Lana lives on an island in the nation of Vanuatu. [Locate Vanuatu, a string of islands east of Australia and south of the Solomon Islands.] Lana loves to share God’s love with others. Every week she, her parents, and her sister and brothers go to her father’s home village to share God’s love.
There weren’t any Adventists in her father’s village, so the family decided to start a Branch Sabbath School. Mother led a children’s program, and that attracted lots of adults, so Father started a class for the adults, and Mother and Lana led the children’s group. They sang and listened to Bible stories. At first Lana helped her mother by leading the singing. Sometimes she told a Bible story. On days when Mother couldn’t go to the village with the family, Lana led the entire children’s program.
Lana uses the kindergarten Sabbath School lesson for her Bible story. The children range from babies to 12-year-olds, so she plans activities for different ages.
“When we arrive in the village, the children come running to our cousin’s house, where we meet,” Lana says. “I welcome them, and we start singing. The children like the songs with motions the best. They sing lots of songs while more children arrive.
“After prayer we sometimes have a mission story, then I tell the Bible story,” Lana explains.” We use the new Bible story flipchart that the past Thirteenth Sabbath Offering helped to buy. The children love the pictures, and the older ones can read the Bible verse printed at the bottom. Many of the children don’t have a Bible of their own, so we review the Bible verse several times to help them remember it.”
The family prayed for supplies to make the Branch Sabbath School more fun for the children. Then Mother found some Bible felts at a yard sale. She was thrilled! When the woman learned that Mother wanted to use the felts to teach children about Jesus, she gave Mother lots of books, craft items, pictures, and Bible coloring books, too. Lana uses them in the Branch Sabbath School.
Lana has been leading the Branch Sabbath School for a year now, and she enjoys it. “I miss going when we can’t be there,” she says. “I learn a lot by teaching the children.”
Lana’s family sponsored some health and friendship-building meetings in this village. “Lots of people came,” Lana says. “But many of them wouldn’t sit in the pavilion we built. They wanted to stand outside the circle of light from the generator-powered lights. But we knew they were there, and they were listening.”
Now the family stays in the village all day on Sabbath. “After the Sabbath School program for kids and adults, my dad preaches for church,” Lana says. “Sometimes my cousins and I offer the prayer, read the Scripture lesson, or ask for the offering. Then after church we have a potluck and invite anyone who wishes to come, even if they didn’t take part in the worship service. Then the kids hold a youth meeting. They are learning to lead the singing, and sometimes I do a Bible quiz or Bible game. Sometimes I tell a Bible story. After the youth meeting we plan the next week’s youth program so that everyone knows what they will do. Then we close the Sabbath with songs and a prayer before we return home. It’s a long day, but I love it and love being with my cousins and new friends in the village. I love sharing God’s love with my cousins and their friends.”
Lana has made lots of friends for Jesus in her Branch Sabbath School. We can make friends for Jesus by sharing God’s love with just one other person. Another important way to make friends for Jesus is to give our mission offerings each week. Let’s see how many ways we can make friends for Jesus this coming week.