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Adventist Mission


You Are Special

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, April 6.

By Andrew McChesney


ate one night, 9-year-old Sasha slipped into her house in a city located right on the Arctic Circle. She had been playing outside in the cold snow, and now she wanted to warm up. It also was time for bed.

As Sasha entered the door, she heard someone speak to her.

Sasha didn’t hear the voice with her ears; she heard it in her head, almost like a thought.

“You are special,” said a warm and kind voice.

How was Sasha special? Was it because she lived in a Far North region of Russia called Yamal, which means “End of the Land.” Her home did seem to be at the end of the land, perched at the top of the world.

Or was Sasha special because she was a member of an indigenous group of people called the Khanty. Only about 31,000 Khanty people live in the whole world, and she was one of them.

Sasha wasn’t sure why she was special. But she liked being told that she was special. Joy filled her heart.

But then Sasha began to have problems. At school, other children were mean to her. At home, her much older sister, Olga, started drinking. Father and Mother also began to drink. It wasn’t fun being at home or at school.

Sasha wondered if she really was special. She wondered why people live.

On television, she heard a woman say that people live to have children.

Sasha didn’t believe it, so she asked Mother.

“Why do people live?” she said.

Mother said the same thing as the woman on the television.

“We live to have children,” she said.

Sasha still didn’t believe it.

Several years passed, and Sasha kept wondering why people live.

Then she made a new friend named Alyona. Alyona was everything that Sasha wanted to be. Alyona was happy. She had a radiant smile that lit up the room.

Sasha wanted to be happy like Alyona. She was surprised to learn that Alyona was happy even though she hadn’t had a happy life. She didn’t know her parents. She had lived in an orphanage for many years. Then she had been adopted by a Seventh-day Adventist family.

Alyona introduced Sasha to her family.

Sasha liked the family. They welcomed her like their own daughter. They loved her, and they taught her about God.

Through the family, Sasha learned that people live because God created them. She realized that she is special because God created her.

Today, Sasha is happier than ever before. She knows why she is special. She is a child of God.

“I live for God,” she said.

Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help open a special center in Sasha’s hometown of Salekhard in the Russian Far North. Children and adults will be able to learn at the center about the God who sees every person as special. Thank you for planning a generous offering on June 29.