If your class will present the Thirteenth Sabbath program for the adults:
If your class will not join the adults for a special program, present the following children’s project story during the mission time.
[If you wish, prior to Sabbath School fill a plastic bag with new school supplies—pencils, an eraser, crayons, a copybook or spiral-bound notebook, some stickers, and a bookmark with a photo of Jesus on it. Be prepared to show this to the children at the appropriate place in the program.]
For the past three months we’ve heard stories from where? [Let a child answer.] Yes, from the West-Central Africa Division. [Locate the division on a map. Name some of the countries that make up this division.] Our stories this quarter have come from two of these countries. Who can name one of them? [Let children respond until they’ve named Cameroon and Ghana. Locate these countries on the map.]
Our stories have been about how children shared their faith with others. Let’s see if we can remember some of the stories.
We heard about Vanessa, who lives in Cameroon. She wanted her best friend to understand her faith, so she invited Gladys to visit her Sabbath School. Gladys loved Sabbath School and wanted to go back, even when her mother told her no. But Vanessa told Gladys that she must respect her mother. Gladys’s mother was so surprised when Gladys obeyed that she wanted to visit the church, too. We learned that when we show kindness and respect to others, people notice. Today Gladys and her mother attend church together—with Vanessa’s family.
Our second story was about a surprise—and unwelcome—visitor in Claudia’s family home. Can anyone remember what that visitor was? [Snake.] When Mother discovered the snake in a pile of shoes, she screamed, and a neighbor came and killed it. The family realized that once again God had protected them from danger. Claudia shares her story so other children will know that when we need help, God is there to help us.
We had another story about a girl named Patricia who has a serious illness. When her mother died, her father and grandmother wanted her to go to the public school, but the children there didn’t treat her well. Patricia prayed that her grandmother and father would allow her to return to the Adventist school, where the children treated her kindly. God answered her prayer, too, and now when Patricia doesn’t feel well, her classmates help her; they don’t make fun of her. Patricia’s classmates are showing God’s love by their actions toward Patricia, aren’t they?
Rodrig [rohd-REEG] couldn’t continue studying in the school where he had been, so his mother enrolled him in an Adventist school. Rodrig didn’t know much about God, but his host family and his classmates helped him learn a lot very fast. Today Rodrig is sharing his faith with his sisters and his father.
Mawuli [mah-WOO-lee] and his family live in Ghana on the campus of Valley View University. When his cousin, who is much older than he is, saw him reading a devotional book, she asked to read it as well. He finished reading that day’s devotion and gave the book to his cousin. She liked the book and continued reading it. Soon she joined the family in their worship every evening, and before long she was attending church with the family. Mawuli didn’t have to say a lot to convince his cousin to follow God; the example of his actions was enough to convince her that God loves her and wants to be her best friend.
Mary and Joseph are brother and sister. They study in an Adventist school, even though their parents weren’t Adventists when they first sent the children. From the time that Joseph was in first grade he’s loved his school and the church next door. He and his little sister often pleaded with their parents to come with them to church. Finally one day Mother agreed. She was surprised how much she enjoyed worshipping God again. Mother has joined the church now, and the family is praying for Father to join them.
Next we heard a story about Joyce, who attends an Adventist school. Something special happened one day at her school. The children gathered around a large table on the playground. They were given bags and told to put some things into their bag. Who remembers what the children put into their bags. [Let the children guess.] Yes, they put school supplies—notebooks, pencils, erasers, crayons, a bookmark, and a picture of Jesus. When the bags were filled, children were told to take them with them when they left school. But what did the children do with these bags? [Let a child answer.]
Yes, they were to give the bag to a friend who didn’t have the money to buy school supplies. Can you remember what else the child did when they gave the bag to their friend? Yes, they were to invite the child to follow them to Sabbath School, where they could learn about God.
One girl named Dinah prayed about who she should give her bag of school supplies to.
Then she thought of Israel, a little boy who didn’t attend her school. The more she thought of him, the more sure she wanted to give her bag to Israel. The next day she found Israel and told him that she had something for him. Israel was curious what it could be. Dinah hurried to get the bag and held it out for Israel.
“This is for you,” she said. “It will help you do well in school this year. And with it comes a message that Jesus loves you and wants you to learn more about him by coming with me to Sabbath School.”
Israel’s eyes grew wide with excitement as he looked into the bag. It was like a Christmas gift! He peeked into the bag and found a brand-new pencil and a copybook to write his lessons in, an eraser, and some crayons. There was a bookmark that said “Jesus loves you” on it, and on the back was an invitation from his friend to attend Sabbath School with her. He looked up at Dinah and smiled his own thank-you to her.
Just imagine how a small bag with some simple school supplies can make a big difference to a child in Africa. Now we can’t send bags with school supplies to Africa, for it would cost a lot of money. But we can give our Thirteenth Sabbath Offering today so that the teachers in Africa can buy the school supplies the children need and let the children there make the bags. Then the children can give them out to their friends, just as Dinah did.
This is one more way you can help children in another country share God’s love and make God’s family grow bigger. As we take up our offering this morning, let’s pray that it will help fill lots of bags with love and invitations to follow a friend to Sabbath School.
[Close in prayer before offering.]
Your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering today will help children share God’s love as they share school supplies with others.
[For photos of this project, visit www.AdventistMission.org. Click on “Resources” and “Children’s Activities,” and then on fourth quarter. Find the file titled “Project Photos.”]