This story by Karen Matambo, a Compassion Boston Bible Worker.
All this time I’ve had no doubt that the Lord is leading John.* I remember I was nervous because we were about to study about baptism, when out of his mouth came the words, “God has really been talking to me about having a fresh start, so I’m really thinking about getting baptized.” Right there and then, the nerves left me, because the Lord had gone ahead of me and prepared the way.
Many occasions like this have taken place as glimpses of God’s power in John’s life. And this time was no different—but the devil had to have his say also.
“Karen, did you call me?”
“No, sister Evelyne, I didn’t. Is everything okay?” I responded.
“Well, my phone has been acting strangely all day and I thought maybe you had tried to call and couldn’t get through.”
Evelyne is a church member who goes with me when I study with John. It turned out her phone was acting like it had an alter ego, talking non-stop, but not permitting her access to any functions. (Technology ...) It’s a good thing she had another phone on hand. When we met, I turned the phone off and we headed to John’s.
“The buzzer doesn’t seem to be ringing,” I reported with concern.
“Try calling him,” came Evelyne’s response. Before I could call, I noticed a resident coming to the door to pick up a delivery order and she let us in. Praise God!
We got on the elevator with the same resident. She pressed 5 and we pressed 3, headed to the third floor. The elevator arrived at our floor, but the door wouldn’t open. Frantically, the resident rapidly pressed the “door open” button and muttered some Spanish words under her breath.
I turned to sister Evelyne and quietly told her, “It’s the devil trying to stop us from getting to John’s apartment. Please pray.” Quietly we prayed in our hearts while the resident pressed the button.
The elevator continued to the fifth floor, and we got off here and walked back down to the third floor. Praise God we made it to John’s apartment. Already I knew this was a key study for John.
“Oh, Karen, I’m not too good today. I meant to call you earlier to cancel today, but I forgot,” was the response we got at the door from a clearly tired John. Attack number three. “Come on in.”
We sat with John and conversed a little. Pretty soon we found out the devil had been attacking him all week leading up to this lesson. Regardless of the attacks, when we told John about the buzzer and elevator, John also saw the works of the devil and was all the more determined to fight. So we began the lesson.
“You know Karen, the Holy Spirit has really been talking to me about leaving my church.”
Wow, Holy Spirit, was my thought as I glanced down at our lesson that day—which was about God calling His people out of Babylon. It was an emotional lesson, friends, as tears rolled down John’s face, who now realized that he’d been lied to most of his life. With holy boldness he now spoke as one called out to stand with God, and as a missionary being sent to warn those who are still in spiritual Babylon.
Only God could put such a holy burden on John’s heart. John said, “Yup, that still small voice is telling me that this is the truth, and I just want to warn others.” He asked for a copy of the Great Controversy to share with his church bishop so that he can know what John’s learning, too.
With the Holy Spirit sending out missionaries like John, I have no doubt in my mind that this gospel will reach all the world.
Needless to say, when we left, not only was the elevator working, but it seems so was the buzzer. We were reminded that “no weapons formed against [us] shall prosper,” Isaiah 54:17.