Narrator: This quarter we’ve met children from two countries. Who can name them? [Let children identify Indonesia and Myanmar. Point to each one on the map.]
Today is Thirteenth Sabbath. That means it’s the day when we give a special offering to help the people in Indonesia and Myanmar share God’s love with those who don’t know that Jesus died for them and that He loves them and wants to be their friend.
Speaker 1: Indonesia is a country made up of thousands of islands. Most of the people who live in this country are not Christians. They worship many different gods. This quarter two cities in Indonesia will receive help to enlarge Adventist hospitals so that more people can come for medical care and receive spiritual care as well. One of these hospitals is on the westernmost large island of Indonesia, called Sumatra. [Point to Sumatra on the map.]
The second hospital is in the city of Manado in eastern Indonesia. [Locate Manado on the map.] Both of these hospitals hold clinics in outlying villages and towns, where people don’t have access to good medical care and don’t get the chance to hear the message that Jesus loves them. Last year more than 400 people gave their hearts to God through the work of the staffs of these two hospitals. Part of our Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help improve facilities at these hospitals so that even more people can learn of God’s love.
Speaker 2: The third project is a school in the country of Myanmar (also called Burma). The school was built for about 100 students, but now it has 450 students. It is very crowded! Many more parents want to enroll their children in this school where teachers are kind and encourage students to help one another learn. Here the children learn to love God and make Jesus their best friend. Part of our Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help Yangon Adventist Seminary build additional classrooms so that more children who want to study there can get a good Christian education.
How many of you have a Bible in your home? [Encourage children to raise their hands.] How many have your own Bible? Can you imagine not having a Bible at all—not being able to read God’s Word or to learn about God?
Children in some countries have no Bible. Their parents don’t have one, and the children don’t have a way to read God’s Word and learn that Jesus loves them. Today we can help children in one of the countries of the Southern Asia-Pacific Division to have a Bible that they can read for themselves and share with their parents.
[Ask a teenager or adult to present this story and appeal for the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering.]
Dimon didn’t like going to the field and working in the hot sun with his father. He didn’t want to carry water for his mother to do laundry. Sometimes his father punished him for not obeying, but Dimon still disobeyed.
Then one day as Dimon wandered through his village, he heard singing. He stopped and listened. It was not the local priests chanting as they begged for food, and it wasn’t a radio. It was people—happy people—singing songs from a nearby house. Dimon crept closer until he stood under an open window. He could hear the singing from there, and he thought no one could see him.
But a few minutes later Dimon felt a tap on his shoulder. He jumped up, prepared to run if the man standing over him threatened him. But the man didn’t look angry.
“Why are you sitting out here?” The man asked gently. “Come inside where you can hear better and see what is going on. The man motioned to a door. Dimon followed, not sure he should enter the building.
He climbed the wooden steps of the simple building to an open hall filled with folding chairs. The man nodded to an empty chair next to a boy about Dimon’s age. Dimon slid into the chair, and the boy sitting next to him held out his hand in welcome. Then he offered Dimon a booklet with the words to the songs printed in it.
After the singing ended, an older man stood to speak. He talked of how Jesus always obeyed His father. Damon wondered who this Jesus was. Was he a boy from the village?
“One night while Jesus was praying outside among some olive trees, a mob came and arrested Him. They took Jesus to the religious leaders and accused Him of pretending to be God. The crowds shouted, ‘Kill Him!’ And they won. Jesus, this kind and loving man, was killed.
“Jesus died for the sins of the world,” the man said. “He died for you and me. He wants us to follow Him, and see for ourselves that God loves us. Will you follow Him today? Will you study His Word and learn what He wants for you?”
Dimon had never heard of Jesus before. He wanted to know more about this kind, obedient man who had died for his sins. Dimon began attending the small house church near his home every Saturday. His parents noticed that Dimon’s behavior was improving. He obediently did his work and didn’t run away to play. So they allowed him to go to church.
Dimon tries hard to remember the stories of Jesus that he hears in church, so he can run home and tell his mother what he has learned. He sings her the songs he’s learned in Sabbath School as well.
Mother listens as she washes the family’s clothes or cooks the family’s meal. She’s glad that Dimon is learning about God and learning to obey his parents, too.
Often Dimon watches the pastor or head elder read from a Bible, and he wishes he had a Bible of his own. He wants to read the stories of Jesus for himself and teach them to his parents.
This quarter part of the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help provide Bibles for children in one country in southeastern Asia. The children will share the Bibles with their parents, and many more people will learn that God loves them. Let’s give a big offering so many children can have a Bible of their own, just as we do.
Next quarter the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division will be featured. Special projects include a university in Madagascar, a church and school in South Africa, and solar-powered MP3 players for the Himba people in Namibia. Fourth quarter will feature the South American Division, with projects in Brazil and Peru.