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Global Mission

Modern-Day Waldensians

The following story was written by a Waldensian Student in the Middle East and North Africa region. We’ve withheld their identity to protect their ministry.

My story began in 2016 during my last year at university. Some of you might know from anecdotes or personal experience how difficult it can be to be a Seventh-day Adventist student at a university where they do not know about the Sabbath. Well, believe it or not, this challenge brought me to where I am today: a missionary serving in the 10/40 Window.

My final exam was scheduled to be held on a Sabbath. I did everything I could to change it: wrote letters, met with coordinators, went from office to office. They all refused my request, saying that I should be flexible in my beliefs and that God would understand this one time. I knew that this wasn’t just the ultimate exam for my graduation but also a critical test of my faith. On that Sabbath morning while at church, I pleaded with God for answers, but answers didn’t come just then. However, I promised in faith that I would be a missionary wherever He wanted me to go if He would allow me to graduate that same year.

Well, He answered that prayer. Now here I am, fulfilling my promise to Him!

Serving as a Missionary

I served for two years as a missionary teacher in Central America. Now I’m serving in the Middle East and North Africa Union (MENA) as a missionary to the students at the university where I’m enrolled, in the tradition of the Waldensians in the Middle Ages who pursued secular activities as a vehicle for preaching the gospel.

Being in a foreign land is challenging. You miss your family, your home country, and your friends. You also have to adapt to a new culture, the people, the climate and so forth. The only thing that you can count on is the unchanging love of God, and the promise He made to be with you always. With this perspective, things go smoothly.

Universities are amazing mission fields. You meet people your own age, you easily make friends, and you have many opportunities to share God with open-minded, inquisitive people. I’ve been serving God here for a year, and I can see His hand working in my life and the lives of my friends.

When I look back at all the Sabbath challenges I had at the university three years ago, I understand why God allowed me to go through them. He was simply preparing me for what I’m going through now. Again, I have “problems” concerning classes and exams on Sabbath, but I no longer see them as challenges. Rather, I view them as opportunities God is granting me to share my faith. Several times I’ve been asked why I don’t attend classes on Sabbath. Answering these questions always ends with discussions about God, His creation, and the Bible.

For a whole year, I didn’t go to classes on Sabbath, but I was still able to get good grades. My classmates were quite surprised. When scheduling the yearly exams, the university administration put two important exams on Sabbath. The only way the dates could be changed was for all my classmates to agree to move them. All of them agreed to the schedule change just for me! The administrators were surprised that the other students agreed to the change. They all understood how important it is to me to keep the Sabbath, and I know that God is planting some seeds here and there. I’m so grateful to God for His ways of working.


My friend Fatima* and I met at a Christmas party, and we became good friends because we both like to cook (and also to eat)! We began sharing cooking tips and recipes, and then one day, she invited me for lunch at her house. We had a conversation about our beliefs and values, many of which we had in common.

We began doing things together socially, and today I’m almost part of her family. They invite me every week to spend time with them. Her parents met mine, and now our families know and trust each other. But the amazing part is how God is working in Fatima’s heart.

The first time I went to Fatima’s house for lunch, we talked about God, especially about the Sabbath. She was surprised to hear about my beliefs and how a person of my faith could have so many values in common with someone of her faith.

As we continued talking, she decided to join our small group for vespers on a Friday, mostly out of curiosity. She loved it! We gave her an Arabic Bible and a Sabbath School quarterly so she could follow our study and even share her thoughts about it. It’s amazing how she switched from seeing the Bible as something corrupted by human hands to an amazing book that she wants to read every day. Now Fatima often comes for Sabbath vespers or Sabbath morning services.

These experiences are just a few of the many where I’ve seen God working through me as an instrument.

Praising God

I praise the Lord for church members who faithfully contribute financially to the mission in MENA. We thank you for giving generously to support modern-day Waldensians who preach and live the gospel in challenging environments. Through your financial help, we’re able to work every day here in the mission field. Please remember that every time you give, it may mean a free Bible offered, a heart touched by the Word of God, or a new person giving his or her life to the Lord. Your monetary contributions are lifesaving and of eternal significance.

Please keep all the Waldensian Students in your prayers.

*Name has been changed.

Adapted with permission from Dynamic Steward Quarterly Journal 24, no 1 (January–March 2021): 8, 9.