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Elli Scheper, 80, sitting in Goes Seventh-day Adventist Church in Montevideo, Uruguay. (Andrew McChesney / Adventist Mission)

‘Why Are They Throwing Away Books? Books Are Meant to Be Read!’

Ten-year-old girl runs to Grandmother holding one of the books, “The Great Hope” by Ellen White.

By Andrew McChesney,

Ten-year-old Danielle ran up to Grandmother with anger in her eyes in the supermarket in Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo.

“Look, Oma,” she said, holding up a small, paperback book. “People are taking these books and throwing them away in the trash. Why are they throwing away books? Books are meant to be read!”

Grandmother tried not to smile. Danielle, so small and upset, spoke with such earnestness about her belief that books should be read and not thrown way.

“Where did you get the book, dear?” Grandmother asked.

The little girl explained that a man was handing out books to customers at the other side of the supermarket. He had given one of the books to her.

Danielle offered the book to Grandmother, who looked at it with interest. The book was called “The Great Hope” by Ellen White. It didn’t look too difficult to read, and Grandmother read it with interest at home. She liked what she read.

That same week, a friend told Grandmother that she had started listening to a radio station that played wonderful music.

“Elli, I found a radio station with music that I know you are going to like,” the friend said.

It was Nuevo Tiempo, the local affiliate of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Hope radio.

Grandmother liked the music, and she wanted to know more. She called the radio.

“Who are you?” she asked. “Why do you play this music?”

The person who answered the telephone replied that the radio station was owned by the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

“What is Seventh-day Adventist?” Grandmother asked. “I want to know more.”

The radio station sent a pastor to Grandmother’s house to offer Bible studies.

Grandmother wanted to study the Bible, but she couldn’t walk easily after having operations on both of her knees.

“No problem,” the pastor said. “We live near to your house, and we can come to you to give Bible studies.”

The pastor sent a church member named Nestor Alvaro Rivero to teach the Bible to Grandmother.

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Nestor Alvaro Rivero, 60, who gave Bible studies to Grandmother, standing outside Goes Seventh-day Adventist Church in Montevideo, Uruguay. (Andrew McChesney / Adventist Mission)

Grandmother invited Danielle to join the Bible studies, but the girl refused. She wasn’t interest in sitting and reading the Bible. But she saw that the Bible made Grandmother happy, and she came up as Nestor was visiting one day.

“Can I sit here with you?” she asked.

After that, Danielle attended every Bible study with Grandmother.

Grandmother and Danielle were surprised to learn that Nestor was the man who had handed out books in the supermarket.

After a while, Grandmother decided to give her heart to Jesus and be baptized. Danielle moved to Spain to study. She lives with an uncle and aunt there.

Grandmother remembers that it was Danielle who first introduced her to the Adventist Church by giving her the Ellen White book. She is praying that Danielle will be baptized one day.

“I ask her to read the Bible and pray, and she does,” said Grandmother, whose full name is Elli Scheper. “I’m trying to guide her toward Christ from far away.”

Grandmother, who is 80, belongs to Goes Seventh-day Adventist Church, which received part of a 2016 Thirteenth Sabbath Offering to expand into its own church building and community center in Montevideo, Uruguay. Thank you for your faithfulness in helping prepare people for Christ’s soon return.

Elli Scheper speaking about her desire for her granddaughter to know Jesus. In English and Spanish. (Andrew McChesney / Adventist Mission)