Living Our Dreams
Being Adventist has its challenges, but also its rewards.
e are living a miracle. Prior to moving to Canada, my wife, Cindy, and I were not Seventh-day Adventists. We didn’t move to Canada because we were looking for the “better land.” As a matter of fact we had it fairly good in Jamaica, if all that mattered was having material things. At one point we owned five cars, which we leased for part-time income. We made a lot of money, but that’s another story.
One Thing and Another
When we first arrived in Canada, Winston Bradshaw, Cindy’s brother, invited us to services at the Perth Avenue Seventh-day Adventist Church. Since I knew absolutely nothing about Seventh-day Adventists, it shocked me to go to church on Saturday. But since I was meeting Winston for the first time, I thought it best to be friendly and try to make a good first impression.
On our first visit to the church Pastor Earl Parchment, Sr., invited us home for lunch. That led to Bible studies, and that, eventually, led to baptism.
At the time I was working with an investment company. But I didn’t really care for selling mutual funds, life insurance, etc. Cindy wanted a job related to the travel industry, but not something that would require her to be away from home for extended periods, such as that of an airline flight attendant.
We looked in the telephone Yellow Pages for travel agencies, without knowing much about the business. In the West Indies most people don’t use travel agencies.
Cindy got an appointment to interview as the result of the first call she made. She interviewed and got the job at Bayview Travel Agency.
Soon afterward I left my job, looking for something else besides sales. While I was looking for a new job we were baptized. About the same time the owner of Cindy’s travel agency decided to open on Sabbaths.
I’ll never forget the night Cindy came home and told me about his decision. She asked what she should do. We had a young baby, and Cindy was our sole source of financial support. After talking and praying about it, we decided she would not work on Sabbaths. The next day she went to work and told her boss of her decision.
He said that since she was his best worker, he would allow her—and her alone—to have Saturdays off, if she worked Friday evenings. That evening we had more prayer and more discussion.
The next day Cindy thanked her boss for his offer, but she told him that we celebrate the Lord’s Sabbath from sunset to sunset, and she could not work Friday evenings.
He gave her Sabbaths off and didn’t require her to work Friday evenings. She was the only one in the office with that arrangement.
Cindy’s boss was getting older. One day he announced his plans to sell the business. His announcement created a lot of uncertainty in our minds. In private Cindy and I discussed how we’d like to buy the business, but we didn’t have the kind of money we needed. When we mentioned it to him, Cindy’s boss said he appreciated her hard work and dedication over the years, and he worked out terms that made it possible for us to buy the business.
We acquired the business, convinced that it was God’s gift to us.
The first thing we did was close the office on Sabbaths. The man who sold us the business said it wouldn’t work. But now, more than 21 years later, we can look back and see that we have always shown a profit. Granted, we aren’t millionaires, but every time the industry takes a downturn, and we begin to worry about our future, God reminds us that He’s in control.
The travel industry has changed vastly since Cindy first began working in it. Airlines no longer pay commissions to travel agents. The Internet and Web-based travel companies have brought significant challenges to traditional travel agencies. But still God smiles on us, and we ignore the gloom and doom reflected in our trade magazines. We know who is in control.
Acting on our faith in God is what life is all about. We are children of the only true God. We feel undeniably blessed. He’s allowed us to travel the world, provided us with all the material things we need, given us health, and provided us with a worldwide church family. With His great and precious promises for even better things, how can we not love Him?
–By Carl C. Chin