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Happiest Boy in India

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, January 13.

By Andrew McChesney


10-year-old boy wanted to go to school so badly that he actually got sick.

Joshua lived in India, and he had never gone to school. He had a good mind. Whatever he heard, he remembered. His parents tried their best to give him a good childhood, but they couldn’t afford to send him to school.

Joshua lived in a city where he was surrounded by boys and girls just like him. The boys and girls had poor parents who couldn’t send them to school. So, while their parents worked in factories or on farms, the children played the whole day.

Joshua liked to play. But more than playing, he wanted to learn. After a while, Joshua stopped coming out of his house to play. He became sick as he sadly sat at home, wishing to go to school.

Father grew worried. Mother grew worried. Even the neighbors grew worried.

One day, Father and Mother took Joshua to the market to buy food. As they were walking to the market, they passed the gate of a Seventh-day Adventist school. Joshua saw children gathered for morning worship. The boys wore the school uniform of navy-blue pants and white shirts, and the girls wore navy-blue skirts and white blouses. They held schoolbooks in their hands and were singing about Jesus.

Joshua stood by the gate to listen. His face filled with longing to be with them, to wear the uniform that they were wearing, to carry the books that they were carrying, and most of all to sing the songs they were singing. Father and Mother saw his longing gaze. They went inside to ask about the school.

A teacher told them that the school was Christian and that there also was a church on the campus. He introduced them to the church’s pastor.

Father and Mother were not Christian. They did not know Jesus. But they knew about prayer because they prayed to their own gods. Father asked the pastor to pray to his God for Joshua.

“Ask your God to help our son go to school,” Father said.

The pastor prayed, “Dear Jesus, please help Joshua to obtain a good education. Amen.”

After the prayer, the pastor told Father, Mother, and Joshua about the God to whom he had just prayed.

“Jesus is the God who created the heavens and the earth,” he said. “Jesus created you and me. Jesus created Joshua.”

Father asked if Joshua could study at the school even though the family didn’t have any money. He said the boy was sick because he wanted so much to go to school.

The pastor said that he would speak with the school principal.

Joshua’s eyes lit up with hope. He had listened carefully to the pastor’s prayer, and now he resolved to pray to the pastor’s God for help. “I will pray to Jesus to let me go to school,” he said.

The pastor was impressed. “God answers prayers of faith,” he said.

And God did.

Today, Joshua is 13 and perhaps the happiest boy in India! He wears his navy-blue and white uniform proudly and joins the other children in singing loudly and happily. The principal found someone to pay for his schooling, and Joshua is studying hard. He dreams about becoming a pastor when he grows up.

“The pastor and the principal were so kind to us,” he said. “They introduced us to Jesus. I’m so thankful that Jesus answered my prayers.”

Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help construct a high school at Joshua’s school in Aurangabad, India. Thank you for planning a generous Thirteenth Sabbath Offering.