Papua New Guinea | February 2

A Boy's Burning Faith

Vahid

Ten-year-old Vahid [vah-HEED] looked up and saw his sister walking toward him. He admired her smart uniform—green skirt, white blouse, and yellow neckerchief. He stood and trotted toward her. “When can I join Pathfinders and wear a uniform like yours?” he blurted. 

“You’re old enough to join Pathfinders,” she said, smiling. “Come with me next Sabbath.”

Vahid’s family didn’t attend church, but his aunt took his sister to Sabbath School.  Suddenly Vahid felt grown up; he wanted to go with her. On Sabbath his aunt took Vahid to the children’s class, where he eagerly learned the songs and listened to the Bible stories and memorized his Bible text. He hurried home after church to eat so he’d be ready to return to church for Pathfinders. Soon he earned the right to wear the bright-yellow neckerchief of a Pathfinder.

Finding Ways to Share

Vahid quickly realized that being a Pathfinder was more than wearing a uniform. He memorized more Bible texts, studied the Pathfinder law and pledge. He learned to be a good citizen and to share his faith with others. “Let’s have family worship!” he told his sister. She nodded, but she was shy about leading. “I’ll lead!” Vahid offered.

That evening Vahid asked his parents if he could have a short family worship each evening. His mother agreed, but his father wasn’t interested. After dinner Vahid called the family together. He read a Bible verse and explained what it meant. Then he prayed. Soon his family met for worship every evening. Vahid read his Bible and Sabbath School lesson every morning before school so he would be prepared for family worship that evening.  It felt good leading the family worship. 

Vahid’s confidence grew, and when his teacher asked him to lead the class in their twice-a-week religion class, he agreed. Some of the boys teased him, calling him “preacher boy.” But Vahid just smiled and shrugged. Other classmates admired his willingness to lead the class.

Vahid discovered that he loved to sing. He invited some of his friends to join a singing group. He taught them songs he had learned in church, and sometimes they sang during the school worship. Five of the boys began attending church with him.

Buoyed by his success, Vahid formed a neighborhood boys’ singing group. At first the boys sang just for fun. But soon they were invited to sing at church and in people’s homes as an outreach. “If we can sing, we can do more,” they said. And the group named themselves the Soul Seekers and looked for ways to reach out to others. They visited former church members and shut-ins, singing and leading Bible studies. 

Tragedy to Triumph

Then Vahid’s father got seriously ill. His kidneys were failing, and he needed a transplant. But the family didn’t have the money to send him to the Philippines, the nearest country where he could receive treatment for his condition. 

Vahid’s heart felt heavy. Without a miracle, his father would die. How would the family survive without him? 

Vahid’s father couldn’t work, and with time on his hands, he began reading the Bible. He once had refused to join the family for worship, but suddenly he welcomed their prayers. When he was too ill to join the family, they prayed around his bed. He asked Vahid to invite the Soul Seekers to come sing and pray for him. Joyfully, the boys ministered to Vahid’s father. 

Vahid’s uncle arranged for Father to go to the Philippines for treatment. Vahid felt a ray of hope. But when the tests showed severe kidney failure, hope for a transplant seemed slim. But the family and church members kept praying. 

Then good news arrived from the Philippines. A second test showed that Father’s kidney function was improving. “God is healing me,” Father declared. His family rejoiced. The doctors were skeptical, but further testing showed continued improvement. In time Father’s kidneys were functioning at an almost normal level.

Father returned home, and when he felt strong enough, he began attending church with the family. He asked Vahid and his friends to study the Bible with him. Mother joined the Bible studies as well, and one day Vahid’s parents announced that they wanted to join the Adventist Church. 

Today the family worships together, united in faith and thankful to God for healing Father’s body and spirit. Vahid is thrilled that he and his friends were able to play a role in his parents’ journey to God. 

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