Today’s story comes from Ghana. [Locate Ghana on a map.]
Elorm [EH-lorm] and her brother, Mawuli [mah-WOO-lee], live on the campus of Valley View University, the Adventist university in southern Ghana. But they must attend school in the community because there is no Adventist primary school on the campus.
When Elorm started attending a new school, some of her new classmates noticed that she was different from other children. They noticed that she didn’t wear earrings and asked her why. “I told them that God says that we don’t need jewelry to be beautiful,” Elorm says. “God wants us to be beautiful from the inside, not just on the outside. It must come from our hearts.”
One day Elorm’s teacher announced that he would start holding classes on Saturday, and Elorm explained to him that she would not attend because she is a Seventh-day Adventist. He urged her to come to the classes so that she would do well on her year-end exams.
When her friends realized that Elorm didn’t attend classes on Saturdays, they asked her why. She explained to them that she attends church on Saturday, her Sabbath, and she invited them to visit her church. To her surprise and joy, one of her classmates came to the university to attend church, and she brought several of her friends with her.
After the Saturday classes began, Elorm asked her classmates to lend her their notes from Saturday. They asked her why she didn’t just come and take her own notes. Again Elorm had a chance to tell them that she worships God on Saturday, her Sabbath. Her friends shared their notes with her.
When the teacher learned that Elorm was borrowing notes from the other children, he asked her, “How are you going to study if you don’t understand the notes?” She explained that God would help her to understand the lessons.
At the end of the semester when the children took their exams on all the subjects, Elorm scored very well. “I know that God helped me to do well because I honored Him and His Sabbath,” she says. “My friends realize that God helped me do well, even when I didn’t come to class. I know that if I have faith in God, He will help me.”
Mawuli enjoys his family’s devotions. He also likes to have his own devotions. “My parents gave me a book of devotions for children my age,” he says. “That book has helped me share my faith with my cousin Rosina.
“Rosina stays with us during her school breaks. One day she saw me reading my devotional book and asked me what it was about. I told her, and she was surprised that I was so interested in a book about God. She asked to read it too, so after I read it for my devotions, I gave it to her to read. She liked it as much as I do.
“Rosina isn’t a child; she’s 21. But her family doesn’t go to church very often, and she grew up feeling that religion wasn’t important. But when she stays with us she goes to church every Sabbath. And when we go on Friday evenings, she goes with us too. And when we stay home on Friday evenings, she joins us for our family worship.
“At first Rosina found it strange that we have devotions every morning and every evening. But she joined us, and I began to see her change. She became happier and more joyful. I notice that now she prepares for the Sabbath on Friday. We didn’t say anything to her about these things; we just do what we always do, and she is catching the joy of Jesus from us. I’ve learned that my actions can have an effect on people, so I must always behave well.”
We will hear several stories in the next few weeks from children who live at or near the Adventist university. Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help build a church on the campus so that many more people can worship God.