Enock sighed as he hoed weeds in the family’s garden. The corn stood taller than his head, and the carrots and potatoes were getting bigger every day. Harvesting the family’s garden crops reminded him that it was almost time for school to start.
Enock liked learning, but he wasn’t looking forward to school. His school wasn’t a happy place. The teacher didn’t seem to enjoy being there, and every day seemed dull, like an aging building.
One day Enock’s mother surprised him and said, “Father and I have decided to send you to a different school this year. It’s a good school, and I think you’ll do well there.” Enock listened with growing excitement as Mother explained that the school was at the Adventist university, about 20 minutes from the family’s farm. Enock had seen the university and marveled at its strong buildings and masses of students.
“But the university is a long way away,” he said quietly. “How will I get there?” Mother told him that he could take a motorcycle taxi to school.
Other questions crowded Enock’s thoughts, questions he knew his mother couldn’t answer. Will the teacher like me? Will the other children be friendly?
Mother sensed Enock’s concern and told him that she had visited the school and had met his teacher. “She’s a good teacher,” Mother said. “You’ll like her. And the children seem to enjoy their studies. I know you’ll like it there.”
Enock’s excitement grew. At last the day arrived. He dressed in his new blue shirt and pulled his maroon sweater over his head. It was time to start a new adventure in a new school. He rode the motorcycle taxi to the gate of the Adventist university and paid the driver. Then he followed some children through the gate and across the university campus to the little elementary school on a grassy hillside near the edge of campus. The school building looks shiny in the bright African sunshine. Children played tag on the hill, laughing and giggling.
Then Enock recognized his little cousin running toward him. “Hey!” the boy called to Enock. “Are you going to my school this year?” The boy’s smile stretched across his face. He grabbed Enock’s hand and pulled him toward the school building. Along the way he stopped and introduced Enock to several other children.
“Wow,” Enock finally said. “Do you know everyone here?”
“Almost!” his little cousin answered.
The school’s principal, a smiling woman in a red dress, walked toward Enock. “Welcome to Baraton School,” she said. “Let me walk you to your class.”
The woman stepped to the door of one of the classrooms and introduced Enock to the teacher. The teacher smiled at him and pointed to an empty desk. “Welcome,” she said. “Class, this is Enock.”
“Good morning, Enock,” the children said in unison. A smile crept across Enock’s face as he sat down. Wow, he thought. This is going to be a great year!
Enock couldn’t wait to tell his mom and dad about his new school. “Hi, Mom!” Enock called as he ran from the dusty road to the garden where his mother was picking vegetables for dinner. “I love my new school! My teacher is so nice, and the kids in my school are great!”
Enock’s mother stood up and smiled. “I’m happy, son,” she said. “The Adventist school is a good school.”
Enock loves to tell his friends about his new school. “I’m learning so much there,” he says with a smile. “This school has helped me so much. I’ve learned a lot about Jesus and even learned about the Sabbath. I would like to go to Sabbath School one day, but there isn’t a church near my home.
“I’m glad I’m at a school where I can learn to be a good citizen and a good follower of Jesus.”
Boys and girls, this quarter part of our Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help build a new classroom block at Enock’s school so that more students can study in a glad school and learn about Jesus.