Photo above: Deyvy Rodríguez with his sister, Miriam, brother-in-law, Tanilo, and their children, Denisse and Alex.
by Bobby Davis
Deyvy Rodríguez joined 3ABN’s Pastoral Ministries staff earlier this year and we praise God for his dedication and support. But as we got to know him, we discovered another reason he loves this ministry.
“My mother was the only Christian in our family, and she made the decision—as Joshua did, ‘But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’ Joshua 24:15. However, my father seemed to purpose not to have any interest whatsoever in religion.”
He continues that as his mother made great efforts to teach them about God’s love, his father isolated himself from them more and more.
The Knock on the Door
“The time came for each of us to make our decision for Christ,” Deyvy says, “but sadly, each of us went our own way. Only my mother remained firm and faithful.
“For years she interceded for her family, and every Sabbath morning she’d wake me by knocking on my door, asking me to accompany her to church. Every week I’d say, ‘Not today, Mother, but I’ll go next week.’
“Then one Sabbath there was no knock on my door. I got up and looked around, but my mother was gone. She’d left for church, and at that moment I realized I wasn’t closing the door on her—I was closing it on God! Jesus’ words came to mind, ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.’ Revelation 3:20.”
Deeply convicted, Deyvy soon surrendered his life to Jesus. “Now it wasn’t just my mother; both of us wanted God to dwell in our home!” he says.
Recognizing a strong call from God to pastoral ministry, next Deyvy decided to study theology at a Seventh-day Adventist university—a decision not everyone was pleased with. After finishing his studies he served as a missionary in South Korea, where he spent three years teaching Bible courses to elementary school students.
“That experience changed my life,” he explains. “Spending time alone that far from home was a blessing because it allowed me to reflect on my life and spend more time with God. It wasn’t easy to adapt to a new culture, but I learned to relate to other people, and appreciate my family more. It hurt me to think that I was on the other side of the world bringing the good news to others, while those closest to me needed me the most. But what could I do, other than pray? After all, Jesus Himself said in Matthew 13:57, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.’
“But God had a plan!”
An Unusual Dream
One night Deyvy had an unusual dream where he saw himself baptizing his father. “Soon after that my father became very ill and was hospitalized several times for heart failure,” he says. “Although he eventually received a pacemaker, his health issues radically changed his life. He lost his job and the doctor forbade him from driving for a while. Then all he could do was stay at home and rest. And although he had no interest in God, the Holy Spirit was purposely working on his heart!
“I came home on vacation to a nearly empty house. My two sisters were married and my younger brother had joined the Marines, so I’m sure Dad must have felt very lonely when Mom would go to work.
“She’d wanted a satellite dish to watch Adventist channels for the longest time, and now I was home, so she ordered one. It arrived on Thursday, but I lacked any installation knowledge. So I prayed for wisdom and climbed onto the roof on Friday morning with borrowed tools in hand. After trying all day I finally managed to lock onto the satellite just before sunset. I was excited because I’d managed to install the dish, Mom was excited because she could get more recipes, and Dad was excited because now he could pick up all the channels in the world!
“However, his excitement only lasted until he realized that all the channels on this dish were religious! My mother asked me to set it up for only Seventh-day Adventist channels, but my father objected, asking us to leave all the channels on. Mom and I thought this quite odd, but we did as he asked. Little did we know that his search for truth would began that very night!”
The Preacher in the Living Room
That dish brought unimaginable changes to Deyvy’s family. “My father would flip through all kinds of religious channels in different languages, and despite himself, he began to listen—and compare—their messages. No one ever told him which ones were Adventist channels, but after he channel surfed for a while, he’d always end up on 3ABN Latino!
“I never imagined our TV set could be converted into something that preached so clearly,” Deyvy admits. “It was as if we had a pulpit in our home, and our living room was a church. My dad began attending ‘church’ quite regularly!
“Sometimes I’d notice him mimicking evangelist Andrés Portes, who later became his favorite speaker. Like the Bereans, he kept looking up the texts in the Scriptures to see if what he was hearing was true!”
Deyvy returned to Korea for his last year, but God stayed busy transforming his father’s heart—and his older sister’s life, too. Her husband hadn’t been raised in church, but now he began asking questions about her abandoned faith. “So, why don’t you go to church anymore?” he’d ask, as Deyvy’s mother picked up their children for Sabbath School.
His questions grew in both their hearts, and soon they were taking Bible studies from a church member. They also began taking their children to church, and even made the decision to put them in a Seventh-day Adventist academy.
Cancellation = Opportunity
One afternoon, Deyvy’s parents were sitting in their yard when Maria, one of the church members who’d been giving their daughter Bible studies, stopped by. “Somehow one of her Bible studyies had gotten canceled and Maria had extra time, so she stopped by for a visit,” Deyvy says. “The conversation turned to questions on spiritual matters, and suddenly Maria felt impressed to offer my father Bible studies. He struggled to make that commitment, but finally accepted, and had his first Bible study that very day!”
As Deyvy finished up in Korea, he felt the Lord calling him back to the mission field at home. “When I returned, my sister and brother-in-law were nearing their last Bible study,” he says. “They had made the decision, along with their two children, to give their lives to Christ through baptism. Even more thrilling, they asked me to baptize them!”
“And my father? Well, he also gave his life to Jesus just two weeks later. I can’t tell you the deep emotion I felt as I entered the baptistry to baptize him, too! Today my father and brother-in-law are deacons in the church, and my mother and sister serve as deaconesses.
“I praise the Lord for the role 3ABN Latino played in bringing my father to Jesus. God did have a plan after all, because even if ‘we are faithless, He remains faithful.’ 2 Timothy 2:13.”
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- Anastacio Rodríguez, Deyvy’s father, verifying the scriptures as he watched the messages.
- Anastacio’s baptism.
- Deyvy baptizing his brother-in-law, Tanilo.
- Deyvy standing with the senior pastor, José Luis Argumedo, baptizing his sister, Miriam.
- Deyvy’s father and sister serving as deacon and deaconess.