Southern India | January 1

Esli’s Example

Esli [EHS-lee] lives in Chennai, a city on the southeastern coast of India. [Locate Chennai on a map.] She studies at an Adventist school, even though her parents attended a different church. "I like it here!" Esli says. "The teachers are nice, and the students respect one another."

Invitation to Worship

One day Esli's teacher asked her mother to allow Esli to attend Sabbath School. Her mother agreed. "I thought the Adventist church would be a lot like my own church," Esli says, "but it was a lot more fun. I especially like the songs we sing and the Bible stories we learn."
Every week after church Esli told her mother what she had learned in church. She often recited the Bible text she had memorized.

Esli asked her mother to let her take her younger sister, Jennie, to Sabbath School with her, and Mother agreed. When the girls returned home after church, they both told their mother what they had learned in church. Mother enjoyed hearing what the girls told her.

Learning New Things

One week the girls learned that pork and other animals were unclean. When they told their mother about it, Mother tried to convince them that it was OK to eat these foods. But the sisters refused to eat it after that. "If Mother put it on my plate, I didn't object; I just didn't eat it," Esli says. "Mother didn't force me to eat it."

Esli learned so much about God that soon she knew more about the Bible than her mother did. Esli told her mother about the Sabbath and explained why it's important to worship God on the day He set aside as holy, and that day is Sabbath. Often Esli invited their mother to go to church with Jennie and her. The girls' parents sometimes went to special school programs at the church, but Esli wanted her parents to worship with them on Sabbath.

Finally Mother agreed to go to church with her daughters. Mother liked the worship service and began attending church every week. One happy day Mother gave her heart to Jesus and asked the pastor to help her get ready to be baptized. Esli was so happy! Now, if only Father would go to church with the family too, Esli would be thrilled!

Praying for Father

But Father said that he was too busy to attend church on Sabbaths. So Esli and her mother and Jennie prayed that Father would want to take time to worship God with them.

Then one day Father wasn't feeling well. He had pain in his chest and went to the hospital. He stayed in the hospital for several days, and when he was released, he was told to rest.

Esli often talked to her father about God while he rested. And she invited him to go to church with her. Finally Father agreed to go. He doesn't go to church with the family every week, but Esli prays that one day soon he will join Mother and Jennie and her in worship at the Adventist church.

Esli's Example

Esli loves to invite people to church. She invited her auntie and both of her grandmothers to go with her, and they came. Now all three have become Adventists!

"I invite my neighborhood friends to come, too," Esli says. "So far most of them haven't come, but I keep inviting them. You never know who will come and who will not, so I want to invite everyone," she says. "I don't want to miss someone who might come if I invite them."

Esli's right, boys and girls. We never know who will come to church if we invite them. So we must invite everyone to come and learn about God's love for us. That's one way we can tell others about Jesus.

Another way we can tell others about Jesus is to give our offering so that those we may never meet can hear about God's love too. Let's bring a big offering so that everyone can learn that God loves them. Then Jesus can come, and we'll all go to heaven together!

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