Cecilia is just 11 years old, but she’s an experienced literature evangelist.
Cecilia lives with her father and her younger sister in Manado, Indonesia. When she was 8 years old, her friend Christy invited her to become a literature evangelist. “What’s a literature evangelist?” Cecilia asked.
“It’s someone who sells Christian magazines and books to people so they will learn about Jesus,” Christy said.
Cecilia loved telling others about God, so the idea of selling books to share God’s love appealed to her. Cecilia asked Christy to explain to her father what she does. Father saw Cecilia’s determination and eventually agreed to let her become a literature evangelist.
Christy took Cecilia to a government office building, where Cecilia watched as Christy talked to the people. “This book is about God and how He works in people’s lives,” Christy said. “And this one is about Jesus’ great sermon on the mountain. I also have books on health and other spiritual books.” Christy took orders for several books and promised to bring them the following week.
Next it was Cecilia’s turn to talk to the people. Eagerly she told some people about the wonderful books the girls were selling. One afternoon as the girls collected money for the books they were delivering, Cecilia had an idea. Maybe I can sell enough books to help pay my tuition to the Adventist school! Cecilia’s father couldn’t afford to send his daughters to the Adventist school. Perhaps Cecilia could earn the money and attend the Adventist school after all. Cecilia began saving her money toward her next year’s school fees.
Christy’s brother began working with Cecilia. One afternoon the two met after school and prayed about where they should go to sell books that day. They started walking down the street and soon passed a soft-drink company. “Let’s try this business,” Cecilia said. The two walked inside and saw a security guard standing near the entrance.
The children greeted the security guard and explained who they were and what they wanted to do. “We’re on school holiday and are selling books to help pay our school tuition,” Cecilia said. “Do you have a few minutes to let us show you our books?” The children hoped that the guard would allow them to talk to a few people before sending them on their way.
The security guard told the children, “The company owner is in. Wait here while I get him.” The children were surprised and a little afraid to meet the owner of the company, but the security guard had hurried away, so they waited.
A few minutes later the company’s owner appeared and greeted the children. He listened as they talked to him about God’s love and the books they were selling. They explained that they were earning money to help pay their school tuition.
“Where do you go to school?” the company’s owner asked. Cecilia’s friend told the man that he attended the Adventist school, and Cecilia named the school she was attending.
“Why don’t you study at the Adventist school too?” the man asked Cecilia.
“My father can’t afford to send me,” Cecilia said simply. “But I’m saving my money, and maybe by next year I’ll have enough to enroll at the Adventist school.”
The man looked into Cecilia’s eyes and saw her sincerity. Then he asked a surprising question. “If I pay your school fees, would your father let you study at the Adventist school?”
Cecilia’s eyes grew large. “Oh, yes!” she said.
“Then ask your father to come and see me this Friday,” he said, smiling. Cecilia was so excited that she couldn’t speak, so she hugged the man.
The children thanked the man and left the building, completely forgetting about selling more books. That evening Cecilia told her father the good news. On Friday Father went to the soft-drink company to meet the man who had offered to pay Cecilia’s tuition. When the man learned that Cecilia had a younger sister, he offered to pay her tuition as well.
“Just imagine,” Cecilia says. “I was selling books to earn my tuition, and God sent someone to pay my tuition and my sister’s!”
Cecilia still sells books, even though she doesn’t need the money to pay her school fees. “I just want to find more people who need to know about Jesus,” she says.
This quarter part of our Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help expand the outreach of the Adventist hospital in Manado, Indonesia. In just a few years hundreds have accepted God’s message of love and salvation through the medical efforts of the hospital staff.