If your class will present the Thirteenth Sabbath program for the adults:
Participants and Props: Ask children, juniors, or teens to take the speaking parts below. They do not need to memorize their parts, but they should be able to read them clearly. If you have a small pool of participants, arrange for two or three speakers to rotate through the parts.
Since some of the countries being featured this quarter are difficult to locate, prepare a map outlining them or project a map onto a screen.
Narrator: Today is Thirteenth Sabbath. This quarter we’ve learned about some children who live in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Russia, four countries that are part of the Euro-Asia Division. [Point out the Euro-Asia Division on a map.] They have told us how they share their faith with others. Today we can share our offering to help children in these countries learn more about God.
Speaker 1: Russia is the largest country in the world. It stretches almost halfway around the globe and covers two continents—Europe and Asia. Russia is so large that when it is 9:00 in the morning in Moscow, it is 8:00 in the evening in eastern Russia.
Most of the people in Russia live in the western part of the country. Russia has about 45,000 Seventh-day Adventist Christians. That is just one Adventist for every 2,700 people. So there is a lot of work ahead to teach people about Jesus.
Speaker 2: Most of the Asian part of Russia is known as Siberia. [Locate Siberia on a map.] While there are several large cities in Siberia, most of the land has few people living on it. Siberia gets very cold in the winter, and life is hard. During Communist times people who taught others about Jesus were often sent to prisons in Siberia as punishment. Today more than 10,000 Adventists live in Siberia.
Believers in two cities in Siberia need churches so that the members can invite their friends to study God’s Word together.
Speaker 3: The people who live in the country of Azerbaijan [locate on a map] are almost all non-Christian. Only about 700 Adventists live in this country. The believers in the capital city, Baku, need a place to worship. They’ve bought a building, but now they need help fixing it up to make a church. Part of our Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help the church members create a church that will stand for Christ in a land where few people know His name.
Speaker 4: [If you wish, ask several children to walk across the stage carrying a Bible or their Sabbath School lesson quarterly as the project is mentioned.]
The countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia make up one region of the Adventist Church called the Trans-Caucasus [CAW-cus-us] Union Mission. [Locate these countries between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.] More than 16 million people live in these three countries, but just 2,000 of them are Adventists. That’s one Adventist for every 8,200 people. That means that many villages and towns in these countries don’t have even one Seventh-day Adventist. But children are doing their part to share God’s love with others.
Speaker 5: Ten-year-old Moses lives in Armenia. He loves to pray for people. During family worship he remembers to pray for people, even when his parents forget. He has made many friends in his village, and he prays for each of them.
Once he gave a children’s Bible to Aram, one of his friends. Moses encouraged Aram to read a bit of the Bible every day. Aram tells Moses about the latest Bible stories he has read.
One day Aram read Jesus’ command to “Let the little children come to me . . . for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14, NIV). Aram took the command seriously and started inviting his friends to attend church. On Sabbath morning Aram walked into Moses’ church with 10 boys!
The children in Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan are eager to learn the Word of God, but they don’t have Sabbath School lesson materials in their own languages. The only materials available are in Russian, and few children speak Russian. Their teachers must read the lesson and translate it into the local language.
Narrator: This quarter we have met children from each of these countries. Adventist children around the world are giving their mission offerings today to help the children in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia get Sabbath School Bible lessons in their own language. Let’s help these children learn of God’s love by giving a big offering today for Thirteenth Sabbath.
Your mission offerings helped build several churches in the Euro-Asia Division three years ago. The believers in western Russia say a big thank-you for their new church home.