Claudia is 8 years old. She lives on the campus of the Adventist university in central Cameroon. The school is located a few miles from the nearest town, right on the edge of the jungle. And living in the jungle often brings unexpected surprises.
One evening Mother went to close the door of the family’s house. Behind the door lay everyone’s shoes. As Mother pulled the door shut, she saw something move in the pile of shoes. Suddenly she shouted, “Snake! Snake!”
Claudia and her brothers were reading at the table. When Mother screamed, they jumped onto their chairs just in case the snake was poisonous. Mother grabbed a stick and hit the snake, but it didn’t die.
A neighbor heard Mother shout, and he came running with a cutlass, a long, sharp knife that people use to cut grass. He opened the door and asked, “Where’s the snake?” The children pointed to the pile of shoes behind the door. The man stepped inside and told Mother to get back.
Mother stepped back from the pile of shoes while her neighbor raised the cutlass and swung it at the snake. With one blow he killed the snake. He scooped up the snake with his cutlass to carry it outside.
Mother realized that it was a poisonous snake. She thanked her neighbor and then closed the door behind him.
Mother was still trembling as she looked at the children. “That snake could have killed one of us,” she said. “It must have slithered in through the open door. We can’t leave the door open anymore.”
The children nodded as they climbed off their chairs. “But God protected us,” Claudia said. “He helped you see the snake and helped the neighbor kill it before it could hurt us.”
A few minutes later Papa came home, and the children eagerly told him of their scary encounter with the snake. Then the entire family knelt and thanked God for keeping them safe.
“We have lots of snakes in Africa,” Claudia says. They live in the jungles and hide in the tall grass. They eat pests such as mice and rats, but their poison makes them dangerous to people. So we must watch out for snakes all the time.
“We must watch out for the devil, too. He tries to sneak up and bite us with the fangs of sin. Jesus will save us from Satan if we choose to live under His protection. We must always watch out for Satan so he can’t catch us and tempt us to sin.”
Claudia is right, boys and girls. Satan is even more dangerous than a poisonous snake. We must be careful to avoid him and warn others about him, too. And we must tell others that Jesus can protect them from Satan’s harm. We do that by telling our friends about God and by giving our mission offering every week. That way many children and adults can find protection in Jesus’ arms.