Sonia is 6 years old. She lives in Tomsk, a city in the heart of Russia. Sonia’s mother works in a dress shop and sometimes takes Sonia to work with her. Sonia likes to go with Mother. She likes the women who work there, even Mother’s boss, who she calls Auntie Julia.
One day when Sonia went to work with her mother, Sonia heard Auntie Julia telling the other women that she had lost her cell phone. “I know I had it when I left home,” she said as she searched through her pockets. “But now I can’t find it.” Sonia knew that people seldom ever get their cell phones back if they are lost or stolen.
“Call your cell phone,” one of the women suggested. “We’ll listen for it. Maybe we can find it that way.” Everyone stayed quiet, but no one heard a cell phone ringing.
“Maybe it’s turned off,” Mother said hopefully. “We’ll search the shop for it.” The women scattered throughout the shop and searched under the racks of clothing, behind the cash register, even in the bathroom. Auntie Julia searched through her bag and in her coat pockets again. But no one found the phone.
“I know what we can do,” Sonia told Auntie Julia. “We can ask Jesus to help you find it!” Auntie Julia was surprised to hear Sonia suggest that they pray, for she had never prayed for anything before. But before Auntie Julia could say anything, Sonia knelt down in the middle of the shop and prayed.
“Dear Jesus,” she said, “please help us to find Auntie Julia’s telephone. We love you so much. Amen.” Sonia opened her eyes and stood up. All the women were looking at her. Mother was a little surprised too, but she smiled a smile that told Sonia that she was happy that Sonia had prayed.
It was time to open the shop for the day, and the cell phone still hadn’t been found. Whenever the women had a free moment, they looked in different places where the telephone might have fallen. But no one found it. They even searched the storage room in the attic.
The next day Sonia went with her mother to the shop again. Soon after they arrived Auntie Julia walked in waving her cell phone. “Where was it?” everyone asked at the same time.
“I lost it in the bus on the way to work yesterday,” Auntie Julia said. “The bus driver found it last night when he was cleaning the bus. Of course, he didn’t know whose phone it was, so he looked at the phone numbers in the directory and saw the one that said “Mother.” He called the number and learned it was my phone. He actually took the phone to my house! Can you believe it?” she asked. “Imagine that we called that phone several times, but no one heard it ring. I’ve never heard of someone losing a phone and ever finding it again,” Auntie Julia said. “Most people would keep the phone and use the minutes left on it. But to have someone find the phone and take it to the owner—that’s amazing.” The women nodded, knowing Auntie Julia was right.
Then Auntie Julia saw Sonia standing near her mother. She bent over and said, “Thank you for praying for my phone, Sonia. I’m so amazed. God really helped me find my phone!”
Sonia smiled and said, “Pajalusta [pah-JAHLS-tah; you’re welcome]. God likes to answer our prayers. You just have to believe.”
Auntie Julia often asks Mother questions about God now. And Sonia and her mother have had lots of chances to tell Auntie Julia how much Jesus loves her.
God gives us lots of opportunities to share our faith with others. One way is to pray for them. Another is to tell them about God. And another way is to give our mission offerings so that people all around the world can learn about God’s love. Let’s see how many ways we can share God’s love this week.