Monkeys Who Kept the Sabbath

Monkeys Who Kept the Sabbath!

By Andrew McChesney

Monkeys threatened to destroy the crops of a family farm in Mozambique. António Cuchata received strict orders from his father to keep the monkeys away. However, António didn’t want to guard the farm on Sabbath. He recently had given his heart to Jesus in baptism, and he wanted to spend the Sabbath worshiping in a Seventh-day Adventist church.

What would António do? He prayed and went to church.

Vervet monkeys were a severe problem for small farmers in the coastal province where António and his family lived in southeastern Africa. The monkeys, with black faces and gray body hair, stood at 16 to 20 inches tall. Tribes of 10 to 70 monkeys raided small farms for cassava, sweet potatoes, beans, peanuts, and other crops.

Father worried that the family wouldn’t have food or income if the monkeys decimated their crops. He also didn’t approve of his son going to the Adventist church. He had raised António in another faith, and he didn’t understand why the boy wanted to worship on the seventh day, Sabbath. Father didn’t mind skipping worship services on Sunday to watch the farm, and he told António that he also should help on Saturdays.

António loved Father. He hadn’t planned to become a Seventh-day Adventist, but an Adventist cousin had studied the Bible with him. He had grown convinced that he needed to follow what he had learned, including the fourth commandment, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work” (Exodus 20:8-10, NKJV).

So, António knelt and prayed, “Dear God, please stop the monkeys from coming to our farm while I am at church.” Then he went to the Adventist church in Casa-Nova, located about 15 miles from the farm.

António wasn’t sure what to expect when he returned home. To his joy, the monkeys stayed away all day. He prayed and went to church the next Sabbath, and again the monkeys did not come near the farm. Every Sabbath while António lived at home, the monkeys avoided the farm while he worshiped at the church.

Father refused to acknowledge the miracle, but António was filled with gratitude to God. Even today, years later, he still marvels at God’s care. “The monkeys also kept the Sabbath,” he said.

Andrew McChesney is editor of Adventist Mission.

World Church Prayer Requests

April 12 - 18, 2024

  • Pray for an orphanage in Haiti that’s struggling. Gangs have taken over the country and now the prisoners have broken out so there’s no peace. Pray that God’s innocent people will not be caught in the midst of the strife.
  • Pray for the students and staff at Andrews University and Oakwood University. Pray for God to lead as they go through transitions and changes.
  • Pray Antillean Adventist University in Puerto Rico. Pray for the new president, Edwin Hernandez, that God will bless his leadership.
  • Pray for the General Conference Women’s Ministries Department, as they move forward after the loss of Heather-Dawn Small. Pray for Galina Stele and the new leadership team.
  • Pray for preparations for the Back to the Altar Prayer Camp taking place in Botswana May 3-7. Prayer that many church members will be revived and that God will work in a powerful way.

Download this weeks prayer testimony and prayer requests.

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