Sonia is 8 and in the third grade. She lives in Krasnoyarsk [KRAHZ-no-yarsk], a city in the heart of Russia.
When Sonia started school in the first grade, she met a boy in her class named Ikáz [ee-KAHZ}. Ikáz is smaller than the other children in their class because he has a heart problem. He can’t run and play as most boys do. Ikáz comes from Armenia, a country west of Russia. [Locate Armenia on a map and draw a line to Krasnoyarsk.] It made Sonia sad when the other children teased Ikáz because he didn’t speak Russian well. He couldn’t help it if he was smaller than the other children or that his Russian wasn’t as good.
Sonia told her mother about Ikáz, and her mother suggested that Sonia invite him to come to their home and work on their homework together. Sonia thought that this was a good idea, especially when Mother was able to help Ikáz with his math and Russian.
Sonia learned that Ikáz has a younger brother and three younger sisters. They all live with his grandmother. Sonia has no brothers or sisters, and she tried to imagine what it was like to have five children in one family. Before long the two children became like brother and sister. “I would rather have had a sister,” Sonia says smiling. “But Ikáz makes a pretty good brother.”
Sonia often talked to Ikáz about her church and the Adventurer Club she had just joined. “I showed Ikáz my new Adventurer’s uniform. Really it’s just a white blouse and a special neckerchief, but Ikáz really liked it. He asked lots of questions about Adventurers.”
Sonia invited Ikáz to church and Adventurers, but it wasn’t until her father invited him that he agreed to go. “I’m glad he came,” she said. “He really likes Adventurers, and the children there don’t tease him about being small or from another country.”
Today Ikáz is like a member of Sonia’s family. He goes to church with her every week and takes part in Adventurers.
Sonia tells her classmates about Jesus, just as she told Ikáz. Some won’t listen, but some do. Sonia and her mother decided to hold an after-school Bible club for the children in Sonia’s school. Sonia invited several girls, but just a few came. “We talked about nature, and I taught them some songs about Jesus,” Sonia said. “But one by one the children stopped coming, and the Bible club ended. I want to invite more children and start the Bible club again. I am praying that the children’s parents will allow them to come.”
Sonia shares God’s love with the children in her school. In this way she is a missionary. Another way Sonia is a missionary is by giving her mission offering in Sabbath School. We all can be missionaries by sharing God’s love and by giving our mission offerings. That’s what Jesus wants us to do.