Mission Story

Published: July 1, 2019

 

Roderick

Roderick

God Does His Part

 

Fast Facts

  • The indigenous population of what is now Dominica called the island Wai‘tu kubuli, which means “tall is her body.””
  • Britain established a small colony in Dominica in 1805 and used it as part of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade until 1833, when Britain abolished the slave trade. Dominica remained a semi-independent colony until 1978, when the Commonwealth of Dominica was granted independence as a republic.
  • Dominica’s name is pronounced with emphasis on the third syllable: daa-muh-NEE-kuh.

By Andrew McChesney

This mission story is about Roderick, the architect of a new school on the Caribbean island nation of Dominica that will be constructed with assistance from this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering. The story started in 1984.

It was a big day when Roderick received a scholarship to study at a university in France.

He packed his bags, said good-bye to his single mother and two brothers, and moved halfway across the globe from his home on the Caribbean island nation of Dominica.

But as Roderick settled into his classes in France, he sensed that something wasn’t quite right. Something was missing.

Trying to fill that hole, he went to church the next Sunday. But he wasn’t satisfied. He returned to church the next Sunday, but he still wasn’t satisfied. Then it struck him. Even though his mother had taught him to worship on Sunday, he was convinced in his heart that the true Sabbath was on Saturday.

Before arriving in France, Roderick had loved reading the Bible. He hadn’t read the Bible to know God. He and his high school friends had enjoyed debating the Bible, and he had read the Bible to win the debates. As he had read, he had been persuaded that God had set aside the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath. But he had never acted on that knowledge.

Now in France, Roderick wondered if he could find anyone who kept the seventh-day Sabbath. He remembered that Seventh-day Adventists kept the Sabbath in Dominica, and he asked his classmates if Adventists also lived in France. A classmate introduced him to an Adventist from Dominica, and Roderick started going to church with the man. Only a month had passed since Roderick had arrived in France.

Roderick didn’t tell his mother or brothers that he was going to the Seventh-day Adventist church. But he wondered what they would think. Would his mother be upset? Would his two brothers think less of him? He didn’t have long to wait.

Two months after he started worshipping on Sabbath, a letter arrived in the mail from his mother.

Roderick opened the envelope and pulled out the letter. His mother had written that she and Roderick’s two brothers were taking Bible studies with Adventists back in Dominica.

Roderick couldn’t believe his eyes. Could it be that he and his family were following a similar path to God even though they were living a world apart?

He wrote back, “I’m going to a Seventh-day Adventist church every Sabbath.”

His mother and brothers were so surprised when they received his letter.

Two months later, Roderick’s mother and brothers gave their hearts to Jesus in baptism in Dominica. Two months after that, Roderick was baptized in France.

Roderick had been living in France for only nine months, and his life had completely changed. In that same time period, the lives of his mother and brothers had also completely changed back in Dominica. As the apostle Paul said, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NKJV).

When Roderick returned to Dominica for his first vacation the next year, he worshipped with his mother and brothers at the Seventh-day Adventist church on Sabbath. The family praised God for how He was working in their lives.

“We recognized that God was leading me in France at the same time that He was leading my family in Dominica,” Roderick said. “It was amazing to see God’s hands at work. I never told my family that I was going to church on Sabbath, but it turned out that we all were searching for God’s will. God works in mysterious ways.”

Thank you for planning a generous Thirteenth Sabbath Offering on September 28 to help Ebenezer Seventh-day Adventist Primary School move into a much-needed larger building in Dominica. Roderick is the building’s architect, and he provided his services free of charge. He is looking forward to seeing how God will bless the project. “Our timing is not God’s timing,” he said. “All God requires from us is faithfulness. When we are faithful and obedient, God does His part.”