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Out of This World

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, April 27.

By Andrew McChesney


van loved to write, so he was excited when he heard about a big contest to write stories. All children from across Russia were invited to write a story about outer space. The authors of the best stories would get to meet a real-life cosmonaut.

Ivan thought it would be great to meet someone who had actually flown to space. He also thought it would be fun to write a story about space.

Ivan sat down and wrote a make-believe story about cosmonauts who traveled to an asteroid far from Earth. The story filled three whole pages, and he called it, “No Way Back.”

Ivan gave the story to Father to read. Father found some misspelled words and other mistakes, and he helped Ivan make corrections. Then Ivan prayed for God to bless the story and sent it off to the contest.

A month passed. Two months passed. Three months passed. Ivan waited and waited to see if he had won the contest.

One day, he received a letter that he had won! His story had been chosen as the best in his age group. Ivan was so happy. He remembered that he had prayed, and he knew that God had heard his prayer.

Ivan was invited to go to a seashore town to meet a cosmonaut at a special prize ceremony. He was so excited!

But then he saw that the prize ceremony was scheduled for the Sabbath. He knew that he could not go. He wanted to keep the Sabbath.

Now Ivan was deeply disappointed. Hadn’t God answered his prayer and helped him write a story that won first place?

He decided to pray about it. He knew that God hears prayers.

“Why did this happen?” he prayed. “Couldn’t the prize ceremony have been on Sunday or Monday instead of Sabbath so I could go?”

On the Sabbath when Ivan was supposed to meet the cosmonaut at the prize ceremony, he was meeting with God at church instead.

Now it so happened that the cosmonaut saw that one of the winners of the story-writing contest had missed the prize ceremony. He wanted to meet the boy who was such a good storywriter. He decided to go to the boy’s hometown of Zaoksky.

Ivan was very surprised when the cosmonaut showed up a short time later at his Seventh-day Adventist school. All the children gathered in the auditorium. The cosmonaut stood on the stage, and the principal called for Ivan to come to the front. All the children clapped and cheered loudly for Ivan as he walked to the stage.

The cosmonaut congratulated a beaming Ivan.

“We need more creative people like you in the world,” he said.

Then he gave Ivan a collection of books about space, two hats, and several badges just like cosmonauts wear on their spacesuits in outer space.

Ivan couldn’t have been happier. God had heard his prayers. Not only did he get to meet a real-life cosmonaut, but all the children at the Adventist school got to meet a real cosmonaut because he had been faithful to God and kept the Sabbath holy. God had rewarded him because he had been faithful to God and met with Him in church on Sabbath instead of meeting with the cosmonaut at the prize ceremony.

When Ivan was alone, he thanked God for His love. “Thank You that I am alive and that I have talent from You,” he said.

Part of your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering three years ago went to build a new school building for Ivan’s Seventh-day Adventist school in Zaoksky, Russia. Thank you for your offering that will allow more children to about the God who hears prayers.