To look at a photo of Karine Riboli, a Seventh-day Adventist from the city of Campo Grande in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul, along with her husband and their four-month-old son, Felipe, you’d be correct in saying the family is happy and enjoying life.
But it was a bumpy path to today’s smiles, and for Karine, who works as a part-time judge hearing civil cases, that road had many opportunities to see God demonstrate His faithfulness to someone willing to follow what the Bible commands.
Take the Sabbath, for example.
"Even though they were upset, the teachers used to apply the tests on other days and at alternative times."
“I decided to study law ... and, like every Seventh-day Adventist student [in Brazil], I had my difficulties with Friday night classes,” Karine recalled. “Even though they were upset, the teachers used to apply the tests on other days and at alternative times. I [had] made a commitment to God never to look at any subject that was taught in classes that day,” she added.
In order to keep the Sabbath, Karine usually missed classes on civil law and civil procedure, because they were subjects that fell on Friday evenings. However, she always successfully completed these courses on her own time.
“My Civil Process teacher mocked my faith, questioning me before the entire class, and claimed religion was really based only on good deeds to others. Despite this, my grades have always been [high], since I was extremely dedicated to the Sabbath, with the intention of honoring God,” she said.
When she finished the eighth semester of university, Karine decided to take the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB) examination, which resulted in her immediate approval in both sections of the test. “I wanted to show that the Lord of the Sabbath would not abandon me and God was faithful to me, honoring me with approval before I even finished the course,” she pointed out.
Rewards of Fidelity
Shortly before graduation, there was a public tender for attorneys to apply for a “lay judge” position. At this point, Karine was nearly two months pregnant with Felipe. The work schedule fit the needs of women with children, so she decided to give it a try. Then came another test of faith.
“Before my third month of pregnancy, an ultrasound revealed I had Isthmus Cervical Incompetence and my doctor told me that my cervix was short so I would not support the baby, which would lead to a miscarriage or a premature birth,” she said.
Medication and total bed rest were prescribed. Karine, her family members, and her Seventh-day Adventist Church family prayed for a miracle. At her next ultrasound there was a good report about the issue, and while some minor problems remained, she was optimistic and kept up her faith.
Felipe was born in the 37th week of her pregnancy, and Karine and her son were at home two days afterwards.
"Today my son is four months old and completely healthy,” Karine said. “I was approved in the application I had done before leaving college and serve as a lay judge, working out of the house only once a week part time, which allows me to spend every other day at home taking care of my baby. It’s all as God planned.”