Dream’s Change Father’s Life
By Andrew McChesney
Anush had prayed for years for Father to come to God. After Father allowed her and Mother to return to church on Sabbaths, she began to pray even more earnestly, pleading with God to reveal Himself to Father. “I don’t want to be the center of this story,” she prayed. “Speak to Father through dreams, visions, or friends. I just want his salvation.”
She surrendered the matter to God. “It’s about You and him,” she said.
Then Father had a dream. In it, he saw fire raining down on a city located near their town in Armenia. He saw some people running and screaming and others who were peaceful and singing. Father was astonished. He told Anush and Mother about the dream.
About the same time, Anush watched an online sermon about the Holy Spirit, and she told Father about it. “The preacher said the fire of the Holy Spirit protects us from the fire of hell,” she said. “When you get the fire of the Holy Spirit, you won’t be scared of the fire at the end of the world.”
Something clicked. Father understood that the frightened people in his dream didn’t have the Holy Spirit and were afraid of hellfire, while the peaceful people were not afraid because they had received the fire of the Holy Spirt. He remembered reading that the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, descended on Jesus at His baptism (Matthew 3:16).
“I need to get baptized,” Father said.
But the words sounded strange to him even as they came out of his mouth.
Armenia prides itself as the first country to adopt Christianity, in 301 A.D., and many Armenians consider it their duty to be Christian. They were baptized as infants, not as adults. Now, Father wasn’t sure what to do.
“You have the Bible,” Anush said. “Read it. Let the Bible answer your questions. Let the Bible lead you to the right church.”
Father read the Bible even more earnestly. One day, a friend asked him why he was reading the Bible so intently. “Is it something to boast about?” the friend asked. “If Jesus came tomorrow, would you say, ‘I have read the Bible?’ Would that be enough?”
The questions shocked Father. His whole body trembled. As short time later, when he had left the friend’s house and was alone in his car, he poured out his heart to God. “If Jesus came tomorrow, what would I say to Him?” he prayed. “If Jesus really came, what would I say to Him?”
He went home and told Mother, “I’ll go to church with you next Sabbath.”
But Father didn’t want to go to the town’s house church, which was comprised of seven women. “Let’s go to the church in the next town,” he said.
From that Sabbath, Father began to worship every week in church. It still took some time, but finally nine years after Anush had first started praying for her father’s salvation, he was baptized as a Seventh-day Adventist.
After his baptism, Father met the friend whose question about reading the Bible had shocked him and prompted him to start going to church. “Did you know that your words change my life?” he said. “I stopped being a passive Bible reader and got baptized.”
“What are you talking about?” the friend asked. The friend then denied that the conversation had ever taken place.
“I never said that,” he said. “I would never judge you like that. You must have made a mistake.”
At that moment, Father realized that God had spoken to him through his friend, who hadn’t even realized what he had said.
Today, Father, whose name is Armen Safaryan, works together with his wife, Gayane Badalyan, and daughter, Anush Safaryan, making tofu at their company. As the only tofu company in Armenia, it has been featured on national television, and Father had an opportunity to share his faith when asked why he makes tofu.
Father is a church elder and leader of the family ministries department, and he and Mother, who runs the church’s health ministries department, are in high demand at other churches. Father is seen as a role model in a country where many mothers and children still go to church without their husbands and fathers. Father, Mother, and Anush want to change that. “See, this normal Armenian man is an Adventist,” church leaders say in introducing Father at speaking engagements. “Men, you are not alone. This man goes to church on Sabbath.”
Anush shares her story at churches and youth camps, saying, “Do not be satisfied with your husbands and fathers just allowing you to go to church. Plead with God for them to go with you.”
Andrew McChesney is editor for Adventist Mission. These stories are shared with permission.
World Church Prayer Requests
December 8 - 14, 2023
- Pray for the 10 Days of Prayer that will be running January 10-20, 2024, focused on the “Priorities of Faith.” Pray that many churches and groups around the world will take part.
- Pray for the Generation. Youth. Christ. event that will take place in Portland Dec. 27th-31st. Pray that it will be a life-changing experience for the many young people that will attend.
- Pray that in the midst of a world of uncertainty, we will hold fast to our Prince of Peace.
- Pray for the Back to the Altar worship initiative that it would inspire people all around the world.
- Pray that we, as God’s end time people, would prepare ourselves for what is to come by rooting ourselves in God’s Word and taking daily unrushed time with Jesus.
- Pray that individuals and families around the world would be drawn back to the altar, God’s altar, of worship each day—experiencing personally what it means to walk daily with Jesus.