Bros & Sis,
As I sat down last night reflecting on what I could share with you as a prayer Focus for this week, I talked to one of SureWay's members from Tanzania who has been sharing the SureWay Prayer Focus with our brothers in Tanzania. He shared with me the challenge that 21 students in St. Augustine University of Tanzania are facing. Here is an extract from the e-mail he received from one of the students:
"There is another challenge to THISDASO (TANZANIA HIGHER-LEARNING INSTITUTIONS SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST STUDENTS ORGANISATION) because our fellow 21 THISDASO members who were studying at St. Augustine University of Tanzania in Mwanza have been expelled and chased out from the University when they decided to lift up and glorified the name of God by refusing to perform the exams on the Sabbath day. So we have decided to pray harder by faith knowing that God will do something very soon. Join us please".
As I read this e-mail, I was reminded of the three Hebrew boys in Daniel 3 who refused to bow down and worship the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had erected in the plain of Dura. In response to the King's fury the Bible records that "Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the King, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." Daniel 3:16-18
Our 21 fellow believers have chosen to take their stand for God even if it means not taking these exams. As one that comes from Africa, I know what gaining a university qualification means. I would like to invite us all to join our brothers and sisters in prayer today and everyday after today in petitioning the Lord on their behalf. As they read this Prayer Focus, I pray that they will be encouraged to know that they have brothers and sisters who are lifting them up in prayer before God. May they also take encouragement from the fact that just as God stood up for the Hebrew boys, he shall stand up for them. Just as King Nebuchadnezzar came to recognise the power of the living God, the professors and deans of this university will come to recognise the importance of the Sabbath. Just as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were promoted in the province of Babylon, that God will promote them in St. Augustine University of Tanzania and beyond.
If you too are facing persecution for your faith, know with certainty that God will vindicate you.
SureWay Community Seventh-day Adventist Church (London)
South England Conference