t end there, because we had Pastor
███’s contact information, and soon we invited him to another AWR training event in another state. He came and learned more fully the Bible truths of this time, including the Sabbath truth.