Roy is 8 years old. He lives in Medan [meh-DAN], a large city on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. [Locate Medan, Sumatra, on a map.] Roy and his family live in a simple wooden house near a railroad track. Trains roar by almost every hour, and the noise is loud. But people have gotten used to it.
The children in the neighborhood like to play marbles in Roy’s backyard, for it’s the flattest area around. One of the neighbors is Angel, who lives a few houses away from Roy. They like to play together.
Sometimes Roy would see Angel walk by his house on Saturday morning. He knew that she was going to the Adventist church at the end of the block. He thought it was strange that people go to church on Saturday.
One Saturday morning Roy was sitting on the front step of his house. He was bored, and there was no one to play marbles with. Then Angel walked by and stopped in front of Roy’s house. “Come with me to church!” she called to him. “It’s fun!”
Roy ran into the house and told his father that he was going to church with Angel. His father nodded, and Roy quickly changed into clean clothes and ran outside to meet Angel, who was waiting for him. They walked together to the church.
Roy had been to his mother’s church on Sunday, but he had never gone to the Adventist church. He was curious to see what the Adventist people do at church. But as he neared the church, he became shy and wasn’t so sure he wanted to go in.
Angel took his hand and encouraged him to hurry. “The children’s Sabbath School is starting soon,” she said. Angel showed Roy to the class for children his age and introduced him to the teacher. She promised to meet him after Sabbath School.
For a moment Roy stood by the door, unsure whether he wanted to stay. But the teacher greeted him with a smile and introduced him to Gabriel, who walked up, shook his hand, and offered to sit with him. Roy felt better already.
The children sang songs and prayed. Then the teacher told them a mission story. Some children recited their memory verse, and the teacher told them a Bible story. Before Roy knew it, Sabbath School was over.
Roy found Angel, and the two sat together for worship service. During the sermon a train roared by right behind the church. It was so noisy that the pastor stopped speaking until the train was gone. Nobody seemed to care; they were used to the trains.
After church Angel invited Roy to stay for lunch at the church. Roy was surprised, but he was also hungry. “I ate a lot,” he says. “It was good!”
He thought they would go home after lunch, but Angel told him there was another program for children called Adventurers. It sounded fun, so Roy stayed. The children sang some more and listened to more Bible stories. Then they had a nature talk. When the program ended it was 4:00, and Roy was a little tired. But he was glad he had gone to church with Angel. It sure was more fun than playing marbles!
The next Saturday Roy got up and dressed and walked to the church alone. He didn’t need to wait for Angel to take him. He wasn’t a stranger anymore.
Roy attends the Adventist church every week. “I like Sabbath School and Adventurers the most,” he says. “I like the singing, and I’m learning a lot about God and nature and the Bible.”
Roy is glad his friend Angel invited him to Sabbath School. “When my little sisters are old enough, I’ll ask Dad to let me take them to church,” he says. “I know they’ll like it, just as I do.”
We can help children learn to love God by telling them about Him, inviting them to church, and giving our mission offerings. Just imagine! Some of our friends could be in heaven one day because we invited them to learn about God!