I Choose the Sabbath
RELAXING WITH FRIENDS: Daniel Lisulo (front/center) and Yemurai Bikwa (front/right), Adventist medical students from Zimbabwe, talk with medical students from Jordan outside the main medical department building at People’s Friendship University in Moscow.Moments earlier he had stood before his dean at People’s Friendship University in Moscow to ask for the Sabbath off. With the other new foreign students, Daniel had enrolled for intensive Russian language classes five hours a day, six days a week. One of the days, however, was Saturday.
SPIRITUAL SUPPORT: (From right) University students Daniel Lisulo, Nakena Katundu, and Cassy Eliezer pose in the lobby of the Moscow International Seventh-day Adventist Church. All three Adventist students chose to keep the Sabbath holy rather than compromise their beliefs.After fervent prayer, Alina won the dean’s permission to switch to a group that didn’t meet on Sabbath. If Alina had not changed groups, she would have had to change schools.
“Don’t be afraid to do the right thing.…You can lose your scholarship, but don’t lose your faith, your chance to go to heaven.”
“You should keep the Sabbath for Christ,” Nakena said. “But you should make sure that you tell the authorities why you are taking the step so it is clear to them.”
A FORMIDABLE DEAN: Daniel stands outside the office of university dean Galina Andreevna, who told him that if he wouldn’t study on Sabbath, he should pack his bags and go home. The sign reads, “Dean’s Office.”Later Friday afternoon, Daniel approached the dean again and got the same reply.
DARING TO BE A DANIEL: Daniel Lisulo, a medical student from Zambia who stood firm for his faith, poses at the main entrance to the medical school at People’s Friendship University in Moscow.The week passed quickly, and Daniel began to wonder whether he would be able to skip classes every Saturday without getting into trouble. But when he sat down in class on Friday, Galina Andreevna marched into the room. “Zambia!” she barked at Daniel, motioning for him to follow her.
STEADFAST FAITH: Daniel Lisulo, who believes miraculous intervention saved him from being forced to leave school after he refused to attend classes on Sabbath, stands outside the Moscow International Seventh-day Adventist Church.The dean began to play, and Daniel hesitantly sang the first word. The dean said nothing. Daniel tackled the second, then the third, and the fourth. A look of bewilderment slowly spread across the dean’s face. By the time he reached the hundredth word, she was beaming. Daniel had pronounced every single word correctly.