Today’s story comes from Madeira, a mountainous island off the coast of Portugal. [Locate Madeira on a map.]
Beatriz [bee-ah-TREEZ] is 8 years old and in the second grade. Although her parents are not Adventists, her mother’s aunt Julia is, and she is teaching Beatriz and her brother to love God. Aunt Julia takes them to church on Sabbath, and she encourages Beatriz’s parents to send the children to the Adventist primary school. There Beatriz learns to love God and trust Him with her life.
Beatriz lives next door to her grandparents. One day Beatriz heard an ambulance siren nearby and looked out the window to watch it go by. But to her surprise, it stopped in front of her grandparents’ door! Beatriz’s grandfather had had a heart attack. “I was scared when I saw the ambulance stop,” she says. “I love my grandfather so much!” Beatriz felt like crying, but Auntie Julia urged her to pray that her grandfather would be OK. Beatriz did, and she felt better.
Beatriz had prayed for her grandfather even before he became sick. She worried because he smoked, and she had often asked him to stop. She had told him that smoking was bad for his health.
Every day that Grandfather was in the hospital Beatriz prayed for him.
Grandfather returned home from the hospital, but he wasn’t well yet. He had to grow stronger so he could fly to Lisbon, Portugal, and have heart surgery. Every day before going to school Beatriz stopped to see her grandfather and give him hugs and kisses. She encouraged him to trust God to make him well, and she told him that she was praying for him. Grandfather hugged her back. He was glad Beatriz was praying for him.
Auntie Julia is as old as Beatriz’s grandparents are, but she’s strong and works hard in her garden. She often takes care of Beatriz and her brother. She cooks for the family and takes time to listen when someone has a problem and wants to talk about it.
“Auntie Julia tells us stories and cares for us when we’re sick,” Beatriz adds. “I love my auntie Julia. We share lots of secrets! Auntie Julia is a happy person and laughs a lot. That makes her seem so much younger than she is.”
Beatriz is glad that God sent Auntie Julia into her life to be a good example of a loving Christian. “I wish everyone had someone special like Auntie Julia to teach them to love God and obey Him,” she says. “She taught me to pray for others and says that God loves to hear children’s prayers.”
Praying for others is one way of sharing our faith, just as being kind to others. And giving our mission offering is another way to help others learn to love God. Let’s be praying—and giving—Christians today.