"During 25 years that he has [sic] a career in social communication in this institution, nothing like this has ever happened." These were the words Romina Castro received from the authorities of the university in Ecuador, where she studies.
In November 2020, Romina learned she would have practical workshops every Saturday. The teacher of this subject told her if she missed at least three times, she would fail. Romina told her teacher she kept the seventh-day Sabbath, but he mentioned it was impossible to make an exception for just one person. Romina went to the Department of Religious Freedom to request support and help for the situation she was facing, since it is her last year in the social communication program.
"After we learned about this situation, the action protocol for this type of case was activated," says attorney Ignacio Castro, who is in charge of the Department of Religious Freedom at the administrative headquarters of the Adventist Church in southern Ecuador.
For approximately two months, a legal process was maintained, and on January 5, 2021, the resolution was issued by the academic establishment. The decision made by the board of directors of the Faculty where Romina studies reported an agreement has been reached with all the student's teachers, and they have agreed to modify their schedules to offer a day other than Saturday and authorize her to resume the radio workshop.
Romina was one of the first participants in the project A Year in Mission (OYIM) in Guayaquil. She is studying social communication and is grateful to God because during these four years of study, her academic performance is good, and that has allowed her to give a credible testimony to her teachers and classmates. She also appreciates the willingness of the teachers.
“I was very afraid because all the authorities said that in 25 years of my career something like this had never happened and that it was difficult to find a solution for me. I even thought about which university I would go to because I could not continue my career without these practices; it is what I need to graduate. However, I felt the embrace of my friends, my family, and God knowing that He is in control of everything ”, Romina exclaimed.
“It is worth being faithful. And the important thing is that this opens an open door for other Adventist college students. You have to be faithful, yes, but the testimony is also important—our actions, our grades, and how we behave at the university ”, she added.