The Clouds Cried Out
To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, Oct. 28. Because of the sensitive nature of the story, no additional photos are being shared this week.
Ten-year-old Murad [MYUHR-ad] approached his teacher after class. “I have a secret,” he whispered to her.
The teacher, a Seventh-day Adventist who works in a restrictive country, looked at the boy quizzically. Although Murad had been in her class several months, he had never spoken to her in that way before.
“I have a secret to tell you,” Murad said again, still whispering. “What is it?” the teacher asked.
Vision in the Clouds
Tears ran down Murad’s cheeks as he spoke. “One day when I was going to school, I saw a cloud that looked like a man hanging on a cross,” Murad said. “I didn’t know who it was until I heard you talking about Jesus. When you spoke about Jesus, I remembered the cloud.”
Murad’s words and the tears in his eyes as he told his teacher his secret cut to her heart. Clearly, he didn’t know what to make of his vision.
Tears formed in the teacher’s own eyes as she recalled the encounter. She wasn’t sure what to say to Murad. Although she shares Bible stories about Jesus as she tells her students the importance of good values, she cannot say much else without risking major problems with the authorities.
“I don’t know what to do,” the teacher said a few weeks after Murad had confided in her. “Murad shared his vision with me in secret because his parents forbid him to believe in Jesus.”
Message of Hope
We may wonder how the gospel will be spread to the difficult parts of the world such as Murad’s homeland. But this young boy’s story offers an insight into how God can make His presence known, even when His name cannot be spoken.
Ellen White says that children will have a special role in sharing the gospel in the last days. “When heavenly intelligences see that men are no longer permitted to present the truth, the Spirit of God will come upon the children, and they will do a work in the proclamation of the truth which the older workers cannot” (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 6, p. 202).
Unusual phenomena such as clouds are among the ways that people’s attention can be drawn to Jesus in the 10/40 window, which includes a majority of the most challenging regions in the world in which to share the gospel. People also report seeing Jesus in their dreams, in which many people put great credence. Many people have accepted Jesus as their personal Savior in this region after dreaming about Jesus.
Murad’s vision of the cross in the clouds reminds us of Jesus’ words, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out” (Luke 19:40). The Pharisees were urging Jesus to rebuke His disciples for making joyous declarations that He was the Messiah. With those words, Jesus was telling the Pharisees that the stones would cry out that He is the Messiah if His disciples were prevented from speaking that truth.
Likewise, even the clouds are crying out in a part of the world where the gospel is restricted today. When Murad saw the clouds above his home, he understood the message that Jesus is the crucified Savior and Redeemer. And Murad’s teacher was convinced that Jesus was reaching out to the young boy’s heart through the clouds. Although she wasn’t sure what to do next, she knew that if Jesus could make the clouds cry out, she needn’t worry.
“The most important thing,” she said, “is God finishes the work that He starts. He will finish the work that we cannot complete on our own.”
Please pray that people will be open to hearing and accepting God’s message of love in restricted countries as well as around the world. Your mission offerings help reach people in these difficult-to-reach regions of the world. Thank you for giving.
Because of the sensitive nature of the story, no additional photos are being shared this week.
For other mission stories, download the Mission quarterly (PDF)