Victoria lives in Athens, Greece. [Locate Greece on a map.] She attends a public school, and her lessons include religion classes twice a week.
“Most of the students aren’t really interested in religion class,” Victoria says. “They don’t read the Bible or their Bible lesson, so the teacher asks me to answer her questions. She knows that I know the answer.”
Sometimes students ask Victoria how she knows so much about the Bible stories the teacher discusses. Victoria tells them that she attends church, and she and the other children study the Bible together.
One day Victoria decided to take her Bible to religion class. Maybe that will help the other students see that God’s Word is real and important, she thought. Victoria began taking her Bible to school. Sometimes the religion textbook missed important parts of a Bible story, so Victoria asked the teacher for permission to read the story from the Bible. Often her teacher let her.
Victoria wanted her classmates to know how the Bible told the story, so she invited her classmates to bring a Bible to class if they had one. But most of the children had only the New Testament, so they listened as Victoria read the story from the Bible.
“My classmates and my teacher respect my faith,” Victoria says. “This is unusual, for most children who don’t attend the state church are given a hard time about their faith. I feel so blessed that God is giving me the courage to stand up for my faith and introduce others to the importance of knowing God’s Word.”
Victoria doesn’t talk a lot in class, so it takes extra courage to stand up for her faith. One day Victoria’s teacher saw the girl’s father waiting for her after school. She told him, “You are blessed to have a daughter like Victoria.”
After class one day, Angela, one of Victoria’s classmates, stopped her in the hall. “Can we talk?” she asked. Angela spoke softly about a problem she was having at home. “My father says bad things to my mother,” she said. Angela’s face turned red as she struggled to hold back tears. “I think they plan to get a divorce.”
Victoria listened to her classmate in silence. When Angela was done, Victoria told her that Jesus could help her through these difficult times. “You can ask Jesus to help your family,” Victoria said. “God loves you, and He’ll help you. Just believe.”
The next day Victoria brought a Bible to give to Angela. In it she had written some Bible verses that Angela could read and share with her family. “I’m praying for you and your family,” Victoria said. “Let’s pray now.”
The two girls prayed together. Victoria wanted Angela to know that she can talk to Jesus just like she talks to her friends.
Victoria and her parents prayed for Angela and her family. They encouraged Victoria to pray with Angela whenever possible, for in Greece people don’t often pray for others or talk to them about God.
One day Angela told Victoria that her mother had found the list of Bible verses in the Bible and that the family had read them together. “I told my parents that you had prayed with me,” Angela said. “We’re now reading from the Bible and praying together. My dad doesn’t argue or yell as much, and my parents seem happier. Thank you! Thank you!”
Victoria smiled. She knew that God was answering her prayers. “I hope that the kids in religion class will learn enough about the Bible and Jesus to love Him as I do,” Victoria says.
The people ofGreece don’t talk much about religion to others. It makes sharing God’s love difficult. Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help the believers in Greece learn new ways to share God’s love with others. Thank you for helping them share the good news about Jesus.