One day, 13-year-old Jared read about a boy named Wilford who liked to surprise people with gifts. He wrapped up gifts, tied them to a rope, and lowered them over people’s walls. Then he ran and hid.
Jared thought it would be fun to do the same thing in his city, Tokmok, Kyrgyzstan. He asked his mom for permission to put gifts in old tissue boxes.
“What kind of gifts?” she asked.
“Some toys and whatever else I can find,” Jared said.
His mom liked the idea. Jared and his younger brother, Sam, had toy cars and Legos that they had brought along when their family moved from Argentina to serve as volunteers in Kyrgyzstan. Many neighborhood boys were poor and didn’t have toys.
Jared told a school friend Kamil about the plan. “Let’s put some toys in boxes and throw them over walls,” he said.
Kamil grinned in excitement. He thought it was a great idea, and he wanted to help, even though he didn’t have any toys to give away.
The boys took two tissue boxes and filled them with Legos, toy cars, scarves, and bars of soap. Getting on their bikes, they rode to Kamil’s neighborhood and chose two houses at random. Jared hurled the first box over one fence, and Kamil threw his over the other fence. Quickly, the boys pedaled away. At Jared’s house, they laughed as they imagined the surprise of the children who had received the gifts.
Sam, Jared’s brother, overheard the laughter. “Can I join you next time?” he asked.
A few days later, the three boys got together to prepare more gifts. They invited another boy from school, Kozimbek, to join them. The boys filled two shoeboxes, two empty tissue boxes, and two plastic bags with a variety of toys, scarves, and soap. Loading the boxes on their bikes, they set off in search of unsuspecting homes. After a few minutes, Jared saw a house surrounded by a fence. The yard was filled with trees. “Sam,” he said, “throw your bag into that yard.”
Sam tossed the bag over the fence, and it landed in the lower branches of a tree.
“Quick, do something!” Sam squealed.
Kamil was the tallest, so he leaped over the fence. Reaching up into the branches, he grabbed the bag and dropped it on the grass. “Let’s go before anyone sees us!” he shouted.
The boys raced away on their bikes.
After throwing four more gifts over fences, the boys had one box left. Jared spotted a house with a large metal gate. “Quick, push the gift under the gate,” he told Kozimbek.
As soon as Kozimbek pushed the box under the gate, someone yelled, “Why are you putting garbage in my yard?”
As the boys quickly rode away, they heard the voice suddenly exclaim from behind the gate, “This isn’t garbage. It’s a gift!”
During family worship that evening, Jared and Sam excitedly told their parents about what had happened. Their dad was pleased. He led the family in prayer for all the people who had received the gifts.
Jared and Sam are still throwing surprise boxes over people’s fences. No one knows that they are responsible, and that’s how they want it!
Part of a Thirteenth Sabbath Offering in 2017 helped construct a gymnasium at Jared and Sam’s school in Tokmok, Kyrgyzstan. Thank you for supporting Adventist education through your mission offerings collected during Sabbath School or given online at giving.AdventistMission.org.