Fedison [FEH-dih-son] and his younger brother and sister live in Mwanza, Tanzania, on the southern shores of Lake Victoria. [Locate Tanzania on a map.]
New neighbors moved in next door. The houses are close together, and windows are open to let the breeze in, so it’s easy to hear what is happening in a neighbor’s house. Fedison heard the new neighbors singing. He stopped and listened. He didn’t know the song, but it sounded nice.
The next evening Fedison heard the singing again. Now he was really curious. He and his brother and sister ran to their new neighbor’s house and knocked at the door. The singing stopped, and the door opened. A kind-faced woman smiled down at them.
“Hello,” she said. “May I help you?”
Fedison hesitated, not quite sure what to say. Then he stammered, “We—we—heard singing.”
The woman smiled even more broadly and opened the door wide. “We were just singing songs about Jesus. Would you like to join us?” she asked. “You can call me Auntie Hellen, and this is my husband, Uncle Benjamin.”
The children stepped into the neat little house. Uncle Benjamin was sitting in the front room. “Come, sit down,” he said. “I was just going to read a story from the Bible.” The children sat quietly as the man read a story about Jesus.
The children bowed their heads as Auntie Hellen prayed a simple prayer. Then it was time to send them back to their house. “You are welcome to join us again,” she told them. They thanked her and ran home.
The next day and the next and the next the children ran to Auntie Hellen’s house whenever they heard the couple singing. Soon the children could sing many songs about Jesus. But always their favorite was “Jesus Loves Me.”
One morning Fedison saw Auntie Hellen in the yard. She was dressed very nicely. “Are you going someplace?” he asked.
“Yes,” she said. “We’re going to Sabbath School. Would you like to go along?” Fedison thought for a minute and then nodded his head. He called his brother and sister, and the children raced toward Uncle Benjamin’s car. They were dressed in smudged playclothes, but they didn’t care. They wanted to see where their friends were going.
The children loved Sabbath School! They sang some of the songs Auntie Hellen had taught them. And the teacher told them a lovely Bible story. When it was time to go home, Auntie Hellen invited them to return that evening.
“Mama!” Fedison called to his mother as the children entered the house. “Auntie Hellen and Uncle Benjamin took us to church! It was so nice!” Mother just nodded. She didn’t go to church.
Every night—and soon every morning—the children raced to Auntie Hellen’s house when they heard singing. And on Sabbath they washed their hands and face and went to Sabbath School, too.
Then for several weeks the children’s mother didn’t allow them to go to Sabbath School. But they still went next door to sing and hear stories of Jesus during worship. Fedison begged his mother to allow them to go to church again, and in time Mother let them go. They stayed at church all day, sitting through worship service and eating a simple lunch before the afternoon young people’s meeting.
Fedison is so glad that he heard singing next door and went to investigate. “Auntie Hellen and Uncle Benjamin are like our own family,” he says. “We go to their house every morning and evening for worship. We don’t want to miss our special time with God.”
Boys and girls, we never know when someone will hear you singing or praising Jesus. Your worship could change their lives forever. Giving our mission offering helps children and adults alike learn to love Jesus. Let’s worship God in our singing and in our our giving.