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Zelindo João Lay says that in addition to his wife, eight of his employees have become Seventh-day Adventists. (Andrew McChesney / Adventist Mission)

​New Convert Asks God to Convict Wife Over Sabbath

“I have seen a miracle,” says the East Timor business owner.

By Andrew McChesney,

Convinced that Saturday is the biblical Sabbath, Zelindo João Lay informed his wife, Dulce, that he planned to leave their Sunday church in East Timor.

“What, are you crazy?” she said. “First you close our two shops on Saturday, and now you want to leave the church. Why?”

“I have found the truth in the Bible,” he said.

Dulce didn’t want to hear anymore. She wanted a divorce.

“From now on, you go your way, and I’ll go mine,” she said.

Dulce stopped cooking for Zelindo and sometimes locked him out of the house

Zelindo cried and prayed, “What is happening to me? I found the truth in the Bible but now my wife wants a divorce because I am following the Bible’s teaching about the Sabbath.”

In the mornings, Dulce went to their main shop as usual and Zelindo watched their young son at home. He took the noon to 9 p.m. shift at the shop and Dulce returned home to be with their son.

Read about how Zelindo became an Adventist

One morning, Zelindo prayed, “If You want me to leave my church, show me a miracle.”

At noon, he walked into the shop and was shocked to see Dulce reading a Bible. He had never seen her read the Bible before. He looked to see what she was reading. It was about the woman and the dragon in Revelation 12.

“Darling, if you don’t understand what you are reading, I can explain it to you,” he said.

Dulce abruptly slammed her hand onto the desk. The loud noise drew startled stares from customers in the shop. Dulce started crying. “Why did they lie to us?” she said. “Why did they hide this from us?”

Zelindo hugged her. “Thank you, God, for answering my prayer,” I said. “I have seen a miracle.”

On Saturday, the family went to a Seventh-day Adventist church for the first time. The church building looked like a normal house, but Zelindo was happy. He felt God’s presence in that place.

Later, Zelindo and his wife were baptized into the Adventist Church.

Zelindo said God has blessed him beyond measure as he has sought to honor Him at work. He stopped selling alcohol, tobacco, coffee, and tea, and he changed the employment rules. In addition to salaries, employees receive two free meals a day and can stay in rent-free rooms. But the employees also are required to worship with him every morning and evening and attend Bible studies once a week.

Zelindo prays every day, “I want to use this business to praise You. Help me to bring people to You.”

The employees have expressed amazement as they study the Bible.

“What you are teaching us from the Bible is really true,” they say.

Zelindo said God has blessed his business beyond his biggest hopes: Eight employees have become Seventh-day Adventists over the past four years.

Zelindo João Lay describes how he leads employees to God. (Andrew McChesney / Adventist Mission)

Part of a 2015 Thirteenth Sabbath Offering helped build the first Seventh-day Adventist school in East Timor’s capital, Dili. Thank you for your mission offering.