Veronika [vehr-oh-NEE-kah] lives in Macedonia. [Locate Macedonia on a map.] She is 10 years old and likes to write in her journal every day. “I write about Jesus,” she says. “Sometimes I write about the sermon I heard in church or a Bible verse I’ve found. Sometimes I write a prayer or an answer to a prayer. It’s good to write these things down so I can remember them later.”
Veronika loves God and loves to worship Him in church. But her family doesn’t attend church often. She prays that her parents will give their hearts to Jesus one day.
One Sabbath Veronika asked her parents if she could preach to them. She had built a pretend pulpit made of pillows and arranged her stuffed animals around it for a congregation. Her father put down his paper, and her stepmother sat down to listen to her. She took a deep breath and started with a story.
“A woman at an airport bought some cookies to eat while she waited for her plane. She sat down to wait, and a man sat down next to her. He reached down and pulled a cookie from a bag and ate it. The woman was surprised. Why is he eating my cookies? she wondered. He didn’t ask, and he didn’t say thank you! She didn’t say anything, but she reached for a cookie. The man took another cookie from the bag and ate it. The woman still said nothing. When the cookies were gone, the man got up and walked away. The woman was angry with the man.
“When she reached into her purse for her boarding pass, the woman discovered her bag of cookies there. I took that man’s cookies and was angry with him, but he didn’t say a word, she thought. I should have been willing to share my cookies, but I wasn’t. The woman learned that she needed to be more generous and not to judge others.”
Veronika repeated some favorite Bible texts and then invited her parents to pray with her. Veronika’s father told her how proud he was of her.
Veronika wants everyone to know that Jesus loves them. But she wasn’t sure how she could share her love for Jesus with her friends at school. So she prayed and asked God to help her say the right things to make the kids understand that God loves them.
The next day during her class’s lunch break, Veronika talked to some of the children. “One day soon Jesus will come and take the people who love Him to heaven. We must be ready, or we won’t be able to go,” she said. Some of the children laughed at her, but she kept talking.
“We’re not listening to you,” one boy said, and he began talking loudly to another boy. Veronika wasn’t discouraged. She continued talking to those who would listen, telling them that Jesus loves them and wants to take them to heaven when He comes.
One girl, Mila, didn’t laugh at Veronika. She just listened. After class Mila asked Veronika several questions about what heaven will be like and what it will be like when Jesus comes. Veronika answered the best she could. Mila has classes on Sabbath, so Veronika hasn’t invited Mila to Sabbath School yet. But she has told Mila about Sabbath School. Veronika prays for Mila and asks God to help her friend understand.
Veronika wants everyone to know that God loves them. “Jesus will change our hearts if we let Him. We must let Jesus change us so we’ll be ready when He comes to take us to heaven,” she says.
And she’s right. We can tell our friends that Jesus loves them and wants to take them to heaven. And we can give our mission offering so that people we don’t know will hear how much God loves them too. Let’s always bring our offering to Sabbath School so that more people will have a chance to learn that God wants to live with them forever.