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8 May 2017 | Moldova [Andrew McChesney / Adventist Mission] Life was tough in my homeland of Moldova, where I worked as a state prosecutor. So, I bought a Polish passport on the black market and moved to Ireland to start a better life.

But then I found out that my Moldovan room-mate was a Seventh-day Adventist.

 

“I didn’t understand how Alexander, a simple welder, knew so much about the Bible,” says Victor Bufteac, pictured. “I decided to study the Bible for myself and prove him wrong.”

Alexander infuriated me with his constant Bible reading. Every time I asserted that a belief from the church of my childhood was correct, Alexander would open his Bible and point to a text to prove me wrong. I could not convince him to worship on Sunday or to eat unclean foods. I felt like I had a major disadvantage. Alexander read the Bible every day — he said he’d read through it eight times in the eight years since he had been baptised. I had never even opened a Bible.

 

I challenged Alexander to prove that the Bible had not been changed in 2,000 years. He gave me five books on archaeology and the history of the Bible. I read the books during my 90-minute commute to and from work in Dublin every day. I realised that the Bible had not been changed.

 

Then I decided that Alexander was reading from a special Adventist Bible. So, I got my own Bible and compared it with his. The words were identical.

 

Proving Alexander wrong

 

One Friday evening I got extremely upset when I saw Alexander preparing to welcome the Sabbath. I didn’t understand how Alexander, a simple welder, knew so much about the Bible. I decided to study the Bible for myself and prove him wrong. I used my legal knowledge to seek evidence to build a case. I wrote down 100 questions that I would tackle, including:

 

• Why Saturday and not Sunday?

• Why no pork?

• Why the prophecies of Daniel 2?

 

As I read the Bible, I found answers to each question. My eyes were opened, and I saw that the church of my childhood was far from the truth. I realised that I needed to admit that I was wrong and start obeying God, beginning with keeping the Sabbath.

 

Alexander was shocked when I said I wanted to attend church with him. I was baptised a year later.

 

My relatives back home were not happy to learn I had joined a different church. My friends in Ireland thought I was crazy. But nothing could stop me. For me, the most important thing in life was to abide in Christ and to walk with Him.

 

Nudging me toward honesty

 

Alexander began to nudge me about my black-market Polish passport, which allowed me to live in Ireland. I grew convinced that I needed to obey both God’s law and man’s law. So, I tore up the passport and threw it away. That left me only with my Moldovan passport, which did not grant me permission to live in Ireland. Any police officer who stopped me could deport me.

 

I prayed, “I don’t know if You want me to stay here, but send me back home if it is Your will.”

 

I didn’t have a job at the time, and it seemed impossible to find one without a passport. But shortly after my prayer, I received an offer to work as a night security officer at a fitness club. I was given Sabbaths off.

 

Then I prayed, “God, I want to pay taxes like everyone else so I can be honest. I want to give to Caesar that which is Caesar’s.”

 

I marched into the tax office with my Moldovan passport, determined to secure a tax number that would allow me to pay taxes. Ahead of me in line stood a couple from Latvia who spoke poor English. The tax officer spoke with them for a long time. I grew increasingly nervous as I waited next in line. I wondered what the tax officer would say when he learned that I was living in Ireland illegally.

 

After the Latvian couple finally left, I slid my passport under the glass window and explained that I wanted a tax number. The tax officer glanced at the long line of people behind me and returned my passport with a document to fill out. He never even looked at my passport. A week later I received a tax number by mail and began to pay taxes. My friends couldn’t believe it!

 

When I flew back to Moldova several years later, the Irish tax authorities even returned money that I had overpaid in taxes.

 

Back in Moldova, I received a master’s degree, and now work as a legal adviser for a German company. I still get Sabbaths off, and I pay my taxes.

 

Today, by God’s grace, I obey the law of God and of man—and God has blessed me beyond measure.

 

By Victor Bufteac, as told to Andrew McChesney. [tedNEWS]

 


 

tedNEWS Staff: Victor Hulbert, editor; Esti Pujic, associate editor
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tedNEWS is an information bulletin issued by the communication department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Trans-European Division.




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