If your division will present the Thirteenth Sabbath program for the adults, practice the song on page 19, remind parents of the program, and encourage the children to bring their Thirteenth Sabbath Offering.
If your division will not join the adults, present the program below.
Remind the children to bring their Thirteenth Sabbath Offering. Tell them that it is their gift to Jesus and the children He loves around the world. Make the offering a big event in Sabbath School. Let the children know how much they have brought for missions during the quarter. Count the money given on Thirteenth Sabbath and tell the children the total. Praise them for what they have done and let them know that their offerings will make a big difference to children just like them who live in the North American Division.
Participants and props: Ask a primary or junior child to take the part of storyteller 1, a teen to take storyteller 2, and an adult to take the narrator’s part. They do not need to memorize their parts, but they should be able to read them clearly. If desired, use a straight stick (a branch stripped of wood or a straight cane will work well) as a “talking stick.” Pass it from one speaker to the next to indicate that the person holding the stick has permission to speak.
Narrator: Today is Thirteenth Sabbath. This quarter we’ve learned about children in the North American Division. [Point out the North American Division on a map.] Some of these children have come from countries far away, while others live where they were born. But all the children have learned that Jesus loves them, and they want to share God’s love with others.
Today it’s our turn to share. We will share our Thirteenth Sabbath Offering so that more children—and adults—in North America can learn about Jesus.
Storyteller 1: A group of Native American children walked up the dusty road to the community center. They chattered excitedly as they entered the building and saw bright balloons and a black curtain draped across the front of the room. The children sat down on the floor and waited eagerly.
Storyteller 2: Just then a teenage boy stepped in front of the curtain and greeted the children. He held the community talking stick, so the children listened quietly. “Welcome,” he said, his voice cracking a bit. Some of the children giggled quietly. They could tell the boy was nervous. “We’ve come to have some fun this week, and we hope we can teach you some important lessons, too. So let’s get started.
First, we want to teach you some of our favorite songs. We’ll sing one song through for you, and then you can join us, OK?” Several visiting teens came to the front. A boy strummed a chord on his guitar, and the group began singing, “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands.” They clapped twice and nodded to the children seated on the floor to clap too.
Storyteller 1: The children caught on to the song quickly, and soon they were singing and clapping with the teens. Rebecca had come to the meeting feeling not at all happy. Her parents had yelled at each other—again—that morning, and the yelling frightened her. But as she sang she began to feel happy. And when the new kids taught the group a song about how much God loves them, Rebecca thought that maybe someone did love her after all.
Storyteller 2: After singing time, the visitors walked behind the black curtain. As a boy told a story, puppets popped up from behind the black curtain and acted out the story.
“Andy didn’t like to obey,” the boy said. “One day while Andy ran around out on the prairie, Grandfather called to him to come. Instead, Andy ran away from Grandfather. It was like a game to Andy. ‘Andy!’ Grandfather shouted. ‘Stop!’ But Andy kept running. Suddenly Andy fell off a cliff and tumbled to the ground below! Grandfather rushed to the cliff and peered over.
“‘Grandfather, help me!’ Andy cried. ‘I hurt my foot and can’t walk!’ Grandfather ran to get a friend and some rope. Andy cried softly as he waited for Grandfather to return. Soon Grandfather’s face peered over the cliff again. ‘I’m coming down,’ he said. Grandfather’s friend lowered Grandfather down the cliff side to where Andy lay. He wrapped some cloth strips around Andy’s foot and then told him to hold on while Grandfather’s friend pulled them to safety.
“Andy had sprained his ankle and he couldn’t walk for several days. Grandfather visited Andy and said, ‘I called to you to stop because I knew you were in danger. But you disobeyed and you were hurt. It’s important to obey your elders.’ Andy nodded. He had learned an important lesson.
“The Bible says: ‘Children, obey your parents’ [Ephesians 6:1, NIV]. We must obey our parents so we can be happy and safe. In the same way we must also obey God.”
Narrator: The puppets disappeared, and the visitors invited the children to another part of the room where tables awaited them. Colorful papers and lots of markers and strips of ribbon and bottles of glue awaited the children. Shona, one of the teenage visitors, showed the children how to make a basket from the supplies on the table. “Your basket will hold God’s promises and commands,” she explained. And she recited the Bible text for the day: “Children, obey your parents.”
Storyteller 1: The children tried to listen as Shona explained how to make the basket. The children cut and colored and glued until their baskets looked almost like Shona’s.
Storyteller 2: The children gathered in small groups for one more story. One of the teens told the story of Jonah, a man who disobeyed God. “God sent a fish to swallow Jonah, not to punish Jonah for disobeying but to carry Jonah safely to land. The fish spit Jonah out on the land, where Jonah decided to do as God had asked him.” Yuck! a young boy said to himself as he thought about being inside a fish. I don’t want to disobey!
The children sang one of the songs they had learned before they ran home. They were eager to tell their parents what they had learned. All week the children heard stories about obedience, trust, love, and sharing. And they learned lots more about God, too. Some of the children gave their hearts to Jesus that week.
Narrator: Many of the children living on the Native American reservations know about God, the Creator. But they don’t know that Jesus loves them and wants to be their friend. Part of our Thirteenth Sabbath Offering today will help Native American young people share God’s love with Native American children across North America. Let’s give our offering with a thankful heart because we love Jesus and want others to learn to love Him too.
Like many churches across Canada, the Cawston, British Columbia, Seventh-day Adventist Church’s small membership has struggled to reach their community. But thanks to the fourth quarter 2009 Thirteenth Sabbath Offering, they now have the equipment to broadcast Christian radio to their community. Some 35 other communities in British Columbia have also received help to establish similar radio transmitters. Thank you!