Monika jumped up and down and giggled with joy when her parents told her that the family was going to live in the Czech [chek] Republic. Monika’s parents were from the Czech Republic, but Monika was born in America while her parents were studying. She thought of seeing her grandparents and playing in the forest near their tiny cottage. Visiting the Czech Republic would be such fun, she thought.
Monika didn’t understand that her family was moving to the Czech Republic. Even when her mother arranged to have a big sale to sell their furniture and toys, Monika didn’t understand that she wouldn’t be returning to America at the end of summer.
Monika told her friends goodbye with a cheerful heart, and the family rode to the airport. All night they flew across the ocean. When at last they arrived in the Czech Republic, they found Grandmother and Grandfather waiting for them. What a happy reunion! This is going to be the best vacation ever! Monika thought as she hugged her grandmother.
Soon the family moved into a tiny apartment near Prague [prahg], the largest city. Monika didn’t like the city with all its people and cars and noise. But she began to understand that her parents had returned to their homeland to serve God, and she must find ways to serve Him as well.
The only Adventist school in the city is too far from her home, so Monika attends a school operated by another church. What can I do to serve God here? she wondered.
“There aren’t many kids in my school who go to church,” she says. “I want to share what I know with my classmates and invite them to church. But it’s hard. No one is interested in talking about God. They don’t want to know that I’m a Christian. I’ve decided that if I act like a Christian every day, if I’m happy and kind and honest, maybe they’ll see the difference in my life and ask me about my faith.”
Monika made friends with Mary, a girl in her class. One day Mary was talking about a movie she had seen about the end of the world. “Everyone’s talking about the world coming to an end soon,” Mary said, her eyes wide with wonder. “Do you think they’re right?” Mary asked.
Monika thought a moment and then said, “I know that the world will end one day, and it could be soon. But the Bible says that no one knows the exact day or hour that it will happen.” Monika tried to say more, but she could tell that Mary didn’t understand much about God.
Another day Mary lost her keys at school, and she was really upset. She told Monika, and Monika helped her search for them. While Monika searched, she prayed. When the keys were found, Monika told her friend that she had been praying and that God had helped find the keys. Mary was surprised that God cared about something so small as lost keys.
Monika shares her faith with others as well. When the church had a health fair, she gave out invitations and was delighted when a woman agreed to attend.
Every year all the churches in the country hold a special program called “Night of the Churches.” Every church offers a special program and music, and people are free to visit any church they wish and get a taste of what the church is like. “Our church has lots of kids and a great youth group,” Monika says. “We planned a special program for Night of the Churches. Some of us stood outside and invited people to stop by and visit. Lots of people did. Now we’re praying that these people will come visit on Sabbath.”
Monika has found many ways to share her faith in her new homeland. We can find ways to share our faith every day as well. One of the best ways is by sharing our mission offering so that others can hear the story of Jesus.