Lost and Found
Some may come from difficult home situations like mine, but they will learn how much God loves them.
To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, Sept. 9. Click here for photos to share while telling the mission story.
Sneha [pronounced: SNEH-hah] is a 14-year-old student at a Seventh-day Adventist boarding school in southern India. [Ask a teenage girl to present this first-person report.]
My father was a fisherman, and my mother worked as a nurse.
They were both happy when I was born. But after the birth of my younger sister, my father began to drink alcohol.
It was like he became a different person.
Nobody could stop him from drinking.
My father would arrive home late at night, screaming and shouting at us for no reason.
My mother would cry and cry, but no one came to help her.
One day, when I was 10, my mother dropped my sister and me off at school and went home.
She found my father so drunk that he could not speak properly. She didn’t say a word to him, but when my father finally noticed her, he demanded money to buy alcohol.
My mother replied that she didn’t have any money.
My father was furious, and they began to quarrel. My father beat my mother savagely.
She was helpless. Nobody came to help her.
Then my father took kerosene, poured it over my mother, and set her afire. My mother was badly burned. When he sobered up a little, my father took my mother to the hospital.
But the burns were so severe that the doctors said she would not survive. My father ran away.
Nobody knows to this day what happened to him.
My sister and I were left with our poor mother in the hospital. She died 15 days later.
My sister and I mourned the loss of our mother for months. Our grandmother took us in and cared for us as best she could.
One day a Seventh-day Adventist pastor visited grandmother.
The pastor comforted us. When he learned that we were orphans, he told us about James Memorial Higher Secondary School.
He offered to help us find a way to attend. He helped us receive assistance from Adventist Child India. [Editor’s note: Adventist Child India is a nonprofit organization that provides sponsorship to schoolchildren in India.]
When I first arrived at the school, I had never heard about God. But new friends and teachers began to tell me about God, the living Savior. I started reading the Bible and praying.
Today I am 14 years old and studying in the 10th grade. My sister is 12 and in the eighth grade.
I am thankful to the Lord for His blessings and for making me who I am today.
Even though I lost both my parents, I know that I have a heavenly Father who takes good care of His children. He will never leave us if we believe in Him and accept Him as our Savior.
I love my school!
But the dormitory where I live is very old. It doesn’t have enough bathrooms for the 100 girls who live here.
I’m glad that part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help build a new girls’ dormitory at James Memorial Higher Secondary School.
The new dormitory will make it possible for more students to attend this school.
Some may come from difficult home situations like mine, but they will learn how much God loves them and wants to be their Heavenly Father.
Thank you for giving to mission, and especially on Thirteenth Sabbath, so more children like me can have a Christian education. Glory to God!