"I Don't Think Anyone Likes Me..."
It was a very busy Friday morning at Better Life Broadcasting Network. It was August 7th, 2015 and we were on the verge of launching our brand new Spanish language channel called, Vida Mejor TV. Staff members had been busy the whole week trying to make sure everything would be in place so that the switch could be flipped and the new Spanish channel would begin broadcasting on 20 of our 27 transmitters, with more to come later.
That morning, technical difficulties threatened to hold up the launch. We had no doubt that God wanted us to begin reaching out to the thousands of Spanish speaking viewers in our viewing areas, so we went to the Lord in prayer asking for His special assistance in getting the problems worked out.
Joining us that morning was Pastor Tony Rodriguez from the Grants Pass SDA Church. He and his wife Sayuri are directors of Vida Mejor TV and he was on hand for this momentous event. Little did we know how providential his presence would end up being.
While pastor Tony was waiting, his wife Sayuri took a call from a viewer in Yuba City, California. What’s exciting is that this is one of the new cities that we reach in Northern California and it’s always great to get calls from places where our transmitters have just gone on-the-air.
The man on the other end of the line said that he had been watching Better Life for a while and he was impressed with what he was seeing and hearing. He went on to tell us that he had visited many churches in the past, but that he always felt like people were looking down on him, like he was not welcome.
He said, “I don’t think anyone likes me, but I’ve begun to think that maybe God might like me.”
Sayuri asked if he had talked to a pastor and he sadly replied that ministers didn’t want to talk to him. At that, Sayuri asked, “Could you hold on for a moment?”
“Sure,” he said.
Sayuri put down the phone and found her husband and explained the situation to him, asking if he would be willing to talk to this man. Pastor Tony picked up the line and went on to have a wonderful conversation with him. Pastor Tony assured him that yes, God loved him and he could tell that hope was awakening in the man’s heart.
The topic of church attendance came up and the man shared again that he had already tried many churches, but he had not felt welcome and so had given up and now Better Life was his church. Pastor Tony then asked him if he had ever visited a Seventh-day Adventist church and the man thought for a moment and said, “No, I haven’t.” Pastor Tony remembered that he and Sayuri had friends who happened to attend the Yuba City church and he was sure they’d help the man feel at home if he would visit. So Pastor Tony asked if the man would consider visiting his local Adventist church that very next day. Thankfully, the man agreed!
After Pastor Tony hung up, Sayuri called their friends in Yuba City to make sure they would be looking for their new friend the following day, but sadly she discovered that they would not be at church that Sabbath. But they assured her that the local pastor was very friendly and he would make the man feel welcome.
Then something very strange happened. That Sabbath morning the man got up, fully intending to visit the church, but suddenly the ceiling of his home collapsed on him! He was injured and had to be taken to the hospital, and of course was unable to go to church. We know that Satan doesn’t want this man to find a home among God’s people, so we wouldn’t be surprised if he had his wicked hand in this freak accident. But we also know that God’s more powerful and the story is not over yet.
The following week we had another chance to talk to this man. He confided with us that talking with Pastor Tony the previous Friday was a big blessing. He said that Pastor Tony’s kind, warm tone made him feel like he was talking to Jesus. He told us that he still plans to attends the Adventist church. And this time, Pastor Tony’s friends should be there to welcome him!
Believe it or not, there’s even more to this story. As Sayuri first spoke with the man on Friday she detected a foreign accent, so she mentioned that several of our channels were available in his area, including our health channel AND a brand new Spanish channel that was scheduled to launch THAT VERY DAY! He became so excited because he spoke Spanish! Well, the technical difficulties were overcome and we were able to launch the new channel on Friday as planned. When we spoke to him the following week he shared that he had been watching Vida Mejor TV and enjoying it very much!
Please pray for this dear soul and this amazing developing story.