Phrase published on social network caught the attention of a student from Espírito Santo who was going through difficult times.
Jun 25, 2020 | Esírito Santo, Brazil | Ayanne Karoline
“If you need to vent, contact me.” That was the phrase that caught the attention of Instagram viewer — and student — Joyce Sette, who lives in the Brazilian state of Espírito Santo.
Joyce, dealing with family problems at the time, contacted the student who authored the post, Júlia Thomasi Feitosa. They didn’t know each other, but that changed as Júlia studied with Joyce via the communications service known as WhatsApp.
Even though she’s a student who also has an internship, Júlia has conducted weekly Bible studies with Joyce for two months through in-app messages.
“It’s been wonderful. Not only am I giving her a Bible study, but we also have become friends. We do subjects together in college and we are getting closer. We share our family’s situations, our problems and we pray for each other,” Júlia said.
Joyce testified about the change that Bible studies with her new friend has already made in her life:
“Júlia is a person who, when I was super down in relation to my family due to health and such, came to get me up. I didn’t know Júlia even though we attend the same college. We met online this year and I saw her great heart. I saw her post on Instagram that if someone needed to let off steam or something, they could get in touch, and I was feeling really bad since the pandemic started, mainly due to my my parents, my father in particular. He has an incurable disease and since the pandemic began he was desperate as if he were going to die. Since then, Julia started giving me Bible studies every day, and I started to study and pass them on to my parents, until then, it was difficult because my father had lost faith, but these studies helped me to get rid of bad thoughts, and changed my father’s thinking. To this day, in the same manner that she teaches me, I teach them. Things about spirituality have improved a lot, today my father only thinks about not giving up and being strong.
“I took the studies she gave me from my cell phone and put them in a notebook, I acted like a teacher with my parents, just as Júlia did for me.
“Júlia and these studies brought me comfort and peace of mind, and especially hope. Because that was something that nobody here at home had, especially me. I was discouraged and going into depression. Then I started to read the studies and teachings and I saw how important Christ’s love for us is. And that just as he suffered and did not give up, there is no reason for me to give up so easily. I have to at least have that strength, that courage, and faith that he had. And lately, I am being like this, even being quarantined for 3 consecutive months, only at home, I thank him for every day to be able to wake up in good health and the best, to see my parents happy and beside me.”
Message that reaches
Friends Thairine Araújo and Priscila Sarmento got together, as Júlia did, to bring hope to other people through Bible studies via social networks.
By video call on WhatsApp, they hold weekly Bible studies with a friend: “She was already attending our youth meetings and before the pandemic started, expressed her desire to be baptized. Then we explained to her the importance of Bible study and she accepted it,” said Priscila.
However, as soon as the pandemic began, the difficulties of face-to-face study arose. Then came the idea of doing it online. “I gave her the printed study and we started to recap the topics via WhatsApp,” Priscila explained.
Seventh-day Adventist young adults throughout South America are giving online Bible studies as a means of sharing the gospel despite the restrictions of the pandemic. It’s another way for these Adventists—and other church members—to help fulfill the great commission of preaching the good news and making disciples.